A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, March 22, 2013

Another Outbreak of Topless Protest, This Time in Tunisia

The latest round in the culture wars is being waged in Tunisia, where a young woman named Amina, apparently seeking to emulate Aliaa Elmahdy, has posted photos of herself topless online with protest slogans on her body, claims to belong to the protest group Femen's Tunisian branch, and has provoked denunciations and death threats. As usual I won't post the pictures here, but most of the links below do so. An account in English here (link contains nudity and strong language); a more subdued Tunisian account here; and a French account here.

Islamists apparently have hacked the website and put up Qur'anic quotes; there are reports she has been threatened with death by stoning. Unlike Elmahdy, who used her full name and posed fully nude, "Amina" is not using her last name, apparently, and only appeared topless. And of course there's a Facebook page.

As I've noted elsewhere, Elmahdy found herself in de facto exile from Egypt; perhaps Amina can retain her anonymity, but Tunisia today is not the Tunisia of Bourguiba.

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