Sometimes we may take our freedoms in this country very much for granted. So it is therapeutic to look around and make comparisons.

Just last week, a Sudanese judge convicted a woman journalist for violating the public indecency law by wearing trousers outdoors. She was fined $200 for the offense, but he did not impose a public flogging that often is the penalty.

But some other women were not so lucky. Of 13 arrested for this offense, 10 were flogged.

Just think about that. We live in a nation where our liberties are many and are protected in broad expanse. We can’t even imagine someone being flogged for the kinds of clothes they wear. We even have males who wear their pants below their underwear, often exposing their drawers to the public. Even they are protected. Of course, outright nudity (unless in a specified area) is most often forbidden. But the penalty is not a flogging.

We must also note that we tend to want to spread democracy in lands where people are told how to dress, fearing criminal penalties. So what chances do you think democracy, as we know it, has in such a land where tribal customs typically prevail?

Oh well, that’s their countries and they do what they do. It’s unlikely that our values and customs would prevail there under any circumstances. But occasionally it might help our perspective of our freedoms and how they relate to the international picture to just make a few comparisons.

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