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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Sudan trouser trial: What's your view?

September 7th, 2009
09:36 AM ET
Al-Hussein faced up to 40 lashes for wearing pants considered too tight and a blouse deemed too sheer (PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES.)
Al-Hussein faced up to 40 lashes for wearing pants considered too tight and a blouse deemed too sheer (PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES.)

The trial has taken place in Sudan of a woman accused of wearing trousers which were "too tight," and a blouse that was too transparent.

Lubna al-Hussein, an employee of the media department of the United Nations in Sudan, resigned her position to deliberately lose immunity and go to trial. She was fined by the court, but will not get the 40 lashes she could potentially have faced. Her lawyer says she will appeal against the decision.

She does not intend to pay the fine, which means she will be jailed for a month, her lawyer says.

On Connect the World we discussed the case with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the internationally known campaigner against the oppression of women in Muslin society. Hirsi Ali is a former Dutch MP, and for her campaigning and writing was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of 2005. You can watch the interview here:

soundoff (126 Responses)
  1. Edwin Phillips

    Ridiculous! I am rather surprise that an Islamic country can project the teachings of one of the sons of Abraham in that light! Yet, I am optmistic that the government will rethink its position, not simply because of international pressure. Each nation has a conscience and Sudan has one.

    Let's see how things would work out in this specific case and hope for the best outcome, although I expect that there is greater wisdom to respect the laws of the land than to do otherwise.


    September 7, 2009 at 9:59 am | Reply
  2. Wing Galaxi

    Edwin's comment is too mild, too appeasing. The fact is that Islamic law ranges from the very silly to the harsh and oppressive.

    September 7, 2009 at 10:29 am | Reply
  3. Esmeralda Plangesis

    It is outrageous that women should still be subjected to such patriarchal barbarism today! Irrespective of religion, color or creed, violence against women, children and anyone in a weaker position in society has got to stop!

    September 7, 2009 at 10:39 am | Reply
  4. Anit Kapoor

    Muslim women the world over need a voice to rally around. Let Lubna be that voice.

    September 7, 2009 at 10:57 am | Reply
  5. John Thomas

    These "morality police" are nothing but bullies and criminals in their own right. It is they who should be on trial and they and their superiors should be subjected to 40 lashes, not innocent women.

    September 7, 2009 at 11:01 am | Reply
  6. Fahmi Natour

    I don't know what brand of Islam would subject a woman to torture for not following some dress code. At best, Islam and the Quran preaches decency from both men and women, the rest is fanatic interpretations.
    I am against oppression of women wither they are Muslims , Christians or otherwise. I am equally opposed to people like Ayyan Ali, for her brand of interpreting Islam. I don't know what brand she was subjected to in Somalia, Ethupia and Suaadi Arabia. Many of the practices she described in her book "The Infidel" are truly foreign to Islam. Whatever brand she observed in her childhood and growing up in war impoverished country, does not make Ayyan an Islamic scholar to creticise and interpret the faith.

    September 7, 2009 at 11:01 am | Reply
  7. Sophocles

    Its such a shame to see the once promising country of Sudan (then called Africa's bread basket) to ethically deteriorate by showing repeatedly poor performance in whatever has to do with human values. Its shallow hypo-critic approach coupled together with a calculated medieval arrogance decorated in supposedly true Islamic teachings, offers all kinds of opportunities to a cast that for years brought nothing but misery, fanaticism, more poverty, even more lack of education, ignorance, self – centrism and tens of other curses that haunt the good people of Sudan.
    Kudos to Ms. Lubna al Hussein for standing up against those macabre caricatures. If there is any true pride left, the current judicial system should this time rethink if not the Sudanese man – then the Sudanese woman, the true force behind its family.
    If Ms Hussein is convicted, every lush will be not only on her back but on every inch of the Sudanese wannabe democratic spirit.
    Rest assure that Lubna will prevail one way or another.

    September 7, 2009 at 11:03 am | Reply
  8. Lachman

    the big problem with islam is that the women of this religion dont have equal rights like those of muslim men, for example, the muslim women cant go to the masjid ( holy place of worship for the muslims) for prayers, they are prohibited even at the time of their marriage to go to the masjid. the bridegroom goes to the masjid with the imam, and afterwards the bridegroom goes to the house where the bride signs the marriage documents. its ridiculous, only when the imams reforms all these islamic laws giving equal rights to the women, then only i think this religion will progress.

    September 7, 2009 at 11:27 am | Reply
  9. Alison Panik

    What happened to the others who were arrested with Lubna al-Hussein?

    September 7, 2009 at 11:29 am | Reply
  10. Fatima Al Hausi

    Ms. Lubna al Hussein should be flogged not 40 times but 100 times, not for wearing tight jeans but for wearing the hijab that legitimizes oppression.

    September 7, 2009 at 11:29 am | Reply
  11. alan

    I will never understand the Islamic View ! Women should be equal to any man but are repressed in the name of God. What is it that makes these people so harsh and relentless that a woman would be whipped like a farm animal for wearing the type of clothing she feels comfortable in. It is not like she was pole dancing on the streets.

    September 7, 2009 at 11:34 am | Reply
  12. Blair Thennacle

    The true tragedy of this case is that commentators the world over will perform flabbergasting tricks of dishonesty and fallacious logic to lay the blame on any culprit but the doctrine of Islam itself.

    The comments above attest to this. Edwin Phillips expresses "surprise" that the "teachings of one of the sons of Abraham" should be applied in this way. One immediately grows skeptical that Edwin is any more than casually acquainted with any Abrahamic literature. Esmeralda Plangesis makes the laudable but impossible request that violence against women might cease "irrespective of religion". 'Sophocles' refers to "supposedly true Islamic teachings", implicitly committing the very mistake I am here elucidating.

    Poverty, politics, corruption, (lack of) education and plain sadism all play a role in cases such as this, but they are merely secondary and complementary to the central role of religious fundamentalism. When such atrocities are committed by, for lack of a better word, 'secular' despots (e.g. Stalin), they are rightly denounced as wicked and contemptible. When they are conducted by hysterical theocrats, they are brushed off as misunderstandings, misfirings or misinterpretations of religion. I look forward to Ms. Ali expounding this point with greater clarity, authority and erudition than that of which I myself am capable.

    September 7, 2009 at 11:43 am | Reply
  13. Mr.J

    With the world community getting closer cultural shock becomes your neighbor. Who moves?

    September 7, 2009 at 11:43 am | Reply
  14. thomas rogers

    we have the same idiotic religious fanaticism here in the U.S. look at the religious right. creationism, invasions of womens privacy, murdering good doctors who practice abortions, strapping gays to fenceposts in wyoming and torturing and killing them...and the list goes on. people causing incredible human suffering perched up in thier little tv ideologies in the name of GOD. watch out for religious fanatics right here at home, o my brothers, righteous power hungry money grubbing know knothings.....belch

    September 7, 2009 at 11:48 am | Reply
  15. Keith Hatcher

    Firstly, I applaud your bravery and courage.
    What is it that makes Islam hate women?
    In Nigeria the shariya law allows women to be stoned to death; in Saudi Arabia a woman is lashed for driving a car; in Malaysia another young woman faces the same punishment for drinking a can of beer. And the Taliban mercilessly eliminated Afghan women from all walks of life and covered them from head to toe, when they used to be school-teachers, doctors and nurses, shop-owners and office workers (when I was there in 1971.....)
    Are Muslim men AFRAID of women?
    What have they to fear when in any more or less civilized countries, women form the better and most productive half of society?
    Is that the reason why Islam hides behind the Koran and hates women?
    A Talib studies his holy book, twists everything and becomes illiterate in everything else.
    Islamic Law and the Shariya just beggar belief.
    Ah, I am a 64 year old man. Thankyou

    September 7, 2009 at 11:54 am | Reply
  16. Mary Wells

    Why should a man tell a woman what she should wear unless its her husband? Its not what a person wears that God judges one by but what is in the heart. She was not parading down the street in front of other people but at a party. Telling people what they can wear or not wear doesnt get them to heaven for if their heart is not right they won't make it anyway.

    September 7, 2009 at 11:58 am | Reply
  17. BRL Simmons

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali, though a significant player in the Muslim awareness movement and women's rights movement in the Netherlands, has proven herself to be an extremist of her own right and has admitted to dishonesty to achieve status repeatedly. She may be as likely to shut people down as to incite productive conversation. While she may be knowledgeable on the subject of the oppression of Muslim women in the Netherlands and other countries, hers should not be the only voice beside Lubna's. Not all Muslims are extreme. No country is flawless in its acceptance of varied religious interpretations. Governments fail their people often because they rely on interpretations of religious works such as the Bible and Qu'ran for law to implement morals. No country is above this behavior. Even America, as liberal as it can be, restricts the behavior of its people on moral grounds. Lubna's willingness to jump on the grenade for the people of her country, telling the government it is oppressive of women. Take care to remember the ban on the hijab in french schools and other such acts that prevent Muslims from practicing their religious beliefs. The push should not as much be for freedom from Islam, but freedom to practice Islam under standards not regulated by the government.

