This is an amazing story about Lubna al-Hussein, a Sudanese journalist and former UN employee, who was arrested in a restaurant on July 3 along with 18 other women when they failed to pass the random clothing check by the Sudanese Morality Police. “At the time of her arrest, al-Hussein said she was wearing pants that police deemed too tight, a blouse they said was too sheer. She said she was also wearing a hijab — or headscarf.” If found guilty, she will face 40 lashes.
Although al-Hussein’s trial has been delayed until September 7 so that the judge can determine whether or not she has immunity as a former UN employee, al-Hussein is pressing for a public flogging. She’s even sent out 500 invitations! In her words, “I’m not afraid from pain . . . but flog is not pain, flog is an insult, insult to humans, insult to women. . . This happened in Khartoum and under the eye . . of media and all over the world . . . to a girl from Khartoum for only wearing trousers and sitting in a restaurant. I want people (to) imagine that. What can be happening to women in Darfur? This is my message.”
EDITED TO ADD: Here is an additional quote from al-Hussein from The Guardian: “Islam does not say whether a woman can wear trousers or not. The clothes I was wearing when the police caught me – I pray in them. I pray to my God in them. And neither does Islam flog women because of what they wear. If any Muslim in the world says Islamic law or sharia law flogs women for their clothes, let them show me what the Qur’an or Prophet Muhammad said on that issue. There is nothing. It is not about religion, it is about men treating women badly.”