I'm amazed by the courage of Lubna Hussein, the UN worker arrested in Sudan for indecent dress. She is being supported by Sudanese women from various political party, some of whom are supporting her at her trial, wearing trousers in defiance of the law.
Hussein has forgone the immunity which her status as a UN worker gives her, to be tried by a Sudanese court. Her trial has prompted protests which have been violently quashed by police. Hussein believes that the way in which Sudanese law interprets Islam is erroneous:
"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."
Hussein argues that the consequences of flogging do not end with the punishment itself. Women subjected to flogging go on to live in social alienation.
It's hard to know how exactly NZers can show solidary with Hussein and the women of Sudan. Does anyone know of any protest group or NGO working with Sudanese women that we could support?