    September 7, 2009 at 12:05 pm | Reply
  18. cristian

    Dear islamic fellow man: trying to control the sexuality of women is a losing cause. Instead, try to convince yourself that YOUR woman would never put the horns on you. If you cannot convince yourself of this, then it means you probably married the wrong woman.

    September 7, 2009 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  19. Pete

    They should release these police on the boys with the trousers hanging down their rear ends in the US. Obviously, ridiculous charges against these women but it has gone too far in the US with liberality of dress.

    September 7, 2009 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  20. Claudette Gunness

    It is not the fault of Women that men cannot contain their lust. why should women be made to dress is unattrative clothes just because men find it difficult to control their thoughts. Man have too long been the dictators of what a woman should or should not do. It is now time for these OLD fashion ideals of Islam are done away with. How dare they! Since when did anyone give MEN the right to have such power. We women can do what ever we like. The world was once Matriachical and somehow the role was taken away. How did this shift happen. Men should rule themselves. Women it is time to take back our rightful place in society WORLDWIDE. Enough is enough.When men can find no reason they say it is religious. Most of the religions were created by "some man" who heard a voice talking to them. Nonsense.

    September 7, 2009 at 12:11 pm | Reply
  21. Murtado

    The root of the problem is islam the so call "religion of peace", until most of us admit that this crazy things will go on. It is time to call a spade a spade. No more appeasing or being politically correct.

    September 7, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Reply
  22. Johnnie Saleem

    I am American working in Saudi Arabia, where I live is very conservative, no matter where my wife and I go when a man speaks to my wife he looks at me and never at look my wife, let alone in any demeaning way, in ways I experience in America

    September 7, 2009 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  23. Paula

    I never understood what makes people who believe in Allah/God question His creation: this world, human race. Why feel the need to cover up or change what is given? I can't imagine it would please the Almighty that we argue about clothing & hairdo instead of use our time to work, pray, take care of our families and those less fortunate than us. Will these topics as clothing really be an issue at judgement day? Shame on us.

    September 7, 2009 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  24. Earl

    Glad the government came to their senses and did not exercise the 40-lash punishment. However, Ms. Al Hussein does not intent to pay the fine, but instead faces a 30-day jail sentence. I guess she intends to make a statement with the world watching with interest and perhaps judgement. I hope some good comes of this, not just publicity and material for talk shows, tabloids, newspapers and magazines. Next week the news media will direct our focus and attention to another subject. This will be old news and forgotten relatively quickly.

    September 7, 2009 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  25. Michael Smith

    Islam is Satan's 1500 year old lie that represses women and uses terror to impose its evil teachings. No surprise here....

    September 7, 2009 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  26. The Professor

    When we (Americans) travel to other countries, we are told by our officials to respect their traditions, customs, and religion. In this case, this young lady did not and it seems to me that she is a national of Sudan. It is obvious that she and others are looking for fame. It is only the right thing to do to wear decent clothing regardless where and who you are. If you wish not to, then I would suggest for you to wear them at home. All three major religions advocate decency in clothing and mannerism. I must say that this young lady should be reprimanded at her place of employment for wearing unprofessional business attire.

    Finally, we as Americans should stop telling the world how to behave and dress. There are nations who have more respect to women and the elderly than us!

    Thank you,

    September 7, 2009 at 1:23 pm | Reply
  27. Zerko

    So, is this the kind of treatment other women can expect under Shariya law if it comes to their country?
    Women are of no lesser value than men, and their choice of clothing should be up to them.

    September 7, 2009 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  28. PJ

    The main problem here is Islam itself. Its basic tenets only lead to death, abuse and inhumanity toward fellow humans. Islam's treatment of women is their own downfall. A society that willfully eliminate 1/2 of its population from positively contributing is doomed to fail in the long run. Not only because it can not compete with the rest of the world but it does not take advantage of all that women can do for it. Some say it is a religion of peace but its actions speak otherwise. I see nothing but wars, death and abuse of women, all in the name of that moon god.

    September 7, 2009 at 2:06 pm | Reply
  29. MM

    So CNN invites migration fraudster and neo-Con Ayaan Hirsi Ali to talk about Sudan. Next, they'll be inviting Osama bin Ladin to talk about American politics. I suggest readers switch to Al-Jazeera English to get the real story.

    September 7, 2009 at 2:13 pm | Reply
  30. AbeSweepS

    A better question is why don't us westerners mind our own damn business??????

    September 7, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  31. Connie Moreno

    I agree with the Professor. We are very good at looking at everyone's faults. Although I still think that fanatism goes on in EVERY religion, lately the emphasis is on ISLAM. We are judges of so many things, when in America the lack of morality of our youth truly points out where our society is going, it is very sad. I agree that the restriction on women in this Muslim countries is not fair, do I think some are overboard and plain sadistic and barbaric? yes. So it is in America in a very different way but at the end of the day the same. Am I going to go to a country where I know they observe a dress code and totally disregard it? No. However Ms. Lubna's good intentions most be addressed in a aristocratic non political way. When I wear a hijab I atract few looks, one is of wondering an discontent, another one of pitty, I even lost a job in a good attorneys office fopr wearing it. When I wear a hijab I don't do it to please the rest of the world but only my self. I am not part of the rest of American women who solely put their trust in their looks, who are so hung on materialism and who want to catch the attention of men to prove themselves worthy. The sense of decency and morality is what thrives me not the restrictive ways that so many people think. I do not put my eyes on what religion people are, what sexual orientation they are or what the color their skin is. I accept people the way they are and don't try to change them to be more like me. Love, stewarship, compasion, kindness and so many more virtues should rule our lives, the world would be a better place.

    And yes we must stop telling the rest of the world how to live and to achieve the American dream (get into debt with someone else's money), we have parted away from our founding father's original agenda, the pursue of happiness and the freedom of religion. Good luck to Ms. Lubna's endeavours, I hope something good comes out of it.

    September 7, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  32. Craig Walker

    If there waw ever a concrete incident where the Uninted Nations should pass a resolution condemning the actions of a country regarding the treatment of women, the violation of human rights and a justice system, then this is it. This would cost none of the member states anything (except maybe a belated recognition of the Enlightenment), Have you ever wondered why so many people have utter contempt for those gutless wonders in New York?

    September 7, 2009 at 2:41 pm | Reply

    This is crazy, Does this law go for men? It should be unlawful for men to go shirt less also.
    I do like the fact that they do dress with more respect than the American young people, where as here in the US you are constantly seeing someone's underwear with sagging pants, the women here breast are showing far to much with the clevage being to revealing.
    Their stomach's showing, these type of things should not be for the public.
    But I am sure this Sudanese woman didn't go that far, they should be allowed the freedom of choice, with all respect, to were pants. who made this STUPID LAW anyway? A man!

    September 7, 2009 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  34. Mido

    I agree with the Professor.

    September 7, 2009 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  35. EgyMuslim

    Has anyone here actually asked if what is being discussed is actually Islamic ? Before you attack Islam shouldn't you first find out if the Sudanese government was even following Islamic code when it decided on the lashing ?
    In parts of India a mans wife is burned alive when he dies. I haven't seen any uproar about that ? In Islam women are given more rights than any western Law. I don't see that anywhere ?
    Just because an Ex-Muslim, or even current uninformed, Muslim Lady like Ayaan says something does it mean its true ?
    Lubna went against the cultural values of her country which outraged many WOMEN in that country, do we see that written anywhere ?
    I think people should mind their own affairs and not expect other nations to live by their own values. After all, we Muslims aren't constantly telling westerns what we think of their values nor are our opinions plastered all over our internet media.

    September 7, 2009 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  36. Gerben Wierda

    Question for Ayaan Hirsi Ali:

    If in a truly free referendum, the people of a country would vote with a 90% majority that women's wear should be restricted (say, a burka), would you accept that as legitimate? If not (e.g. because it conflicts with human rights), when is a democratic decision in your eyes legitimate?

    September 7, 2009 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  37. Jim

    What most people fail to realize is that the subjegation of woman and their status as second class people is part of all three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). The reason that most so-called Christians are not aware of this is 1) they have never read the Bible completely 2) They pick and choose what verses to follow depending on their own personal beliefs. 3) Both 1 and 2.

