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Sudanese Feminist Hero Forced into Hiding By: Phyllis Chesler
Pajamas Media | Wednesday, August 05, 2009

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Today, Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein went to receive her 40 lashes in Khartoum. The world press and scores of female supporters were watching. I was watching, so to speak, from afar. However, the judge delayed her trial until September 7th. He first wants to consult the Foreign Ministry on “whether al-Hussein is immune from the charges because she was formerly a United Nations employee.”

The delay disapointed al-Hussein. She refused to claim any UN immunity. Al-Hussein was ready to receive “40,000 lashes if such punishment was found to be constitutional.” She is quoted as saying some fairly thrilling, very bold things:

I’m ready for anything to happen. I’m absolutely not afraid of the verdict…Tens of thousands of women and girls have been whipped for their clothes these last 20 years. It’s not rare in Sudan…I want people to know. I want these women’s voices to be heard.”

Whip me if you dare…Flogging is a terrible thing, very painful and a humiliation for the victim. But I am not afraid of being flogged. I will not back down. I want to stand up for the right of women, and now the eyes of the world are on this case I have a chance to draw attention to the plight of women in Sudan…The acts of this regime have no connection with the real Islam.”

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Dr. Phyllis Chesler is the well known author of classic works, including the bestseller Women and Madness (1972) The New Anti-Semitism (2003) and The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (2005). She has just published a new edition of Woman's Inhumanity to Woman (2009). She is an Emerita Professor of psychology and women's studies, the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969) and the National Women's Health Network (1976). Her website is www.phyllis-chesler.com.

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