Sunday, December 22, 2013

Secularisation versus Sharia

Aliaa Magda Elmahdy (in the centre of photo) is a 22-year-old Egyptian internet activist and women's rights advocate. Elmahdy publicly challenged Egypt’s social structures. She became known for publishing a nude photo on her Blogspot page, which she described on Facebook as "screams against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy". Since then she became a subject of several death threats.
A student of the American University of Cairo, Elmahdy positioned herself as a "secular, liberal, feminist, vegetarian, individualist Egyptian" and an atheist since turning 16. Earlier in 2011 Elmahdy and another activist Kareem Amer posted mobile video footage, where they debate with managers of a public park who expelled them for public display of affection. A case, filed by Islamic law graduates, accused Elmahdy and Amer of "violating morals, inciting indecency and insulting Islam". False rumors about her beating on the Tahrir Square and death have been spread since then. In 2013, Elmahdy sought political asylum in Sweden for fear of being jailed, after being kidnapped and receiving death threats, and escaping a rape attempt.

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