    Just ot mention two passages:

    1 Corinthians 11:3: "...Christ is the head of every man, and a husband the head of his wife, and the head of Christ is God. ".

    Ephesians 5:22-24: "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife...wives should submit to their husbands in everything."

    So what are the good Christian woman of the world complaining about? The men in Sudan passed a law and the women should follow it. Period. What's the problem if you are good Christians, Muslims or Jews?

    On the other hand, I personally find that that kind of treatment uncivilized and reprehensible.

    September 7, 2009 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  38. alan solomon

    Ms Ali is a very courages woman. Her comments about islam, judaism, christainity has shown her to be very enlightened in the face of death threats and other problems. She shows that there is a voice to women who are oppressed by sharia law.
    We should commend her for her outspokeness and resolve in the face of oppression.

    September 7, 2009 at 3:25 pm | Reply
  39. Sean

    Talk about "Fashion Police!"
    Many people who bash 'evil' conservatives like G.W. Bush and Cheney say they are imposing they're beliefs on others ("My christian faith in God will guide my decisions", etc). People in the US are upset about the 'limitations' on women and minorities, or issues like gay marriage. But look here, the Sudanese Govt makes Pat Buchanan look like Larry Flynt!
    Women's Rights in Sudan? Ha! No chance! And don't even bring up the thought of gay marriage outside the 'Western World,' most gays don't even have the right to EXIST in countries like Sudan!
    And while the world wags its finger at the US for (gasp) torturing terrorists to get info (like they were just going to spill the beans without a fight?), why not do the same for the Sudanese Govt for using 40 lashes for a dress code violation (what year is this anyway?)
    In a show of 'support' I'm ditching my rather comfortable boxer shorts in favor of a pair of 'tighty-whities'...washed in hot water of course. (deep breath...)

    September 7, 2009 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  40. Shehu Umar

    I'm very happy with the sudanees law, if it could be applied in my country I will be the happiest. What they did is according 2 the teaching of Islam. The reason why others like Lachman, alan above and many others people are looking at it badly is becouse they have not read the original scripture of the original Bible (Gospel of Barnavaas) and even if they did they abondon it and follow their wishes.
    Tony above you call Allah's rule stupid, right, that shows how your religion is...
    For the media also why are they always potraying what they are thinking it is going to tarnish the image of Islam to the world?

    September 7, 2009 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  41. julia55

    why are muslim law so cruel? islam suppose to be a religion that respect right to women and not too abused it! this sound really stupid actually, all muslim country either the are moderate islam country or not when its come to regular in islam its become straight specially to women. In malaysia they charged a lady because drinking beer?! is it sounds too much. Its not suppose Islam must be free and respect to each other! PLEASE CHANGE AND BELIEVE OF FREEDOM TO CHOOSE AND TO BELIEVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!; only i know that Islam there are no free in religion,, if you think you are right in everything its make worst!, married 4 wives example its not practice like MUHAMMAD time now they married 4 to satisfied men needs intead to follow religion!

    September 7, 2009 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  42. John in Vancouver

    It's a shame Lubna has to go through this, but who's really to blame? Shariya law? Islamic extremists? Islam?

    What happened to Lubna al-Husse is symptomatic of religion's crushing grip on human psyche worldwide.

    The culprit is religion! This could not be a story without religion.

    September 7, 2009 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  43. Khaled Ibn El Walid

    The Middle East is living the European Medieval times. Everyday a different religious scholar wakes up in the morning and issues a new fatwa ( decree) on what is Halal (right) and what is Haram (wrong). Our countries will progress after we pay more attention to work and ethics . Leave the trivial matters to idiots. Every woman has the right to dress what she likes. She is entitled to walk in the streets without being hassled by sexually frustrated sickos. Middle East – wake up !! Check the 21st Century, you might like it.

    September 7, 2009 at 3:40 pm | Reply
  44. nihalsam, switzerland

    This is something that the Sudanese must decide, not we. How about asking them what they think about:
    1 "our" sex mania – films, tv, advertizing etc;
    2. the vulgar language in "our" films and songs;
    3. Google peeping into our bedrooms;
    4. spending so much valuable time "twittering away" (what twits we are !!), and whether they think we should do something about it?

    September 7, 2009 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  45. Daahir tim-jilic

    Darfur people and women in Sudan have been suffering in many decades by the sudan`s system which based on Sharia-law.
    I pray for Darfur and women in sudan and Iwish their day will come soon.

    September 7, 2009 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  46. géraldine

    What would be interesting to know is if this law is reflective of the opinion of the Sudanese, or if they oppose it. Besides a few that demonstrated outside the courthouse, do the majority of Sudanese women and men believe this law to be appropriate? Is it usually enforced this strongly? And despite the many negative comments on this blog, i for one strongly support Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She has shown courage and dedication for over a decade now and is the embodiment of a strong, independent woman. In France we love and respect her. You are a true role model for me and for all women throughout the world. Best of luck to you!

    September 7, 2009 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  47. Syam

    I would like to ask EgyMuslim, in which part of India is a mans wife burned alive after he dies. I think this is what is taught in the schools of bigoted Islamic countries like Egypt. Instead of answering to the worlds questions on women's rights in Islam where they get flogged for wearing tights, the typical muslim tries to divert attention by pointing to something irrelevant.

    September 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  48. Ashamed Sudanese

    First of all let me make it clear to all those who have doubts, the actions of "morality police" did adhere to the law, which was strictly and fundamentally derived from the Quran. Lubna's lashing, and many other similar, equally silly, laws make up the bulk of the "civil freedom" which many muslims claim was unprecedented prior to islam.

    Islam, in its fundamental format, is very oppressive of women, very intolerant of any "other" and very racist! Its about time Muslims stop looking away from certain verses in the Quran and strike them off as "fillers" , just as it is time for the sudanese public to stop looking away from the numerous violations of human rights , such as Lubna's case. It is time for us to call out this malicious leech of a regime for what it really is; Theft in the name of god, as we all cheer!

    September 7, 2009 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  49. Xavier Baudet

    Being Dutch I have known Hirsi Ali (although not personally) a bit longer than most people on this forum and I can tell you she's a bit of a wannabe. Not that she has nothing to complain about, but she's benefited from the very mechanism's she opposes: no white man who still has all his genitals would get away with some of the things she's said. Still I agree with her that it has become politically correct to dismiss criticism of Islam as racism. Although the political left used to have a healthy skepticism of religion and the way it oppressed entire social classes and genders, the left has in its criticism of western religions teamed up with Islam and closed it's eyes to non-western imperfections. However, the same kind of political correctness emerges on the other side of the political spectrum: It's `bon-ton' now to criticize Islam whenever you can. And the political right exploit the very civil liberties they used to oppose (gays, women's lib etc) just to win votes. Ayaan Hirsi Ali understood those mechanisms very well and jumped on every bandwagon that suited her ambitions, sometimes at the expense of the debate, the truth and perhaps even the very people she claims to fight for.

    September 7, 2009 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  50. Mustapha

    How can you deprive someone to wear something of her choice, I think some part of the world the dont want women to have any right or freedom. I am a religious person from both muslim and christian background. Anyone is free to wear whatever the want to wear or the should stop men wearing short trousers in SUDAN because sometimes it's attract women as well. The word religion is from the heart and religion teach us to love one and other despite of who you are or whatever religion you belongs to. Please let's dont treat our women as slaves, the have the same right as men.

    September 7, 2009 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  51. Joseph Bandera.

    All countries and cultures have their own laws, and they should be respected. Tight pants, open or transparent blouses that are sexually suggestive, are frowned at in Islamic societies. It is only civil that we should comply with local laws, irrespective of our own backgrounds.
    In the USA poligamy, even among willing and consenting adults, is illegal. While serving there as a diplomat, I did not flaunt my polygamous marital status for fear of annoying my host country.
    In the Sudan, the Islamic Sheria is part of the organic law of the land, and should be respected until it is reviewed or otherwise.
    Now that I am serving my country in Rome, I am reminded of a popular saying; when in Rome, do as the Romans do.

