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  • Lubna Hussein in court

    by Rumbold
    29th July, 2009 at 11:30 am    

    A UN worker in Sudan, Lubna Hussein, is to appear in court today charged with wearing trousers. As a Muslim woman, the punishment could be up to forty lashes (the other women with her were none Muslims, and so received ‘only’ ten lashes and a $100 fine). While wearing trousers isn’t prohibited under Sharia law, it is under Sudanese law. Nesrine Malik, who wrote about this case recently, believes that the arrests were less about principle and more about a need to show the strength of the regime:

    “There has been a media blackout on the latest floggings in Khartoum and the word on the street is that the security officer who engineered the cafe raid was a lone ranger provoked by al-Hussein’s tone when he urged the women to act or dress more modestly. Her lawyer stated that such raids were to remind people “that Big Brother is watching you”, and there is certainly an element of this in the government’s rather erratic approach to its implementation of sharia.

    Since this commitment to divine law is cosmetic and not in earnest, the religious whip is cracked when there may be a perception that the regime is going soft, using Islam as proxy for authoritarianism.”

    Hopefully the outcome will be as she predicted too:

    ” I predict a face-saving magnanimous presidential “pardon”, such as the one bestowed upon Gillian Gibbons – one that does not discredit the initial charge but halts proceedings or stays punishment.”

                  Post to

    Filed in: 'Honour'-based violence,Current affairs

    14 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. pickles

      New blog post: Lubna Hussein in court

    2. Lubna Hussein in court | Free Political Forum

      [...] Original post by Rumbold [...]

    3. ‘Enlightenment’ From Sudan: Female UN Worker Arrested For Wearing Pants, Subject to Lashing « Sigmund, Carl and Alfred

      [...] 31, 2009 Pickled Politics: A UN worker in Sudan, Lubna Hussein, is to appear in court today charged with wearing trousers. As [...]

    1. Carmenego — on 29th July, 2009 at 12:33 pm  

      Even if they were PVC trousers, or those ones with the bum cut out… LASHES?! It’s the 21st century ffs. Is there anything us lay folk can do about it?

      Complaining about ID cards seems like small potatoes right now.

    2. halima — on 29th July, 2009 at 12:52 pm  

      “…the arrests were less about principle and more about a need to show the strength of the regime’

      Shocking. I am sick and tired of seeing women used to demonstrate something or another. Why don’t these masculine regimes pawn their own rights as men to show how hard they are.

      That came out wrong, I didn’t mean to say we should curtail the rights of men, too. But you know what i mean.

    3. Carmenego — on 29th July, 2009 at 1:00 pm  

      @halima I absolutely agree!

      Do you think if Allah or God were to come down here to visit, He’d be saddened more by a woman wearing trousers, or a woman being beaten for it? It really angers me when people use archaic and irrelevant rules to justify their lust for violence.

    4. Andrew — on 29th July, 2009 at 1:08 pm  

      It’s certainly nothing to do with Islam! If it was, the entire female population of Pakistan, for example, would be in trouble! This is just a made-up charge to show the rest of the world who is boss in Sudan.

    5. Edna Welthorpe — on 29th July, 2009 at 1:31 pm  

      As the readers of PP know, there are internet sites featuring caning, whipping and play-flogging.

      Doing this with an ethnic theme - costumes, music and so on - would be like an unexpurgated part of Pasolini’s ‘Arabian Nights’ and quite a draw!

      Does the Sudanese Tourist Board know this?

    6. The Common Humanist — on 29th July, 2009 at 1:37 pm  

      This is gender power politics using religion as a shield. Bastards.

      Most definately not Islam.

      People can die from 40 lashes BTW.

      What ‘Man’ would do that to another human being? Particularly for something that is not a crime.

      I wonder if someone will try to explain the ‘context’ on this one?

    7. fugstar — on 30th July, 2009 at 11:12 am  

      Seem’s that muslim machismo has stooped down another level, shame because sudanese scholars can also be rather futuristic and clear minded on gender stuff. I do wonder why they are taking it out on her in particular. anybody? could be a vendetta of some kind.

    8. Humanist Animal — on 30th July, 2009 at 11:38 am  

      @Andrew: “It’s certainly nothing to do with Islam!”
      @The Common Humanist: “Most definately not Islam.”

      Of course this has everything to do with Islam! If Islam wasn’t there this would not have happened, it’s as simple as that.

    9. chairwoman — on 30th July, 2009 at 11:45 am  

      A woman’s place is in the wrong!


    10. justforfun — on 30th July, 2009 at 12:27 pm  

      A woman’s place is in the wrong!

      Oi - thats a husband’s place - get your own spot. I was quite happy sleeping here.


    11. Andrew — on 30th July, 2009 at 2:49 pm  

      The late president (dictator) of Malawi - Dr. Hastings Banda - banned women from wearing trousers. He wasn’t a Muslim.

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