Sudanese woman faces flogging for not wearing a hijab.

A woman in Sudan, Amira Osman Hamed, is about to go on trial for the crime of not wearing a hijab.  Should she be convicted she will likely be flogged, literally beaten, for not putting a piece of cloth on her head at the arbitrarily appointed times – as if the crime of beating someone is less severe than not wearing a fucking head scarf.

This isn’t the first time Hamed’s dress has provoked the ire of Sudanese authorities. In 2002, she was arrested for wearing trousers. Thanks to the help of a lawyer, she was charged only with a fine in that case.

Both of Hamed’s supposed crimes have been in violation of Article 152 of the Sudanese Penal Code of 1991, which states, “Whoever does in a public place an indecent act or an act contrary to public morals or wears an obscene outfit or contrary to public morals or causing an annoyance to public feelings shall be punished with flogging which may not exceed 40 lashes or with fine or with both.”

“They want us to be like Taliban women,” Hamed said in an interview with the AFP, describing the restrictive nature of the law.

She’s not the only one to deem the law vastly unfair. According to Tawanda Hondora, deputy director of Amnesty International’s Africa program, “Women are routinely arrested, detained, tried and then, on conviction, flogged simply because a police officer disapproves of their clothing” under the enforcement of Article 152.

And bear in mind, this is in a country where child marriage is common in accordance with fundamentalist Islamic tradition.  So marrying children (and sleeping with them)?  Just fine.  Not wearing a head scarf?  Unacceptable.  This is madness, and it is madness that is enshrined by the only institution with no checks against madness: religion.

Most women would lose their soul living in such a place, but not Amira.  She says she’d rather be flogged than submit to their defamatory rules:

After being detained by police for refusing to wear a hijab on Aug. 27, she says she is willing to face the flogging in order to protest the law that requires her to cover her hair.

That woman is a god damn badass.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • SansDeus

    In 2002, she was arrested for wearing trousers

    Gasp! She has two, TWO LEGS!? They’re covered, but I know she has them!

    In seriousness though, if I were to have a wish granted, it would be for oppressed women to have the ability and motivation to up and leave places like that (including states unfriendly to women’s rights such as Texas). Leaving the land free of women, at least until the senses of ignorant-law-making men can be changed.


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