    September 7, 2009 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  52. osama nabil

    i think this lady should be punished for not respecting Sudan law,if she did this in Saudi she will end up in jail for a long time . i think for all of us we should respect every country law. she thought by working in the UN she can do everything including not respecting the country.there is a lot of religious Muslim people in Sudan and when they see something like that they think their sisters or wife's will do the same

    September 7, 2009 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  53. EgyTruth

    Yes sir EgyMuslim, Sudan was following the Islamic code, you might like to check the Islamic Sharia.
    Do not compare Islamic nations with India, the difference is huge sir, you might like to check how advanced India is compared to the Islamic nations, how women there is respected and treated with dignity.
    You are not telling the truth sir, women in the Islam are treated as animals, might be less. You might like to check the Arab nations where women are forced to wear the Nikaap, while the men are allowed to marry up to four (concurrently), they could marry and then divorce as more as they can (this is a verse in Quran) but they just need to maintain four at a time.
    What I might like to mention, why it is only Sudan, why Saudi Araibia is left, is it because of the oil it has??????

    September 7, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  54. JG in NY

    Paula- The issue here is not about clothing! It's about God. It's about the oppression of humans by other humans. It's about fear and faith. It's about issues that are very relevant to one's fate on THAT day.

    Women are creations of GOD, not of men. Do you believe that God created women to be covered from head to tow and to toil at the bidding of men like slaves? Men who enforce such 'laws' as these being discussed are not acting in the name of God. They do not know God, or any true love for or from God. They simply are usurping God, trying to be God... out of ignorance... out of fear... out of a complete and utter lack of true faith in and love for... God.

    September 7, 2009 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  55. Was

    This is simply selective journalism designed to created negative stereotypes against certain people around the world. Tons of stories happen around the world daily that would be considered even more objectionable by most people. I think CNN would do better to focus more on more pressing issues that are going on in the world.

    September 7, 2009 at 5:14 pm | Reply
  56. eben

    well in Italy some place in the city,when you wear a very very short dress they can give you a fine.so it's depend on what dress and where it was wore.

    September 7, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Reply
  57. Malik Swift

    We understand the laws of these countries, whether we live in them or enter them. The religion and culture in these countries are written into their legal systems. There laws should be respected and adhered to. If it's inhabitants do not like the codification of certain moral codes, they can leave for places where the state is not concerned about the morality of the its inhabitants.

    Even in America, there are and or were laws that legislate conduct that we believe is immoral and harmful to the state and the people. For instance, most states have a statutory rape law, drug laws, laws against incest, bigamy and certain types of gambling. Furthermore, there are laws contributing to the delinquency of minors. Furthermore, there used to be laws against the consumption of alcohol and sodomy.

    Therefore, every society has things that they will and will not tolerate. Where the line is drawn, is based upon the religion, culture, tradition and values of each society.

    Every country can and will not be a duplicate each other on every aspect of human existence.

    The Western nations can offer the east its technology and administrative habits. However, it's moral philosophies seem to appear to radical, rebellious and extreme to the eastern minds.

    September 7, 2009 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  58. asim

    i think it should be left to sudan. Let them evolute. Crimes like Witch -hunt , burning of widows, FGM, Gang rape to settle a dispute, have happened against women in all parts of world but they ultimately stopped with evolution of human being. But they stopped only after their peak and it took some time. Would you blame respective religions of people for these crimes??
    Lubna is just thinking in this way. So let her do it without foreign inturruption.
    Where was the conscience of so called liberals when hundreds of thousand get killed in conflicts like Rwanda genocide, Bosnia Genocide, Iraq War. Did anybody even protest? But when they find a chance to point finger at Islam they find a lot of time to criticize.

    It is better to focus energies on big issues where a lot of people can benefit instead of minor issues that affect only a few people.

    September 7, 2009 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  59. Gamal Mustafa

    All viewers are concentrating in tight pant,while the issue is different.the sudanese goverment is implementing this law since 1989,and from that time up to now thousands of women have been punshed .it is apolitical conflict,and Lubna did her best ,and succeeded in showing how sudanese women are suffering.

    September 7, 2009 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  60. Carmella Bryant

    You must be kidding! "Morality police"?

    September 7, 2009 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  61. khan

    Every one in west is critising ISLAM. But ISLAM is a religion of Peace. it is ISLAM which says that Pridise lies under yours mother feet. Mother is also a women. ISLAM give equall right to women and teach to respect women. Women can go to MOSQUE( Masjid) but seperate place where they can pray.I have seen so many Mosque where women are coming for prayer. Here every one is critising ISLAM but i am sure that no one has studied ISLAM. what ever they learn from westren Media about ISLAM is not true. So please first study ISLAM Then you will be able to critise any thing.

    September 7, 2009 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  62. Seb

    If the LAW of a nation dictates that a woman must wear clothing that conceals her form then, by Jove, apply yourself to the Law of that nation or don't bother living there. I'm surprised that a woman of U.N. stature did not behold the diplomatic courtesy to at least not dress like a street hooker, as is apparently what the Judicial System there has determined her appearance to have reflected upon.

    The U.S. Justice system also demands that men and women of that nation oblige by various rules and regulations. Or am I wrong and in fact you're an utterly helplessly anarchistic nation running hell upon every pavement?

    September 7, 2009 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  63. Leo

    I just find it very interesting and amusing that for most people on this thread, it is everyone else's Morailty (and this includes things like 'ethic', philosophy, etc) that is wrong, warped, subhuman,inferior, and all the other labels.

    To paraphrase with extreme sarcasm, this religion/person/society/fill-in-the-blank is doing something I don't like, therefore they are naughty people – not like me, I'm righteous

    I'm so glad to see my distrust of the human race is proved, time and again.

    September 7, 2009 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  64. Geneviev


    September 7, 2009 at 6:24 pm | Reply
  65. Sudan Friend

    Sudanese political leaders misinterpret and misuse Islam. Prophet Mohamed – peace be upon – did not preach that.

    My question to the Sudanese men leaders: would you accept the laws that are applicable only to the Sudanese women?


    September 7, 2009 at 6:27 pm | Reply
  66. Aisha

    WHY is Ayaan Ali Hirsi supposed to speak for muslim women? Because you feel like it? I am a muslim woman and she doesn"t represent me or any muslim woman I know. What has she actually
    done practically for muslim women apart from writ a few self serving books. Why doesn
    't CNN talk to actual MUSLIM women working to help their sisters oris it just comfortable to work with people who confirm your own prejudices?

    September 7, 2009 at 6:41 pm | Reply
  67. Shaha

    @Hirsi Ali- What exactly is specified in the Quran about the religious duties and restrictions of Muslim women? And what issues maybe over exaggerated by religious scholars?

    September 7, 2009 at 6:41 pm | Reply
  68. Input

    Laws are the law. She was aware of the law and decided to risk challenging it. If she would have been flogged it would have been justified. The fact lienency was granted is equally justified. Courts/governments decision...Not foriegners thousands of miles away.

    September 7, 2009 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  69. Mike Ryan

    Please "raise your hand" if you believe that anyone on earth, living or deceased, has been without the judgement and/or control of of others ! If you need an example, I refer you to the "CNN Comment Policy advisory just to the right of the comment box you used to submit your comment. Allow me to remind you, (or educate you), that EVERY brain that has ever existed, thinks differently ! PLEASE WAKE UP and realise that none of these comments will EVER change anything for the better, and only serve to aid the exponential growth of an already out of control seperation of all people! Summary = The more we stir a bucket of poop, the more it stinks!!

    September 7, 2009 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  70. Mcphil



    September 7, 2009 at 7:11 pm | Reply
  71. Bilal Lodhi

    Why are we so concerned with a lady who has violated the law of a country? why would they listen to us?A lot of asian and middle eastern countries have objections on the laws of European countries e.g. ban on head scarves in public school in France- are we ready to listen to them? are we willing to change our laws? Why we expect our laws to be a 'standard' for other countries.

    September 7, 2009 at 7:17 pm | Reply
  72. Aure

    Its not my business, its their culture and we have our own. If we respect and tolerate their laws and traditions then they will respect ours. If we don't, they will not and result is cultural conflict between worlds.

    September 7, 2009 at 7:22 pm | Reply
  73. Becky Lashes

    I would like Becky Anderson to give me 40 lashes. Ohh naughty boy!

    September 7, 2009 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  74. ahsraf Elshrif

    Ms lubna Elhussin. i dont know that but god with your (ramdan karim)

    September 7, 2009 at 7:49 pm | Reply

    KKK came in and each man in full regala put a gun to each of our heads. The only reason we not shot was that we were too large a group. WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE SUDAN , SO. AFRICA AND TO ME IN THE USA IS NO DIFFERENT.

    September 7, 2009 at 8:02 pm | Reply
  76. Melinda Jones

    I am always amazed that we have made so little progress in civilization in this world. Imagine that in the 21st Century a woman anywhere could be threatened with a beating for her choice in dress. That is crazy and uncivilized. If only people put as much empahsis on issues that would better the lives of people instead of mean spirited judgment and the incredibly inhumane treatment of women and the igorance that goes along with dismissing women's rights. In my opinion whoever is putting an innocent woman in jail should be jailed for slander and violating the rights of a human being.

