Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lubna's Trial Postponed

Today it was reported that the trial of Lubna Hussein, the Sudanese woman accused of violating Islamic law for wearing trousers (doesn’t that seem ridiculous?), has been postponed until it could be determined if she is subject to trial because of being an employee of the United Nations.

You may remember from reading about her here (among other more prominent news sources) last week that she had agreed to quit her position at the U.N. (which she did) because she wanted to go to trial to make her point that she and other women who wore trousers were not violating decency laws. Ms. Hussein wants the trial to go forward and if found guilty she wants a public flogging. She wants to show the world how barbaric these decency laws are.

Ms. Hussein was quoted in a
report in the Times of London that she believed they referred her case to the Foreign Minister to delay her trial to try to save face. Perhaps these persecutors are afraid of her fierce courage and the world is watching especially in view of the world watching events in Iran and Sudan does not want the same scrutiny.

As technology allows us all to become more aware of each other’s humanity and struggles to maintain and preserve our individual dignity, all the Sudanese women and men who protested outside the courthouse yesterday and were subjected to the police teargas and beatings should know I support—as do many other Americans—their fight for their rights.

I’m just an ignorant westerner with some knowledge of the Quran and Prophet Muhammad’s attitude’s toward women and even I cannot see that trousers worn by women would be indecent or against Islam. Now, you may say that is because I am ignorant and a westerner where women wear less than trousers. But to my knowledge (and I have been studying Islam from a woman’s perspective for almost ten years now) the basic Islamic criteria for a woman being dressed decently is that she is covered; that she is not showing skin—ankles, forearms, etc.

Perhaps trousers show the form of a woman’s leg and that is haram (forbidden) and could cause men to have impure thoughts. But this practice forces women to be responsible for men controlling the impure thoughts in their own minds.

If that’s the belief, men will never learn control over their own thoughts. And if men never learn control over their own impure thoughts, they will always be weak. And if these men are that weak then they will never be strong Muslim men. This also puts women forever in the position of being responsible for men like their mothers were responsible for them. In that respect, these men will never grow up and become men. They will always be spoiled boys in men’s bodies. That is not what I believe the Prophet Muhammad meant Islam to be.

In the west I live in, I understand that with individual freedom comes individual responsibility. Perhaps this is not the case in all areas of America where our fundamentalist religions tell us it is evil or liberals that are causing our problems. Religious people of all types seem to want to control others who are simply expressing their decent and dignified individual liberty so the religious people can feel okay. This is how religion-based oppression begins.

Lubna’s attire, in all the photos I have seen, makes her look very dignified and respectful. How could any judge or jury call that indecent?

It is important to me that the rest of the world not lump me—as an American—with the Erik Prince’s of America. As we all know, Erik Prince is the head of Blackwater (now Xe), the private security firm hired by the U.S. State department to provide their security under Bush-Cheney and whose employees were found guilty by the Iraqi government of what seems was a massacre of innocent Iraqis in Baghdad in 2007 and are set to stand trial in America next January.

Yesterday there was a news item that Prince was a fundamentalist Christian who believed in the Crusades and the extermination of all Muslims and saw his work in Iraq as if he was a soldier in a religious war. He is also accused of trafficking in arms.

We have a lot of nutcases in America—as you can see with the birthers and those hooligans who are acting like self-righteous defenders of the American (corporate greed) way against any kind of health care for the poor. These people are not Christians and neither is Erik Prince. These people are against what Christ taught. They are the opposite of what Prophet Issa hoped people who believed in his teachings would be and do.

As I said, with individual freedom comes individual responsibility. Not everyone here in America takes that responsibility because they are free not to. And because I think it is too hard for them. It is easier for them to find fault with others rather than take a good hard look at themselves and their powerful groups and wonder if they are being oppressive.

Perhaps Lubna Hussein is making the powerful in Sudan examine themselves and making them wonder if they are being fair or oppressive. I think she has made them realize the world has changed and they must change with it.

If we could get rid of the all conservatives, fundamentalists, neo-cons and imperialists, we could actually have a pretty good world. Sounds like fantasy? I think Lubna is actually taking us all one step closer to that eventuality.