The country is a helpful reminder that not all cultures are morally equal. Nevertheless, Washington continues to welcome Sudanese as immigrants and refugees, despite the national security threat and their reprehensible customs.
The Sudanese implementation of sharia law has been particularly energetic, and got more attention recently when a video of a woman being beaten by police appeared on Youtube.
That bit of public cruelty turns out to be not unusual at all.
Sudan: Women are punished with â€?600,000â€? lashes a year, Adnkronos International, December 16, 2010
Khartoum, 16 Dec. (AKI) â€“ Forty thousand women in Sudan are subject to police whippings for moral transgressions each year, a figure that came to light after a video was circulated on the Internet which showed the public thrashing of a Khartoum woman.
Sudanese feminist and political figure Mariam al-Sadiq al-Madi brought the issue to the attention of authorities, the Sudanese daily al-Sharq al-Awsat reported.
The drama of the physical punishments against women in Sudan is much more serious than previously believed,â€? al-Madi said. She said that each year around 600,000 lashes are dealt to women in Sudan.
â€?The situation was worsened by a 1991 law that increased violence against them,â€? she added.
The so-called â€?law 152â€? allows for women to be whipped for an array of â€?moralâ€™ crimes including wearing trousers as in the case of a journalist, Lubna Ahmad Hussein, who was found guilty of this â€?crimeâ€™ last year.
According to lawyer Nabil Adib, â€?a vast array of crimes allows for whippings,â€? she said, citing the excessive use of alcohol and gambling to washing oneâ€™s car in an incorrect location as crimes punishable by flogging.