    September 7, 2009 at 8:13 pm | Reply
  77. Mahmut

    I think that medling with affairs of sudan cause culture of clash rather than creating the world where everyone will show mutual respect to each other. I think that we have to accept everyone the way they are. we have to accept regardless whether they belive in what we belive in or not. That is the only we can move forward. ıf there is restriction on the dress preference of sudan's women. they are the only one who are entitled to remove that represive restriction from their constition. Other countries are not entitled to play any concerete role to replace the consitition with the ones which does not undermine freedom of religion and human rigths.Everyone has to confront this incontestable truths.

    September 7, 2009 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  78. Sharon

    If my understanding of Islamic's belief is correct, women–homosexuality-are not tolerated. The Nation of Islam (according to the Iranian's leader)means death! When the Iranian leader was asked how they handled such issues in their country, he said: "we shoot them!"

    September 7, 2009 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  79. Dundaye

    I'm very happy with the sudanese law, if it could be applied in my country I will be the happiest. What they did is according 2 the Islamic law. The reason why others like Lachman, alan above and many people are looking at it badly is becouse they have not read the original scripture of the original Bible (Gospel of Barnavaas) and even if they did they abondon it and follow their wishes.
    Tony above insult God, if it is muslim that did so I wonder what is going to happen.
    For the media also why are they always potraying what they are thinking it is going to tarnish the image of Islam to the world? Is't only muslim that are in this world? Why not potray on what cristian are doing? Always trying to cause problem betwene muslims so that they will fight themself. Right God will be with us.

    September 7, 2009 at 8:27 pm | Reply
  80. L. Collier

    There will be surpression of women as long as women are taught to believe they must be submissive. Mothers teach your daughters they are as equals to men. Where we lack brawn we use our brains. I have taught my daughters to rely on no man. Take care of yourself. If you choose a man, let him be a true partner in life. But always always take care of yourself first. You can never really care for anyone else until and unless you care for yourself first. Men have known this for generations. Men will never "give" us these rights. Power is their mistress.

    September 7, 2009 at 8:36 pm | Reply
  81. omar abed

    i would like to comment on Ayaan's answer for the first question about women abuse being in islamic scripts which is wrong..

    i know alot of muslem women who are living very happely any abuse..

    islam did say that one should teach women but not beat them up as they asume..

    I admire what Ayaan is doing but it shouldn't be blamed on islam because the people them selves are abusers not the religion ..

    thank you

    September 7, 2009 at 8:50 pm | Reply
  82. monyonge ndive

    Is there really a part in the Quran that really say's women are mistreated by men or slave to there husban......Or an 80years old man having sex with a kid? Or to kill other's. I have tried to read that bokk but cannot find that part.

    September 7, 2009 at 8:52 pm | Reply
  83. erguhm

    I would like to state that it doesn't have anything to do with any type of religion its based on the law that took place and there law its INDEED attached to the RELIGION BUT ITS WRONG and for Ayaan Hirsi Ali to step in she has guts but let me announce that she has betrayed and humiliated the islam (Muslim religion) but on other facts in which her life is treatend as which people will take action on her either a islamic person from the states or from europe

    September 7, 2009 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  84. dsnj64

    I believe that everyone deserves one thing-RESPECT-in whatever religion we believe in, this is true. Just one thought-love thy neighbor, no matter what, and treat them like you would like to be treated. This does not mean the "male" neighbor, but all neighbors-simple-love will conquer all. Do whatever in life makes you happy, just do not hurt another human being. simple. Peace.

    September 7, 2009 at 9:01 pm | Reply
  85. Nassir Brhoma

    CNN is a respectful channel. I was surprised how can you lie or let somebody says something that is untrue about Islam or Prophet Mohammed. The prophet says (The best of you are the best for their family (wives, daughters, women) and I am the best for my family) and shy said that the abuse for women is coming from Islam. That is not true. The truth is you should think about your homes first before you make yourself concern about somebody else's homes. Look how many cases of women abuse you have in the west. Look at the divorce rate you have, and the average years cobles stay together, cheating, affairs. You are in a big miss. The subject is too long, but if you are looking for the truth then read and learn about Islam. If you have any question I am ready to help.

    September 7, 2009 at 9:11 pm | Reply
  86. mft

    lisen, it is very simple. every country has its own sets of laws and principles, if u want to live in that country u should follow the laws, violating the laws is just showing that u r above the law, which is not right.
    hence if u want to live obey the laws n thats all.
    however sudan is a great country by giving her an alternative of paying the fine but the woman is just trying to draw peoples attention and is trying to induce foreign influences in sudan.

    September 7, 2009 at 9:26 pm | Reply
  87. ramakrishna badhei

    All the world looking wts hapening to the Muslim women? Not only Lubna hussein,,,, women should be treated as they r not like animal.
    All the muslim they dont follow the same rule wt Sudan follows... let the muslim countries to be make one law to the whole muslim women of the world.......

    September 7, 2009 at 9:33 pm | Reply
  88. Kornelia Strong

    For my standard's I find the actions of the Sudanese government repulsive, to put it mildly. If I had my way... there would be no suffering of any kind, as it is not necessary. There is plenty of everything in the world to go around. Unfortunately, I can't have my way.... I can't help but wonder if we consider the Sudanese our allies, and our friends?
    I don't have friends who dehumanize others in order to justify brutalities against them. Sudanese people will have to assert themselves, if they want more basic human liberties. This is not our fight.

    September 7, 2009 at 9:37 pm | Reply
  89. ateeq

    ppl here talk about the women protection and rights
    what if a woman walks half naked in front of men what do u expect??
    naturally atleast some one would try to attack..
    you can see for your self in westren societies..
    the law is for protection not for tergeting women

    September 7, 2009 at 9:51 pm | Reply
  90. steve donatello

    Things are as things are! Whatever is written here will not change it, not for this lady, nor when it comes to other religion limitations or any other problems.
    Humans created all this mess, and they suffer now.
    What is to be done? At this point in time – nothings, and nothing will change for hundreds of years, until human race evolves as whole.

    September 7, 2009 at 10:05 pm | Reply
  91. Brother John

    It is a shame that Christianity allows for the prostitution of women and their enslavement by males. Christian Women need a saviour, unfortunately no one is there to speak for them and their bodies shall remain a product to be sold.

    September 7, 2009 at 10:23 pm | Reply
  92. fas

    People have to understand. Every country has thier own laws. If you are in canada and you are drinking in public areas you will be fine/punished. So if you are in islamic country whether you are muslim or not, people should follow the laws, traditions and culture. If you come to my house and start doing something that will offend my family trust me i will not bear you for another second.

    Common sense, even in my canadian passport it is clearly stated, follow and respect the laws and regulation of the country you are travelling to or else you should pay the consequences.

    Where is common sense these days??

    September 7, 2009 at 10:30 pm | Reply
  93. c m y

    What do you think of the apparent backlash laws in Europe i.e no headscarves in school or burkinis even in rivers?

    September 7, 2009 at 10:34 pm | Reply
  94. Ralph Blackburn

    A famous quote would seem appropriate – "Let them walk a mile in his/her shoes (dresses)"! Then ask the establishment how they can support women being subjected to dresses only.

    September 7, 2009 at 10:41 pm | Reply
  95. Hossam Rafik

    I challange the CNN not to block this piece of truth.

    From Muslim books of Hadths: Al Bukhary, Ebn Katheer and many others.
    Aisha (Mohamed's wife) was bought off a 'swing' to marry him when she was 6 years old. After years of marriage she told him the most famous phrase "you've aliked us (women) to donkeys and dogs".

    This most infamous phrase in reflect to Muhamed's statement "women like dogs and donkeys desecrates a man's prayer". He could have said "women desecrates a man's prayer", for sexuality reasons", but why ? why did he similize women to animals is not suprising when you know all the other statments said about women in islam.

    September 7, 2009 at 10:49 pm | Reply
  96. duale

    it not the first time western media exgarated very small issue, if any one belieave the muslim women are oppressed bacause of islam, that one need to learn islam religion, look at western women how they sufered yet they don't know,every single bussiness advetise thier sales a semi- naked women. is that what you saying freedom?

    believers and non believers will be against each other till the judgment day arrive... my allah show you right way amiin..

    September 7, 2009 at 10:57 pm | Reply
  97. Tom

    What business is it of ours?

