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Naked in Egypt

Aliaa Magda Elmahdy is an Egyptian student who posted nude pictures of herself on the internet in the name of women’s rights. Here’s an article about it, and here’s Elmahdy’s blog, which now has many pictures of naked people. It’s caused a surprising amount of backlash: surprising to me, at least.

The comments on her blog are in many languages, so I’m stuck with using Google Translate to get the gist of most of the discussion. And most of them are from outside Egypt, outside the Mid-East, even, and are overwhelmingly supportive.

That gives me some hope, maybe the hardline Muslims will look at that and have a moment of introspection. Maybe they’ll think “If the rest of the world sees our policies as oppressive and archaic, relics of a dark age, could we be mistaken?” I know that’s pretty unlikely, not only because religious fundamentalism leaves little room for introspection but because these movements to expand religious power and take rights and freedoms away from people are expanding. Read the rest of this entry

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