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Frida Ghitis – CNN – Thursday, 07 November 2013 (originally published 04 Nov)
(CNN) — When a police officer demanded that she cover her hair, Amira Osman Hamed simply refused. “I’m Muslim, and I’m not going to cover my head,” she declared. For that, the 35-year-old Sudanese engineer was arrested last August and charged with “indecent dress.”
Now Hamed faces a possible sentence of 40 lashes if a court convicts her when she faces the judge on Monday. Still, she refuses to wear a headscarf.
Hamed’s determination to challenge arbitrary rules restricting women’s freedom is part of a wave of energy pushing against those limits, notably (but not exclusively) in Muslim countries. In Muslim-majority states in Africa, South Asia, the Persian Gulf and elsewhere, women are relentlessly demanding more equal treatment . . .