Dr. Fogg & Sir Daniel presents..

Trying Not To Throw The First Stone

In Daniels articles on September 9, 2010 at 1:45 am

come travel with me back through time to a very disturbing era..   In this era however things seem much, on the front, like our own.   Children dream and adults labor hard jobs just to get by.. 

however, if you look closer, you will find some unsettling differences..

The first person I want you to meet is Zhila..  she is 13..

She’s also a new mom..  and the father?  her older brother Bakhtiar..   The trauma of being raped by your brother is unfortunately too common and the resulting damage will never go away..  but for Zhila, it gets even worse..   She was put on trial by her government and sentenced to death..   For what?  It seems that her brother was sentenced, by the same courts, to 150 lashes..   This means, as far as I can tell,  she was sentenced to die just because she is female..

Barbaric?  wait, there is more..

Let us skip ahead two years..  Meet Sakineh Ishtiani..

Her husband was murdered not that long ago and after his death, word came back to the Government that she was seeing other guys..   So they decide to beat her half to death (99 lashes) I guess so no other men will find her attractive anymore..   Then, by chance..  it seems one of the guys she was seeing was put on trial for being the one who killed her husband..

There it is.. an adultery charge the Government could now throw at her..  in their way of thinking.. a woman who can’t stay with one man needs to die, so they sentenced her to death..

While she was locked up, a newpaper ran a copy of someone they said was her without her veil on..  they were wrong, it wasn’t her but regardless, her Government gave her another 99 lashes..

what both these women have in common is the method their Government thinks they should use to kill them..  stoning..

I’m not the most up-to-date person on methods of execution so I had to do a bit of research to find out exactly what stoning, as practiced in this era, was like..

It seems they wrap these women up tight, tie their arms together with a rope behind them and bury them in a pit standing upright with only their head and shoulders showing above ground..   then the local men get together and find as many medium size rocks as they can and throw it at the women until they are dead..   It seems this takes between 10 to 20 minutes..

And what about their children?  If they are mothers, their children are often required by law to attend the atrocity, to watch them “repent” for their sins. 

What sort of Government justifies this?  lucky for me, not one I live in although the bible does seem to justify it a bit..
 And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him.   Leviticus 24:16

If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers … thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die. Deuteronomy 13:5-10

Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die.   1 Kings 21:10

Even Jesus said, in John chapter 8, verse 7.. “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. ”

so it seems to me that the bible says that stoning is considered fine in the eyes of God?  yet lucky for me the Government that I follow does not practice this.. 

yet for Zhila and Sakineh, they happen to live in Iran where they chop your hand off for stealing food..   Lucky for both of these women, international attention was paid to their cases and they avoided being stoned at the last minute because the Iranian government doesn’t need the bad press right now although Sakineh still faces hanging because she was forced into making a confession (in a language she didn’t even speak) that said she was in on the plot to kill her husband..

And what justification does Iran, a Muslim country, claim that gives them the right to sentence women to death by stoning?

none!  The Qur’an does not once mention it.  The Muslim’s instead find it in the fiqh, a book of interpretations of the rules of Islam written by many early Muslims.. but not considered a holy book like the Bible or the Torah.   The writers of the figh that made infidelity a crime punishable by stoning designed it to be almost impossible to prove.. so historically, it rarely ever happened however today the Saudi and Iranian governments apply it as if it were the answer to everything..

Is Islam to blame?   It seems to me the religion, like Christianity, has grown and divided into many different versions.   Not all Christians have the same beliefs and it’s the same with Muslims.

I for one believe the media gives Islam a bad name..  contrary to counting Jews and Christians as “infidels,” the Qur’an repeatedly commands particular respect of Jews and Christians. It is established in Islam that you don’t need to be Muslim to go to heaven.

In conclusion.. while I hate what I see to be their treatment of women and how some Islamic countries do not follow the teachings of the Qur’an but instead their own “He-Man Woman Hater’s Club” style of punishment..  I’m also trying to remember we can’t judge all Muslim’s the same no more than I’m willing to accept the actions of Jim Jones who led over 900 people to suicide in the name of God.

let me leave you with one quote from the Virginia Bill of Rights written by George Mason..

Religion, or the duty which we owe to our creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and this is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other.
—  Article 16 June 12, 1776

And this was written by someone who’s religion seems to say it’s okay to stone a woman to death for falling in love with someone she is not married too..   Although America was founded by Christians, lucky for us the religion has taken a role separate than the Government.   It’s a shame that Iran and Saudi Arabia can’t follow our example.   Their religion preaches peace, yet because of the men who currently interpret it, peace comes at a heavy cost to their women.

I guess in the end.. what I am saying is I’m trying not to throw the first stone.. but when I read about the injustice that these women face and realize this is happening in MY era..  it’s hard not to aim that stone at their leaders..
~ Daniel

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