In 1993, I was invited to a WTO conference in Bali, but was refused admission at the door because I was wearing trousers. Not just any old pair of trousers, but a fashionable trouser suit. As a result I did not attend at all, because I had brought no dresses on the long flight from London.
Now I`m appalled to learn that the well known Sudanese journalist Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein is to be flogged for wearing trousers in a restaurant in Khartoum. And that women whipped earlier this month included some from the animist and Christian south where the Muslim north's sharia law does not apply.
Sudan is not high on most lists as a holiday destination, but potential women visitors should take heed. Remember, too, the British teacher Gillian Gibbons, arrested in 2007 for calling a toy bear Muhammad.
Is it any wonder that regimes such as that of dictator Oman al-Bashir give Islam a bad name?
His own punishment should be to be brought forcibly to London to see the shortest of shorts being worn this summer. Perhaps he would suffer a heart attack when the world would have one criminal less.
More power to your arm Ms.al-Hussain. I shall watch your trial with interest and wish you all the best.
c.Christine Osborne: former editor Two Niles/Sudan Airways flight magazine.
Image: Scene in Omdurman, Sudan