CAIRO (AP) — Both conservatives and liberals in Egypt are denouncing a female activist for posting nude pictures of herself on her blog as a protest against limits on free expression in the country.
Some liberals say the posting by the 20-year-old university student Aliaa Magda Elmahdy could taint secular political parties ahead of the Nov. 28 parliamentary elections.
Nudity is strongly frowned upon in Egyptian society, even as an art form. Most women in Egypt's Muslim majority wear the headscarf, and even those who don't rarely wear clothes exposing the arms or legs in public.
The blog photos show the woman standing wearing only stockings. She describes the images as "screams against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy."
The posting has prompted furious discussions on Internet social media sites, with pages for and against her put up on Facebook. One supporter writes that Egyptians need to learn how to distinguish between nudity and sex.
But opponents are denouncing the woman as a "prostitute" and "mentally sick" and urging police to arrest her.
The blog has received 1.5 million hits since the woman posted the photos earlier this week.
(Copyright 2011, The Associated Press)