The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Sudanese woman, Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein, a journalist and a former U. N. staffer, was facing 40 lashes or jail for wearing pants in public. The following is an excerpt from the report:
A Sudanese woman was convicted today of public indecency for wearing pants at an outdoor cafe and jailed for one month when she refused to pay a fine.
The case has stirred international outrage and spawned protests in Sudan over the Islamic-dominated government’s treatment of women.
Lubna Hussein, a journalist and former U.N. staffer based in Khartoum, the capital, could have received 40 lashes with a plastic whip under Sudan’s criminal code, which is based largely on Islamic Sharia law.
Instead, a judge ordered Hussein — who stood before the court in the same pair of pants that she wore when arrested — to pay a $200 fine. Hussein said she would refuse to pay, and was taken to a women’s prison to serve a one-month sentence.
“If I paid, it would mean I’d lost the battle,” Hussein said after the verdict was announced. “I would rather serve my time in jail.”
Hussein was arrested earlier this year with a dozen other women, most of whom have since paid a fine or were lashed.
A similar fate could have happened to women in ancient Israel if Deuteronomy 22:5 taught that women should not wear pants in public. I am glad that Deuteronomy 22:5 did not teach that then and that it does not teach this now.
Transvestism in Ancient Israel
Emeritus Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
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