Lubna Al Hussain, the Sudanese journalist accused of wearing "scandalous" clothes in public, will receive, if convicted, up to 40 lashes and/or be fined. The "scandalous" clothes in question consist of long pants, a loose shirt, and a headcover. Apparently, according to the enlightened views of the Islmaist Government of Sudan, pants are a no-no!
Al Hussain, a widow in her thirties, works for a leftist newspaper. She was arrested along with 12 other women. According to her, ten of the women received lashes at the police station, most of them were not Muslim. She is using her trial in order to publicize the injustice of the Sudanese law that allows beating women and humiliating them because of what they wear. Al Hussain insists that nothing in Shari'a allows for such laws. She also says that not even 40 thousand lashes will deter her from her cause.
A disturbing (if not surprising) detail reported in Al Arabiyah article is that since the case became public, a man threatened Al Hussain by yelling: "Your fate will be like that of Marwa al Sharbini." Al Sharbini is the Egyptian woman stabbed to death in a German court a few weeks ago.
If true, the irony of such a death threat is breathtaking, but again not surprising. Some of those who shed tears over the tragic death of Al Sharbini are not really concerned for women's rights, including their right to wear what they want. But since I haven't said anything about that case yet (been on vacation from the blogosphere), I will stop here. For now.
As to Lubna al Hussain, she comes from a long line of hardy leftist Sudanese women who stood up against injustice and oppression, in both its secular and religious forms. Her courage, like theirs, is an inspiration!!