Lubna Hussein bowed to the fundamentalists of Sudan for one moment, donning a niqab to leave the country.
Hussein asked to travel with papers but was denied the necessary documents. Determined to go to France and also England to promote her new book, Lubna resorted to the niqab as the only means of leaving Sudan.
It’s unclear whether she will be able to return to Sudan after her visit in Europe ends late next week.
Here Lubna meets with France’s Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.
Lubna Hussein in Paris
Hussein has been invited by the French women’s rights group “Ni Putes Ni Soumises” (Neither Whores, nor Submissives) which has been outspoken on issues dealing with the repression of Muslim women.
If you recall, Lubna and other women in Sudan were called “prostitutes” by shouting Islamic men, as Hussein made her way into court on Sept. 7, 2009 for her trial.
The journalist and now global women’s rights campaigner, who formerly worked for the United Nations, held meetings with French ministers and was to be received by former president Jacques Chirac. France is taking an aggressive position about women wearing burqas in France.
Some of Lubna’s strongest supporters have queried me on how it’s possible that 43,000 women were actually flogged in Sudan last year. The truth seems unbelievable but the number is reiterated by Foreign Minister Kouchner in the video. Lubna has always maintained that the number is a matter of court records, and I’ve never read the number challenged in the English-speaking Sudanese press, which I follow daily.
Welcoming Hussein to Paris, Kouchner praised her “simple heroism” and courage for standing up to Sudan’s laws on so-called indecent clothing for women. “She had the courage to stand up to a law that is tied to Sharia,” he added.
“This was a very good struggle and a very important one for Arab women, for African women,” he said via Times South Africa.
We’re translating the French texts for new details on Lubna Hussein’s trip to Europe. Anne
Lubna Hussein’s Book “Forty Lashes for a Pair of Trousers” is available from Amazon France. It will soon be translated into English and Arabic.