Arab nations did not print the photo because the flag states “there is no God but Allah.” Elmahdy did not explain why she took the photo, but she protests Islamic laws, and IS implements strict Sharia Law. Women must wear full veils and not leave the house without a male relative. The jihadists have even forced shopkeepers to fully veil all mannequins. In Raqqa, Syria, an Islamic State stronghold, a crowd stoned two women to death for allegedly committing adultery.
The majority of Muslims do not agree with IS. Several prominent Muslim leaders and scholars have condemned the terrorist group. However, not everyone agreed with Elmahdy’s photo, including fellow liberal Muslims.
In 2011, she caused outrage among strict and liberal Muslims when she posed nude in photos on her Facebook. She claimed the photos “scream against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy.” The secular Muslims did not agree.
“This hurts the entire secular current in front of those calling themselves the people of virtue,” said secularist Sayyed el-Qimni. “It’s is a double disaster. Because I am liberal and I believe in the right of personal freedom, I can’t interfere.”