    September 7, 2009 at 11:01 pm | Reply
  98. umar shuaib

    It is high time for western propagandist to realised that, it is the conciousness of humans that determine their social being and not their social being determine their conciousness. Laws are meant to be broken and purnishments always served as deterrant.

    September 8, 2009 at 12:00 am | Reply
  99. H. B.

    If you weren't intellectually lazy, you would by now have tried to learn all you can about Islam from the horse's mouth – by studying the Quran and Hadith, cover to cover. I began studying Islam in '94, hoping to find reassurance, because Islamic terrorism was making me doubt the "peaceful and tolerant" things I'd always believed true. Instead, my studies stood my hair on end. I shouldn't have to do your homework for you, but most people won't, so here are just a few nuggets.


    Requires all Muslims to cheat and lie to all infidels.

    Absolutely prohibits any form of genuine friendship with any infidel, ever.

    Mandates that Muslims should, as a matter of preference and piety, kill any and all infidels, but does allow latitude to use them, pretending to be friendly, in order to gain things they want from them. (Anyone thinking "Glasgow"?)

    Absolutely prohibits admitting to any non-Muslim the faults and culpabilities of any male Muslim. It's a "brotherhood" to which
    Muhammad applied the stamp of the Almighty.

    Nothing in their holy books requires love from any Muslim, except to love Allah. All other kinds are strictly optional. Ditto for compassion. The only other use of "love" in the Quran is when it speaks of those who love evil. Muslims routinely regard our own finer values as unmanly weaknesses. No wonder.

    Deliberately changes the substance of their translated holy books, "sweetening" them up, in order to gain Western converts. Thus, many Western people who convert to Islam are converting to an Islam that doesn't exist at all. If they don't actually read these books entirely, they'll still think they're real Muslims, when they're not. Even the "sweetened-up" versions have plenty of stuff to stand anyone's hair on end.

    Starts out almost tolerant of "people of the Book," (meaning Jews and Christians), but later changed its tone to one venomous toward Jews particularly, and ALL non-Muslims in general. The hatred toward non-Muslims is both required and basic to the faith.

    Has allowed any Muslim to force the faith by the sword, ever since the day when Muhammad himself first did it. The earlier phrase in the Quran "there shall be no compulsion in religion" is oft-quoted by Muslims, who all know FULL WELL that it was MOOT, overwritten, from the day Muhammad "changed his mind" on the matter and decided it was okay to force the faith. Forcing the faith by the sword has gone on uninterrupted for the past 1400 years. Still is.

    Approves entirely of slavery, particularly of black people, whom they still plunder for slaves (although they don't want any publicity about it).

    A man is worth two women – for testimony and inheritance, and women are often treated as even less than half of a male. Islam is entirely comfortable with any kind of abuse on women by Muslim males. A woman, in Islam, is little more than a "womb on the hoof," existing solely to please males, make children and do domestic chores.

    Absolutely validates any man's masculinity, if he's a Muslim. And everything IN Islam is focused entirely on the Muslim male. It is a religion OF males, BY males and FOR males. And makes no pretext of being otherwise. Almost any male with feelings of male inadequacy is a prime target for conversion. And how many such men ARE there in this world?

    Approves of genocide – but only when Muslims do it.

    May tolerate people of other faiths among them, but they must pay a "tax" for "protection," (shades of the mafia, anyone?) their rights are severely limited to those of second-class citizens (or worse). They call them "dhimmis," and are at best regarded as subhuman, not fit to socialize with. (During the time of that terrible quake in Pakistan a few years ago, many Muslims who'd lost their homes just invaded undamaged homes of Christians and kicked them out. Nice. Dhimmis don't deserve even their own homes, while there is any homeless Muslim who can take it from them.)

    Nobody counts for anything, nor deserves any rights at all, unless they are Muslims.

    Peace and tolerance are cornerstones of Islam, but ONLY between two male Muslims. For anyone else, THERE ARE NO RULES.

    Has a "prime directive." Taking over the entire world and putting the whole thing under Shari'a law. By ANY means, at ALL, including any form of atrocity or genocide.

    If any Muslim converts away from Islam, he/she can be summarily slaughtered as an "apostate." Like "Hotel California," you can check in, but can never check out.

    Islam fully permits sodomy, yet gays are to be executed. Dohhh. In some cultures, many male Muslims thoroughly enjoy little "interludes" with young boys.

    All of Muhammad's little "predelictions," like pedophilia and sodomy, were given validity in Islam.

    Killing a family member to protect the family's "honor," even against a possibility that the person MIGHT bring dishonor to them, is entirely acceptable.

    Stonings, lopping off of body parts, beheadings and torture of all kinds – all are permitted TO Muslims.

    Almost ALL Muslims are either Sunni or Shia. Each sect regards the other sect as "kufr," or "false Muslims." In Islam, there is no worse sin possible. Even infidels deserve better treatment, and the Quran says "an infidel is worse than a murderer." A kufr must die, but only after lengthy torture. The sectarian violence we keep hearing about has existed from the day Muhammad died – it was a dispute over who his successor should be, and rages on to this day. It was NOT originated by the invasion of Iraq. Kicking out Saddam Hussein only opened the Pandora's Box. Saddam had kept a lid (a very oppressive and brutal one) on the sectarian hate. Bush set it free. Saddam was a brutal and ruthless man, yet he had more mercy.

    So get smart – download the Quran and Hadith. Check out these facts for yourself; the knowledge you find for yourself is the best kind there is. If your opinion of Islam that emerges is negative, but comes out of your personal research and objective evaluation, it is no longer a "prejudice." It is a studied opinion.

    The Muslim propagandists base ALL of their stuff in reliance on your continued ignorance and intellectual laziness – and your blind obedience to "political correctness." Do you want to help them succeed with their lies and propaganda? If so, do nothing. If it matters to you, start cracking those two books.

    A religion that thinks it can justify forcing half of the population to run around in baggies is malevolent indeed.

    Let's aim the critiquing where it belongs: at ISLAM.

    Islam doesn't need or have extremists; it already IS extreme.

    People who hate Islam and haven't done their homework on the subject are legitimately called Islamophobes. Those who detest Islam based on a full STUDY of it, are offering an educated OPINION. Those who can't (or won't) see this distinction have agendas of their own (it's the oil, stupid). Anyone is welcome to study Islam and come away believing it is peaceful and tolerant – if they want to, and if they CAN – it's up to the person to decide. But a responsible opinion based on in-depth study is NOT a prejudice.

    I don't hold Islam against all Muslims; many have never known anything else, and others who become disenchanted with it say so at the peril of their lives. And some were royally "wazooed" into converting. The entire problem is Islam itself. And what SOME Muslims do, based on Islam. Get that straight.

    Abusing a Muslim, simply because he/she IS one, is utterly inexcusable.

    And those who pontificate that Muslims should accept the equality of women have forgotten that both Judaism and Christianity fully approve of suppressing and oppressing women. It just isn't practiced as much any more. We can do without "holier than thou" attitudes like that. No religion on earth can claim to be truly egalitarian about women. Or about religious violence, either. In all cultures, males are – and always have been – feeling threatened by women, in many ways, not always physical ones. If they didn't, absolute domination of women wouldn't be indulged in so fiercely, worldwide. Islam is merely nastier about it.

    And Western-style fanaticisms rearing very ugly heads these days, are every bit as much a threat to democracy as any Taliban. They are VERY dangerous indeed.

    Religion was INVENTED in the first place in order to gain political power, with whacked out believers, who obey like robots, backing them up. It's the finest tool for gaining political power ever invented, and it still works beautifully. That's the whole PURPOSE of religion; everything else in them is pure fluff. The old spiritualities were very different, not judgmental, not political, not prosyletizing. By now, most have been successfully stamped out. BY religion, of course.

    Islam just happens to be the most malevolent faith ever invented. It MEANS BUSINESS about taking over the world. Muslims are already actively taking over whole countries. In my view, that makes it the worst threat humanity has ever faced. I can't think of a worse one, even the fears we had during the Cold War. Islam uses our respect for religious freedom in order to deprive US of our own. And it is usually successful.

    If truth is what you seek, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

    September 8, 2009 at 12:06 am | Reply
  100. KN

    Ayan Hirsi Ali is an Islamophobe. She is not expert on oppression of Muslim women. She has a problem with Islam period so I'm not sure what CNN is trying to get from her from a journalistic perspective.

    As for this case, then this is not the United States of America we're talking here nor is this Europe. This is Sudan. They have their own law, their own constitution, their own customs, their own worldview and their own way of doing things. Let's not judge them threw our narrow western ideologically biased worldview and try to fit them in our system when they are clearly not part of our system. Some of our laws may seem inhumane to them. We lock people up indefinitely and we justify torture. It's time to fix our backyard.

