Egyptian-born feminist activist Aliaa Magda Elmahdy posted a picture of herself and another female (on her blog) of defecating and menstruating on the Islamic State flag. In the graphic image, the 23-year-old activist is shown facing the camera in a squatting position while apparently menstruating on the flag, while the other woman, dressed in a black hijab with her back to the viewer, is defecating on the banner/flag.
Just behind the women and flanking the flag sit two — presumably — plastic machine guns, and the veiled woman is holding up her middle finger over her shoulder. The letters IS are written on Elmahdy’s stomach and on the second woman’s back side just above her buttocks.
Elmahdy posted the photo to Facebook and her blog in what appears to be a protest against the Islamist terror group’s recent advances in northern Iraq and Syria.
Aliaa Magda Elmahdy (born 16 November 1991) is an Egyptian internet activist and women’s rights advocate. Elmahdy publicly challenged Egypt’s social structures. She became known for publishing a nude photo on her Blogspot page, which she described on Facebook as “screams against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy”. Since then she became a subject of several death threats.
A student of the American University of Cairo, Elmahdy describes herself as a “secular, liberal, feminist, vegetarian, individualist Egyptian” and has identified as an atheist since turning 16. In 2013, Elmahdy sought political asylum in Sweden for fear of being jailed, after being kidnapped and receiving death threats, and escaping a rape attempt.
Past controversies such as a 2011 incident in which Aliaa posed in only stockings and red shoes for her blog to protest against Egypt’s conservative culture suggest the Islamic State defecation move was also in opposition to the terror group’s brutally restrictive and misogynistic ideology.