Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, 20, the blogger and feminist activist who posted a nude photo of herself on her blog - A Rebel's Scream, has been at the receiving end of criticism from sections of Egyptian society and now has lawsuits filed against her. The photos were posted to protest against limits on the freedom of expression in the country. Elmahdy is a student of mass communications at the American University of Cairo and describes herself as an atheist.
On Thursday, a group of Islamic law graduates reported Elmahdy and her boyfriend Karim Amer to the general prosecutor, on the charge of spreading immorality and debauchery, along with contempt of the religion. They have also demanded that she be punished according to Islamic law. Nafisa Abdel Fatah, a lawyer unrelated to the group of students, filed a similar report with the general prosecutor on Friday.
Abdel Fatah told the Youm7 Web site Elmahdy and her boyfriend alleged action prompted the spread of the nude photo, aside from being lovers outside of wedlock in defiance of religious and social traditions.
In addition to the above protests, even liberal powers and parties have expressed their concern about the incident, which comes before parliamentary elections where liberals are facing tough competition from Islamic fundamentalists. Siyad El-Qamni, a renowned liberal writer, also criticized Elmahdym, by describing her as a mentally disturbed girl. The blogger, however, responded to the writer's comments, via Twitter, saying he was a coward who ran away from his liberal opinions after being threatened by the radicals.
More than 2,500,000 people have seen Elmahdy's blog after she posted her photograph.
Elmahdy has been living with her current boyfriend, Amer, for five months now. Amer was sentenced to four years in jail, in 2006, for criticizing Islam and defaming former president Hosni Mubarak.