I’ve been following the story of Aliaa Magda Elmahdy through Maryam Namazie’s blog, Nothing Is Sacred, and I hope that others are also aware of this. Aliaa is an Egyptian woman who, along with her boyfriend I believe, had the audacity to post naked pictures of herself on her blog. It was an act of rebellion against a society that is increasingly dealing with fundamentalist Islam attempting to control women, and Aliaa was having none of it.
Naturally, it would not go unanswered. The Coalition of Islamic Law Graduates filed a lawsuit against her for “violating morals, inciting indecency and insulting Islam”. Morality and indecency charges would probably result in dozens of lashes, but insulting Islam could lead to a death sentence. All of this because she posed naked on her blog.
Maryam’s blog has posted several examples of people who have joined this naked revolution to show their support for what Aliaa was doing, and I wanted to, in my own little way, help out by spreading the word. I also particularly like and would gladly support Maryam’s suggestion for a naked revolutionaries calendar.
I’m all for understanding that not everyone views the world the same way as I do. It’s a common mistake among us wealthy Western folk to assume that our version of morality is right for everyone. But I do believe in our ability to view an act as morally right or wrong. If it hurts you or it hurts someone else, it’s wrong. Beating the living crap out of a woman does a lot to hurt her. Showing your body on your web site does not hurt anyone. To me, that’s a pretty easy situation to judge.
This is one of those areas where my real disgust at Islamic fundamentalism comes in. The human body, male or female, is a beautiful thing that should not be considered shameful or disgusting. The fundamentalists make women ashamed of their bodies by putting all the responsibilities for the fundamentalist’s sexual weakness on the woman. If he sees her ankles and feels overcome, obviously his raping her was her fault. That is not the case.
I’m reminded of the story of Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the Netherlands when she went out to the park and sat next to a man while wearing what we might consider extremely conservative clothing. You could see her ankles. Everything she had been taught from the get-go was that her venturing outside like that wouldn’t just tempt a man, it would literally bring about devastating consequences, as the men of Holland would suddenly be unable to control themselves.
This is abuse. The fact that people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Aliaa Magda Elmahdy are willing to stand up to it makes them heroes, not criminals. A society that makes heroism seem villainous is a Bizarro-world that has got to change.
If you are so inclined, please sign this petition to defend a free and secular Middle East and North Africa and lend your support in any way you can to these women standing up for themselves against disgusting behavior justified by an evil and antiquated judicial system.