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With the second round of voting on Egypt's draft constitution slated to begin on Saturday, a young Egyptian blogger famous for her nudist activism had decided to strip naked yet again in protest against the contentious document.
Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, 22, was photographed fully nude and holding up an Egyptian flag outside her country's embassy in Stockholm on Thursday despite the sub-zero temperatures in the Swedish capital.
A slogan painted on her body read "Sharia isn't a constitution," referring to the strict principles of Islamic law.
Elmahdy was joined in her protest by two members of the Swedish feminist organization Femen, known for its topless activism and use of sexual imagery, according to Gulf News. The two held up anti-religious placards over their private parts. The slogans on their posters targeted Egypt’s president Mohamed Morsi, Islam, and religion in general.
Elmahdy, a student at the American University of Cairo, triggered an uproar in Egypt in October 2011 after posting nude pictures of herself on her blog to protest limits on free expression.
Clashes in AlexandriaMeanwhile Friday, thousands of Islamists clashed with their opponents in Egypt's second largest city, Alexandria.
The two sides hurled rocks and stones at each other in the Mediterranean port city, prompting police to fire tear gas to separate them. Volleys of tear gas containers fell into the sea as security forces cordoned off the crowds to prevent further clashes between the Muslim Brotherhood members and ultraconservative Salafis on one side, and groups of young protesters on the other.
It was not immediately clear who started the fight, which added to the already tense political crisis over the draft charter.
The Islamists had called for a massive rally Friday outside the Qaed Ibrahim main mosque in the heart of Alexandria. About 20 political parties had issued a joint statement, saying they would not hold a rival rally in the city to avoid clashes.
Security forces cordoned off streets leading to the mosque as throngs of mostly long-bearded Salafi Islamists gathered for what they called "the million-man rally to defend clerics and mosques." Islamists chanted "God is Great," and warned opponents, "with blood and soul, we redeem Islam."
The rally was called in response to last week's violence, when a well-known Alexandria preacher and ultraconservative Salafi cleric, Sheik Ahmed el-Mahalawi, was trapped inside a mosque for 12 hours while his supporters battled rock-throwing opponents outside with swords and firebombs.
El-Mahalawi, 87, stirred anger with a sermon last Friday in which he denounced opponents of the Islamist-friendly draft charter as "followers of heretics" – something he denied in a sermon on Friday, accusing media instead of spreading "lies."
He claimed that last week's clashes were meant to prevent the voting from taking place.
"The real goal here is for the referendum not to take place," he said Friday, adding that his backers had been ready with "teams of people equipped with all facilities to end the siege on the mosque" but he held them back because Salafis "don't want to shed blood."
By: Joe Schmoe
Tags: Stockholm, Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, nude activism, islam, muslim, sharia, egypt, mursi
Location: Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden (load item map)
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