Monday, 13 July 2009

Violation of women justified by fundamentalist religious clergy.

Today we turn our gaze from the Vatican Taliban to consider this stultifyingly wrong sharia law enforcement.

Several Sudanese women have been flogged as a punishment for dressing "indecently", according to a local journalist who was arrested with them. Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein, who says she is facing 40 lashes, said she and 12 other women wearing trousers were arrested in a restaurant in the capital, Khartoum.

She told the BBC several of the women had pleaded guilty to the charges and had 10 lashes immediately. Khartoum, unlike South Sudan, is governed by Sharia law.
Several of those punished were from the mainly Christian and animist south, Ms Hussein said. Non-Muslims are not supposed to be subject to Islamic law, even in Khartoum and other parts of the mainly Muslim north.

She said that a group of about 20 or 30 police officers entered the popular Khartoum restaurant and arrested all the women wearing trousers. ... Ms Hussein said some women pleaded guilty to "get it over with" but others, including herself, chose to speak to their lawyers and are awaiting their fates. Under Sharia law in Khartoum, the normal punishment for "indecent" dressing is 40 lashes.

As with the Catholic Church clergy, the interpreters of religious text validate their own needs as men. Wearing pants is sensible and practical for women attempting to do physical labour, as many must to meet their family's requirements in many countries ruled by sharia law. Obliging women to wear heavy robes, dresses and skirts rather than comfortable and modest clothing is a typical patriarchal religious restriction.

And in other parts of the woman-hating world Afghanistan legislators, freed from the inconvenience of colleagues who would denounce their gynophobia, can now proceed with a new version of the laws that violate women's rights.

...women's rights activist Wazhma Frough, who was involved in the review, said that conservative religious leaders had pressured the Justice Ministry to keep many of the most controversial clauses. "There have been a few little changes, but they are not enough," she said. "For example, if the wife doesn't accept her husband's sexual requirements then he can deny her food. "According to civil society groups, the law, which regulates the personal affairs of Afghanistan's minority Shia community, still includes clauses which allow rapists to marry their victims as a way of absolving their crime and it tacitly approves child marriage.
Trousers are "indecent" yet men starving women to control them is legal - and decent? "God the father" gives them the power to claim this and enact it into law. Quite a self-serving system, is it not?

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