    September 8, 2009 at 12:11 am | Reply
  101. vieuxpapou

    Most religious males have a problem with female sexuality.
    Islam probably creates the worst cases of this neurosis, but many, many other cultures have or had the same problem.
    Think for instance of the sexual mutilations imposed upon children in the name of purity! Mankind is still in a deep state of barbary!

    September 8, 2009 at 12:46 am | Reply
  102. wackojacko

    The problem with the west is that they don't understadn the harmful effects of the women being scantly dressed, 'glorifying her assests' in public.

    I could only wish that the orthodox west and the orthodox western media, could decide in a modest way regarding the woman's right in islam.

    Problem with the west is that they have forgot their nuns who wear modestly,

    WhatI think that the law of the land of Sudan is perfect. There is nothing wrong. The people in the west have lost their dignity, have lost their sense of justified reasoning, have lost every thing what they should believe ... and that is Islam.

    September 8, 2009 at 1:19 am | Reply
  103. Susan Hawkins

    Very brave woman and I hope she will inspire many more to follow in her footsteps.

    September 8, 2009 at 1:38 am | Reply
  104. mudu

    she need to be flogged 40 times and i hope the put her behind bars if she fail to comply. khartoum aint london or newyork wear women are treated like sex object and thats why there is lot of rapist ,child molesters aka paedophiles sickos in the western countries.

    September 8, 2009 at 2:32 am | Reply
  105. ghost geezer

    Oh, yes, to comment about this one. To hurl
    insults at a frighteningly backward country, to
    root out Shariah in all its misogynistic, sadistic

    I would like to do that, starting with Sudan, so
    earlier today I sought out its embassy website,
    found it, and like Kafka's castle, it had no door.

    September 8, 2009 at 5:47 am | Reply
  106. Fahmi Natour

    People who criticize Islam, and describe it as a repressive backward religion, for the deeds of some Muslims and for a brand of interpreting the Quran; are knowingly or unknowingly preventing reform in areas where it is most needed.
    Nowhere in the Quran it is said to abide by a dress code as such. The Queran advises decency for both men and women. Decency can be interpreted many ways. The fact that someone took it to extremes and used it to shut off a sizable portion of society (women,) is not a reflection on the original intent.

    September 8, 2009 at 6:13 am | Reply
  107. House Cleaning

    The idiots here, (Blair Thennacle) among others, hate everything around them because it's chaotic, and their minds can't wrap around this idea that it's OK, it's part of evolution, and you are never safe "regardless of any religious doctrine" !

    There is not a statistical evidence, to suggest that we are better-off without religion or that religion is the cause for violence. That would be utter nonsense. Anecdotal experience may indicate, violence and Religion have strong associations, and in some rare cases causal. But few bad experiences doesn't qualify to become a statistical fact.

    Humans need control. We need laws, and regulations because we are simply "DISPOSED" to committing irrational behavior. We are not naturally good as someone suggested. That would be ridiculous when looking at traffic lights, the stop signs, no drinking signs, the put-on some clothes signs, the speeding tickets, and a plethora of different "LAWS" that exist around the world. We need to be controlled. ! Religion is simply the best answer.

    September 8, 2009 at 7:53 am | Reply
  108. Jasmine from Iran

    We keep telling our selves and claiming that Islam is " A Peaceful Religion ". And that most people do not know what real Islam is.

    Well dear what is the Theory of Islam is very different from the reality of what is practiced. So lets be realistic. And lets not forget that most organized religions such as Christianity , Islam , Jewism , Hindusim have all had a Bloody past. How else do you think all these countries are muslim countries or Christian countries or ...
    The term " HOLY WARS" . Do you think at that time they just went to each country and asked evryone to convert and they just lovingly did?

    What is happening now is that for the first time in history there is news, internet media, books and... and people are more educated.
    So what we are actually what it is.

    All organized religions are the same. They would kill , tourture and do anything to force their beliefs on others

    September 8, 2009 at 7:55 am | Reply
  109. Jasmine from Iran

    This is just one minor injustice and cruelty that is done towards women in majority of Muslim countries. This is the reality of what is being practiced. And please to all muslim men do not compare our right as a women to that of 1000 years ago or some developing countries and assume that we have rights. Or comparing it some other religions.
    What is important is the reality and not the theological philosophy of a a muslim women's right. For example the idea the notion that " Heaven is under the feet of mother " well what if a women doesn't have child.
    "What is the reality of what awaits a girl who is born a muslim"

    There are many if you further into so called Sharee law. Here are few:

    1- Stonning of women many times for crimes they are not even guilty of or minor crimes. For example if a women is taught to have an affair with a man when she is single or when she is married. Yet men can legally have four wives.

    2- Honor Killing – if a women is killed by a relative such as father , bother , uncle or husband . If they claim that it was honor killing they can just get five year maximum for that murder. And that is if the MALE JUDGE has a soft spot for the female population. This is practiced widly in countries like Jordan, Saudi , Iran, Afghanistan and ...

    3- Women being considered as half a man in all legal cases.
    4- Women not equal to men in inheritance cases
    5- Women not being allowed to ask for divorce. A man can only initiate it. Majority of time the man gets the kids
    6- Women can be punished brutaly for not wearing the right cover or HIJAB . incase of Iran / Saudi and ...
    7- Women not being able to be Judges since they are half the judgement mind of a man
    8- Women not being able to Drive. I guess Prophet Mohammed did not want women to drive !
    9- Women being married off by parents at a very young age. No legal age for a women to be married of by parent as young as 9 year old
    10 – Female genital mutalation so that they 9 so that they will be virgins when married off. This is done in many African countries.

    As I mentioned there are many many more issues however it would take a long time to discuss them all.

    This is the reality of a Muslim Women. I hope that more muslim women would wake us and realized that they have been mentally and physically abused for centuries.

    September 8, 2009 at 8:32 am | Reply
  110. Leo

    Haven't you guys (on this thread) worked it out yet?

    The religion is immaterial -no-one follows their respective religions properly these days anyway. SIgh.

    Non-muslims accuse Muslim societies as being bad because of ....(various examples given above). Equally, Muslims accuse non-muslims of pretty much the same things (examples also given above).

    Please leave religion out of it – it's not religions fault, it is, plain and simple, the fault of each and every human being (me included 🙂 ) – we're a pretty onbnoxious lot, let's face it. Sometimes I'm ashamed of being a human being.

    Grow up, everyone!!!!

    September 8, 2009 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  111. Nassir Brhoma

    This comment is to Ayaan Ali. The Holly Quraan and sunnah has nothing to do with what is going on in the Islamic world..You have to understand that the number of Muslims in the world exceeds 2 Bilion believers and it is growing. So when you have few incidents of people who do not understand Islam, we cannot blame Islam for it. Just like we cannot blame Christianity and the west for Hitler, bush, women abuse, child molestations and so on. Please study the subject before you talk about it or you would look ignorant.

    September 8, 2009 at 7:04 pm | Reply
  112. Juliett

    I really hate to say this because it sounds so bad, but I'm really beginning to feel that these Muslims are no better then Hitler. They stone or whip women, treat them like slaves, have legalized rape ( I even read an article where a woman was put to death because she reported a rape and her husband called it an infidelity, one of many "so called crimes" that a woman can be executed for ) They are not even allowed to speak or leave the home. ( I read another article where 2 women were put to death because they fled their burning home without putting on their face coverings in order to save their own lives as they had no time to put the coverings on and this was a crime punishable by death?) I'm sorry, but to me the Muslims treat women much like Hitler treated the Jewish people, the only exception being they don't gas them in mass numbers....YET.
    What is wrong with these people? To whip a human being for wearing pants? Being allowed to legally rape and murder ( To me it is murder) women? This woman should be hailed as the Rosa Parks for Muslim women and I just don't see how these crimes and torture of women should be allowed to go on in the name of "faith".
    The Nazis were put on trial for crimes against humanity for doing some of these same things to Jewish people that these men are doing to these women. So what if they do it in the name of "faith", it is still crimes against humanity and last time I checked, women were human beings too.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:26 pm | Reply
  113. Blair Thennacle is an idiot

    Commenting on post:
    "Blair Thennacle September 7th, 2009 1143 GMT

    The true tragedy of this case is that commentators the world over will perform flabbergasting tricks of dishonesty and fallacious logic to lay the blame on any culprit but the doctrine of Islam itself.

