Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Woman Avoids Lashing

A few posts ago (you can scroll down to find it) I posted about the first woman in Malaysia to be sentenced to be caned for drinking beer in public.

Now there's a report in the New York Times about a woman who was fined the equivalent of $200 for wearing pants in public in Sudan but she was spared 40 lashes.

The story said Sudan's leader are eager to normalize relations with the US and other Western countries so they decided to spare the lashing.

Diplomats from five European countries howed up at the courthouse along with a throng of women protestors wearing pants. Several counterprotestors wearing beards also showed up and police broke up the demonstration and carted away more than 40 women.

The woman, a 34-year-old widow, is a career journalist who recently worked for the UN. She refused to pay the fine as a protest and was whisked off to jail. She said she'd rather spend the month in jail than pay the fine and could explore conditions in jail. A commitee formed for her defense may pay the fine and free her.

Sudan law says that anyone "who commits an indecent act which violates public morality or wear indecent clothling'' may be fined and lashed up to 40 times. The lashing is done with a plastic whip and can leave permanent scars.

Meanwhile, back in Malaysia, the 32-year-old woman sentenced to six strokes of a rattan cane had it delayed because of Ramadan. She had wanted the caning to be done because she said she wanted to move on with her life. Two other Malaysians who suffered the same fate have filed appeals.

In Malaysia, Muslins, who make up 60 per cent of the population of 28 million, are forbidden from drinking alcohol. Other religious groups are exempt.

Hard to believe all this is happening in the 21st century.


  1. "Amen" to your comment. From what I have been reading about this, the rich and powerful Moslems in that area publicly drink all the time and it is the poor that are arrested by the morality police. Nothing really changes much through the centuries does it? Lash

  2. Lash: As F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, the rich are different than you and me. And Hemingway supposedly replied, "they have more money.'' I think it's the golden rule. The people who have the gold rule.


  3. There's a wonderful book "Price of Honor: Muslim Women Lift the Veil of Silence" by Jan Goodwin. This was written years ago but obviously nothing much has changed. This book keeps you reading despite the drastic reality of harsh economics and strict religious practices. Perhaps these ideals were once born from esoteric concepts. Sadly they are now enslaving both genders: Obviously and especially the females. I am always and forever grateful to be living in a country where my DNA would have been 'removed' given my propensity to (over)react passionately to circumstances. Thanks FD for your post. Who would have thought these two paths would cross? "Politikink" KayLynn

  4. I couldn't imagine living under those conditions. I would be in trouble all time.

  5. I did read something about this. One of my colleagues told me that many of the women wanted to step into her place and take her flogging.

    Nothing changes, I's the same as CK, glad I'm not living under those conditions.


  6. "In Malaysia, Muslins, who make up 60 per cent of the population of 28 million, are forbidden from drinking alcohol. Other religious groups are exempt."

    So if she decided to convert and seize to be a muslim she would walk free of the punishment, then? If not, who decides what religion a grown-up person belongs to? Pretty scary that a society can have different laws for peoples of different religious beliefs.

  7. Fun: Thanks for the heads up on the book.

    Kitten: Yes, it's hard to imagine living under those conditions.

    Ronnie: I hadn't heard some women wanted to take her place.

    Ckink: Yes, it's pretty scary.

    And thanks for all the interesting comments.


  8. Re: Malaysian caning

    I work in a SM house and I discussed this story with some of the other subs. Although the crime may not warrant the punishment, I think caning is a good deterant for most small crimes. We take canings for a living and know how unpleasant they can be (and pleasant too). I think she got off pretty easy with only 6 strokes. I think some wayward teens might think twice about bad behaviour if they had the cane to deal with.

    As for the pants story, I agree that Muslim law regarding womens dress is somewhat outdated and unfair. Unfortunately we can't change how others choose to live. I choose not to visit countries that would have that reaction. I am in no hurry to go any where near the area.
    The woman in question could have paid the fine, but she chose to protest her sentence. That choice is up to her, and good on her for standing up. I just think you can't enter into those countries without realising you may get caught up in their archaic laws.

    And the comical thing is we choose to take canings and whippings cause we like it. You have to laugh.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post.