Egypt: FB photo of a kiss sparks scandal

Activist rejects insults, 'pessimistic' even after Morsi

16 September, 18:05

    Egypt: photo of a kiss on Facebook sparks debate on the web Egypt: photo of a kiss on Facebook sparks debate on the web

    (ANSAmed) - CAIRO, SEPTEMBER 16 - Egyptian activist Ahmed El-Gohary spoke to ANSA on Monday about a photo of a boy and a girl in a headscarf kissing, for which he has come in for criticism. The human rights defender, 38 years old and working with one of the country's largest NGOs, said that he had shared the photo ''on Facebook with a non-Egyptian friend, with whom I was exchanging views on social rights in Egypt, and now I wonder why this photo - which I liked a lot - has sparked all this debate'', he said. The photo has made him a household name and shows the couple kissing against a background of graffiti. The photographer is unknown. ''Even my friends have forgotten all the country's problems and simply focused on this photo, which just shows a kiss,'' he said. ''They refuse to understand that this is personal freedom that they are violating. Even if the girl is wearing a headscarf, she has every right to express her feelings however she wants,'' Ahmed said, criticising the ''insults'' posted on his Facebook page.

    ''You've got to delete this photo, because you are a Muslim, and you must be punished'', ''Congratulations, you've lost all your sense of a true man, jealous of his own religion'' and ''I do not want to be your friend so long as this photo is on your Facebook page'' are some of the comments - though the photo also garnered eighty-some ''likes''. ''Even my own freedom to post a photo that I like very much has been violated by all manner of insults and criticism,'' the activist said, who noted that these reactions bode ill for the country in general. ''Unfortunately, after such an important revolution like ours, the people - and even educated people - still have this mentality: kisses in the street are to be incriminated, but when young people die in the same streets no one reacts....''. ''Individual freedoms have been entirely violated both by Islamists, who are incessantly rummaging among our feelings, and by those governing now, with special laws that protect only power.'' ''I am pessimistic both about the future of respect for human rights and an exit from the current crisis, which the country is plunging deeper into every day,'' he underscored. ''Egypt is experiencing large-scale defeat and no one knows how we will get out of it.'' (ANSAmed).

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