    The comments above attest to this. Edwin Phillips expresses “surprise” that the “teachings of one of the sons of Abraham” should be applied in this way. One immediately grows skeptical that Edwin is any more than casually acquainted with any Abrahamic literature. Esmeralda Plangesis makes the laudable but impossible request that violence against women might cease “irrespective of religion”. ‘Sophocles’ refers to “supposedly true Islamic teachings”, implicitly committing the very mistake I am here elucidating.

    Poverty, politics, corruption, (lack of) education and plain sadism all play a role in cases such as this, but they are merely secondary and complementary to the central role of religious fundamentalism. When such atrocities are committed by, for lack of a better word, ’secular’ despots (e.g. Stalin), they are rightly denounced as wicked and contemptible. When they are conducted by hysterical theocrats, they are brushed off as misunderstandings, misfirings or misinterpretations of religion. I look forward to Ms. Ali expounding this point with greater clarity, authority and erudition than that of which I myself am capable."

    Dear Blair,
    so it's pretty pointless for you to point out others flaws yet fail to describe any reason WHY these people were wrong. maybe you should stop being such an arrogant jerk and politely explain to people why such things they said we're wrong.


    oh and in the last quote saying "I look forward to Ms. Ali expounding this point with greater clarity, authority and erudition than that of which I myself am capable.", well what the hell made you want to post such criticism in the first place anyways? You completely failed.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:44 am | Reply
  114. Mike Sloan

    Hiris is an instigator who cash on anti-Islam racists some you can read here. She lied about how she was treated in order to get sympathy in Holland and be able to immigrate, That is why she was kicked our of Holland. Now, she came to the US, cashing on racists' ideas. She is plain hater just like some folks who are posting here.

    Christianity and Judaism is if not more equally violent against the woman, just we know how to white-wash it. Why is that rate of rapes and violence against the woman is highest in the US? Is it because Christians hate woman?

    Come on people, stop hating, lets kick Hiris out of our country.

    September 9, 2009 at 2:43 am | Reply
  115. Jasmine from Iran

    Mike Sloan,

    The rate of Rape in US is higher because in US and western world having sex with someone under the age of 18 is illegal and considered rape.

    In Islamic countries men can marry girls as young as 9 years and not be considered rape legally. I am sure if the age limit existed in Islamic countries the rape statistics would be ten times worst. This is Child abuse and malastation. And in happens in many countries such as Sudan, Yemen , Saudi.... Our prophet married a 9 year old himself

    Also a Men can have more than one wife legally. So once again if a man wants as many women he can easily marry legally.

    Then if also a women is rapped many times in Islamic countries she does not report because of the fear of Honor killing by a relative. Or if she is unable to prove it she will be STONNED to DEATH for being a prostitue.

    That is why your think that there are lower rape numbers in Islamic countries.

    September 9, 2009 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  116. Jasmine from Iran

    As for estimated " 2 billions of Muslims " globally.

    Well there are few reasons. Islam's population is mainly in developing countries were people usually tend to have 5+ kids and for majority of cases do not care about the future of those kids. As long as they are adding to the population of Islam. So quality of the human being that they bare is not taken into account. And most kids are married off at a very young age without any money, education or.....

    Once you are born a Muslim you will face prosecution by government / culture if you choose not to abide by the religion or lets say you wanted to convert to other beliefs.

    So you can't openly choose your religion or you end up having the same faith as Salman Rushdi.

    September 9, 2009 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  117. Mcphil

    I think most of the muslim women wants to be cowed the way they are today, they seems to like it, or else how can they be in suport of this babarism melted on them for so long till only last month for them to be prepare to die istead of being in thier men's captivities.

    but i also think that most of the muslim men are selfcenterd.

    September 9, 2009 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  118. pat

    women have beeb maltreated a long time ago, in every aspect of life; education, job, church etc... Some men have taken it to heart that they can never see anything good come out from women forgetting that they were born by a women. Why? It is very sad that some people still want to live in the stone age period. Even during the stone age period both women and men were scantly dressed. Weren't Adam and Eve naked before God decided to clothe? So what is the fuss about women wearing trouser or anything that 'they' say that will entice them? It is better you (some men) don't see the light of day than to come out and be enticed by a simple dressing by women. Why not a man's dressing?
    Women are harrassed everywhere in all these developing countries especially in Africa. It happened to me in a church. I am a catholic from Nigeria but in my case I was not dragged to court. I fought for my right and demanded for an apology and told that I will not allow another women to experience what I did. So the rule was amended. I have not felt humiliated as I did that day.Although I was fully dressed but the humilation stripped me naked infront of the crowd that gathered to listen to what happened. The surprising thing was that I was fully clothed in a flowing skirt and a full blouse, no spagethi hand. The church warden that stopped me said that my blouse hand was not long enough and said that he didn't like the neck line. This was after I had gone to receive holy communion and the mass was already over. The priest adminstered the communion to me and didn't see anything wrong with my dressing. At the end of the day I got the apology I asked for and demanded that no women should be made to go through this kind of humilation. Women should fight for their right and should speak out where they think that they're being cheated. There are some men that don't want to hear a woman has stepped higher than them in life, they want to keep a woman hidden or keep her as a pet dog...... Too bad. Why I got my apology was that I'm a well educated lady who knows her right..... My fellow women out there stand up for your Right!

    September 10, 2009 at 8:14 am | Reply
  119. burgundy

    to say it short: "religion is the opiate of the masses" and that goes for all religions.

    September 10, 2009 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  120. KN

    Mike Sloan has put it very well.

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali was booted from the Netherlands for lying on her immigration application. It was a big lie, her story was false. She makes a living out of hate-mongering, lying and islamophobia. And you know I'm sure there are plenty of fools like her roaming our planet so I don't really blame them, I blame CNN for giving these worthless pieces of stuff so much air time.

    September 11, 2009 at 1:24 am | Reply
  121. kosim alege

    islam is the best soution to the immorality in the world.

    dont you think?

    September 11, 2009 at 5:54 am | Reply
  122. Ben

    I was under the impression that religion was a personal choice. I thought it was up to the individual, be they female or male, to decide for themselves what they believe. Having a religion forced upon you by your state, your family or your peer group takes away the individuals power of choice and the "Religion" becomes nothing other than Control. There are enough controls in place already in every country around the world. I am just glad that I live in a land where I dont get told to believe in something that I dont believe. I would have thought that a basic human right is to be able to Believe what you want....As long as you dont hurt your fellow man/woman. A little less control and a lot more respect for the individual would go a long way I feel. Governments be they Western or Eastern, North or South, stay out of our heads. Protect your people and work together to improve things for all of us, regardless of race gender or personal belief.

    September 11, 2009 at 6:53 am | Reply
  123. Qutubuddin

    All this is media and western propaganda to defame Islam.

    September 11, 2009 at 8:47 am | Reply
  124. jasmine from Iran


    The problem is that Women have always been treated as lesser human being by most major religions in history.
    The difference is that many religions in the past hundred years have evolved and people have been more educated so they have moved away from the injustice. Just look at how the Vatican Church condems birth Control or Abortion. Or how Jewish women had to not wear pants or shave their head when they go married. Or Chinese foot binding of young girls. Lets be honest why is it that all major prophets where always men and not a women?

    But Sadly in many muslim countries we have not had that evolution yet and men make sure we don't. And they have engrained it in our mind for soo long that women have believed in it. They believe that by covering and following the faith they will be getting closer to God and would not go to hell in after life.

    So even when women like me or some of my friends tell them that they need to fight for their rights they do not listen and claim that we are no believers.

    Also you have government who try to kill , tourture , rape anyone who questions and ask for equality. I am sure you have observed the recent happening in Iran , Saudi and Somaliya , Afghanistan ......
    I am sure you have seen how abused women are and how they are denial until someday they get hit soo bad that they finally acknowledge the reality.

    So people who want change have to fight against other females, families, males , cultures and legal system. It is a very difficult battle and it will take a long time before any change. The best we can do is make sure that our kids do not grow up with that mentality where they believe that women are the lesser human being.

    I have been very fortunate to have had grandparents and parents who are educated and see me as equal to that of a man.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:20 pm | Reply
  125. Islam Pakhtoon

    Of course you people would support it. You got people going around naked in your country plus the amount of divorce because of outside fornication. Why don't you just leave us Muslims alone in peace you always lying that we force you to do this and that but its clearly vice versa. Just leave us alone in peace if the women wants to go out in a skirt then we not going to stop her but she will have to go to the many many countries out there that allow that. She doesn't need to be ignorant and go against the law of the country.

    October 11, 2009 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  126. Daddy39

    I've foolishly failed to observe the game rules. ,

    October 23, 2009 at 10:08 am | Reply

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