Monday, July 5, 2010

More Barbarism: Sakineh Ashtiani's Sentence To Be Stoned

(attribution unknown)

A path to justice?

Well, it's only the beginning of the week and I already feel like a broken record on the issue of the mistreatment of women in Islamic culture. But not so broken that I can't do as asked and spread the word. As today's Guardian column by Maryam Namazie asks, "What isn't wrong with Sharia Law?"

Convicted of adultery after a reportedly coerced confession in 2006, 99 lashes was evidently not enough punishment for Sakineh Ashtiani. The Sharia-based court that reexamined her case decided that, really, being stoned to death was more fitting. Oops on the fact that she was lashed, already. Protests have been organized in DC and elsewhere. Psychology Today blogs about Sakineh and other young women who have been sentenced to such horrible fates as does the International Campaign for Human Rights.

Men are seldom stoned. And in a charming little twist of design fate, women are buried up to their necks for stoning while men only to their waists. Why? If the stoning victim manages to escape their pit during stoning, they are set free, because after all, it must be God's will that allows them to escape. Unless they've got those two X chromosomes, of course. Then you have to make sure it's much harder because after all, women are the root of all evil and even God could be tricked. Right? So let's make the decision for him.

No word on what happened to the men who allegedly committed adultery with Sakineh. I guess the local mullah gave them what for. Maybe they had to pray a bit extra? Fast a bit? Promise to pick out some nice single girl and get Nikah_mut‘ah or sigheh married (which, like baad, you all just know I have the highest opinion of...)  instead, next time, okay?

As Maryam Namazie says, attacking Sharia isn't attacking religion. It is rather, a defense of basic human rights. And, from my view, pursuit of equality of justice, as well. But then, these sentences clearly aren't about justice at all. They are about controlling women and holding power, specifically the power of fear, over them.

Join the Facebook page for Sakineh here.

And don't think you're done with the topic. Azar Bagheri, 19, and Marian Ghorbanzadeh, 25, are convicted and sentenced to the same fatealong with, reportedly, many others. Azar was convicted as a minor but now that she's 19, she's old enough to murder execute.

This topic has been updated on Bright Nepenthe as of July 9, 2010..

© Bright Nepenthe, 2010


  1. Will the Dark Age barbarism of Islam ever end!
    This is 2010, and the majority of Muslims are still living in the time of Saladin, and the Crusades!

  2. Thanks for the comment Tony. There is so much complexity to Islamic (either Arabic or Persian) culture that it makes it all the more puzzling that they remain mired in such archaic, violent and discriminatory thinking. Whenever I get totally fed up, I think of all the math, astronomy, literature (especially poetry) and architectural contributions that have come from Arabic and Persian culture. Unfortunately, it makes their sort of 'collective' stance on half the population (the female half) even more of a mystery to me. I try to console myself with the thought that majority of the Iranian population (more than two thirds) is so young and that surely, at some point, they will have the upper hand and seek freedom and equality with success.

  3. Agree with all the previous comments however one needs to consider that Muslim women themselves have played a key role in the perpetuation of these barbaric attitudes and practices. In particular, the older generation (pre-1970's)women demand that men behave the way they do and they play their own part in enforcing practices like female circumcision and extreme punishments for what they consider sexual misconduct. Let's not oversimplify this by reducing it to a male versus female struggle.

  4. I agree with all your comments. The people will never be free since they have no real right to choose their leaders. the islamic countries are run by dictators. You would think with all the oil money they would have created a Utopian society. They kill in the name of religion. I am sure that is what god wants.

  5. Thanks so much for the comments. I'm going to try my best to follow the story of Sakineh and of the other women. Spreading awareness of their plight may be the best defense of their lives.