Amira-Osman-HamedAmira Osman Hamed is ready to sacrifice her body for her beliefs. The 35-year-old Sudanese woman has refused to adhere to a law, which requires all women in her country to cover their hair with a hijab.

Hamed faces brutal lashings if she’s convicted of violating article 152, which prohibits “obscene and indecent acts” in public.

The law states:

(1) Whoever does in a public place an indecent act or an act contrary to public morals or wears an obscene outfit or contrary to public morals or causing an annoyance to public feelings shall be punished with flogging which may not exceed forty lashes or with fine or with both.

(2) The act shall be contrary to public morals if it is regarded as such according to the standard of the person’s religion or the custom of the country where the act takes place.

In an interview with the AFP, Hamed, who is Muslim, said, “They want us to be like Taliban women.”

According to MSN, Hamed has received support from civil rights activists who say the vague law, which was instituted in 1989 after a coup by President Omar al-Bashir, leaves women open to harassment and abuse.

Hamed, who wears braids, says she was visiting a government office in Jebel Aulia late last month when a police officer ordered her to cover her hair.

“He said, ‘You are not Sudanese. What is your religion?'”

She told the officer, “I’m Sudanese. I’m Muslim, and I’m not going to cover my head.”

Hamed isn’t the only women to suffer under Sudan’s oppressive “decency” laws. Back in 2009, Lubna Hussein was arrested and sentenced to flogging after she was caught wearing trousers, and according to some estimates over 43,000 women were arrested in the country’s Khartoum State and jailed for “indecent” clothing offenses in 2008 alone.

Hamed’s could face up to 40 lashings as early as September 19 when her trial is set to begin.

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  • Anthony

    I lived in Sudan when these laws were just being implemented. The traditional Sudanese covering, or tobe is usually very colorful and worn loosely. The women often wore pants or pretty dresses under them. I was doing research at the University of Khartoum, and there were still a few women who simply wore dresses without tobes or head scarves.
    I remember that some young women wore fashionable jeans at private clubs or gatherings of friends.

    I have not ha the good fortune to go back to Sudan, but it seems that like the rest of the Muslim world, ultra strict versions of Islam have become dominant.

  • Missy

    Another reason I support Israel 100% against the her enemies. I love Israel. This is an OUTRAGE!

    • eve-audrey

      all the people who do stupid shit in the name of islam need to be fought wherever they are. with that being said israel is not really a paradise for its black immigrants. the ethiopian jews who moved there in the past years are still not seen nor treated as equals to the other israelis. some are challenging the fact that they are jews. bigotry is bigotry no matter who’s displaying it.

    • Missy

      You do realize that Miss Israel is black right? Or did your Jew Hating overcome all that?

      As far as Ethiopians – you do realize that Israel has LIMITED resources, they saved the Ethiopians from death, gave them money, resources, housing, food, LIVES.

      I don’t believe that poor people SHOULD be having children, period. IDGAF what Israel did to them.

      FURTHER, we have a HUGE problem in the USA with immigrants taking jobs that black people have been doing in this country for 400 years, we are SHOVED out of the way for them. I have NO SYMPATHY for immigrants.

      Yes Israel saved them, should they be on welfare for life banging out babies? No.

    • naan


      why is your excuse of “limited resources” applied to Ethiopian Jews?

      You clearly do not qualify for any discussion about Israel because you don’t even know the concept of “homeland for ALL jews” aka Aliyah.

    • AnnT

      You mean the same government they gave Ethiopian immigrants birth control disguised as inoculations?

    • eve-audrey

      yes that very one. i have nothing against jews or israël but it surprises me when black people declare they LOVE people who do not have so much consideration for them. it’s like when i hear black people acting like arabs are our brothers and sisters while ignoring that they have a history of mistreating blacks.

      don’t get me wrong i have arab friends and i’m not throwing them all in the same box but i just can’t ignore that a certain amount of them did not realize that we’re in the 21st century and still behave like mindless barbarians towards us. it’s not hatred it’s just being conscious .

      i really wish more black people would be conscious. we have the power to create wealth unfortunately we look like we want to create wealth for others for the sake of being accepted.
      sorry for the rant but the “i love israël” commentator just left me like O-O.

    • AnnT

      at eve-audrey
      I agree. I never understood the absolute love affair with Israel. I am by no means knocking the people of the country at all. I just give them the same side-eye as people who proclaim their absolute love for the my own country, the US, while willfully ignoring its history and problems.

    • eve-audrey

      @missy quite frankly i won’t be replying to you anymore you don’t look like someone with whom i’ll have an intelligent conversation. where did i say that i hated jews? i have never hated jews i am just aware of the current situation of ethiopian jews there. if you dont’ give a fuck what happened to them it’s your right.

      as far as your miss israel argument goes, well… there’s a black family in the white house now right? and still you are complaining about your situation as a black person in the US because immigrants are taking black people opportunities away. aren’t you supposed to be in paradise now that POTUS is (half)black? your argument doesn’t make sense but… nevermind have a nice day.

  • Rue.

    Good for her. I hate $hitty laws like this. It’s called freedom of expression-Fuck off and let women be.

  • GeekMommaRants

    Religion is horrible, this story is just one example. Since when does ones dress determine their character? We have folks who wear hijab to rob people, are these folks good pious muslims, NO!

    • PEOPLE are horrible. They are horrible WITH and WITHOUT religion. Blaming religion is lazy as hell and more importantly, empirically false. People love organization everywhere else in their lives, but not with their spirituality. If that’s your choice, cool, but, can we please stop parroting the same clichés and make an effort to think beyond that which we can see? We arrogantly look upon people as though what they do was not at one point logical even though we have no idea where the logic comes from. It’s arrogant to think that everyone outside of your group was created inferior because they are doing things which make no sense to you. Your lack of empathy is your own problem. Your lack of cultural education is your own problem. Your inability to correlate the actions of people in the name of religion with those same actions in the name of man-made secular law is your own problem. People suck. Blaming religion removes accountability from those practicing religion as well as proposes that as long as one claims no religion, no harm will be done. Ridiculous.

  • The RealKay

    I’m not going to blame religion or the “backward,” ways of a country, instead I will say that this is an entrenched system of male supremacy and misogyny. Most people who seriously study Islam will tell you that sure, there are rules, but they are to be applied to everyone, not just women. Many of these edicts talk about spiritual purity rather than decency stemming from covering up physically. Remember, not too long ago, many laws within the U.S. that prevented women from voting, working in certain jobs etc. were often backed by supposed Christian notions. I think that bottom line, people use not only religion, but a ton of reasons to keep women and their bodies in check. It hurts not only women, but men too. Men are then forced to be hyper-vigilant about their masculinity. They can’t show the world that the women they love and are in their lives are equals because they face social consequences, thus losing out on valuable emotional support and relationships. It cuts both ways and it hurts everyone involved.