Afghanistan considers return of stoning for adulterers

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Afghanistan is looking to bring back one of its most appalling forms of punishment — what was once a common symbol of Taliban rule.

When this video surfaced two years ago showing a couple getting stoned death by hundreds of their neighbors, it sparked an uproar outside of Afghanistan.  (Via BBC)

But within the country, Afghanistan’s justice ministry is considering making public stoning a legal punishment for convicted adulterers. (Via Amnesty International)  

Under a draft plan obtained by The Telegraph, unmarried men and women found to be cheating on their partners could be subject to 100 lashings. For married adulterers, the punishment would be public stoning.  

The Afghan Ministry of Justice says the draft penal code still needs about two more years of work before it gets submitted for review. Still, its director of legislation defended the plan, telling The Wall Street Journal, "The Islamic Sharia instructs us to do so … There is a verse in the Quran about it."  

Written By: Elizabeth Hagedorn
continue to source article at wpxi.com

45 COMMENTS

  1. If anyone is interested, Amnesty are running an online petition. They have also posted an update since I submiited this article:

    Update 29.11.13: Following a worldwide outcry, President Karzai has said that stoning will not be reintroduced to Afghanistan. Whilst the Minister of Justice has now rejected that the proposed amendments are part of the official amendment of the Penal Code, we must continue pressuring the Afghan government to ensure such amendments of the law that breach the country’s international human rights commitments, are not allowed in the future.

    I suspect when US troops leave, it will be back to business for the Taliban.

  2. The title should be, “Afghanistan’s justice ministry considers return of stoning for adulterers”, and not “Afghanistan considers…”.
    There are plenty of sane and ethical people in Afghanistan as well.

    • In reply to #3 by Miserablegit: Islam is a totalitarian ideology of hate, submission, blood lust and death energized by “religion”. Whether it’s actually a “religion” is another story.

      Anyone who does not believe that religion to this extreme is tantamount to fascism, need only look at this case.

  3. About $16 billion is tied in part to Afghanistan’s progress in the protection of human rights.

    ‘Tied in part’ ? Clearly not a big enough part. I wonder how it compares with the vast sums spent by the ‘West’ in killing and maiming Afghans.

  4. When looking up the legitimacy of stoning in Islam I found this gem:

    The present-day Qur’an does not explicitly mention the act, but according to hadith, the Qur’anic verses of stoning were written on a piece of paper and were lost when a goat ate it:
    [Narrated 'Aisha] “The verse of the stoning and of suckling an adult ten times were revealed, and they were (written) on a paper and kept under my bed. When the messenger of Allah expired and we were preoccupied with his death, a goat entered and ate away the paper.”
    Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal. vol. 6. p. 269; Sunan Ibn Majah, p. 626; Ibn Qutbah, Tawil Mukhtalafi ‘l-Hadith (Cairo: Maktaba al-Kulliyat al-Azhariyya. 1966) p. 310; As-Suyuti, ad-Durru ‘l-Manthur, vol. 2. p. 13

    It makes you wounder when other important parts of this book were lost…

    • In reply to #9 by Kr0p0s: Well, the hadiths supersede the original. Must be rather like “the dog ate my homework”. Very revealing gem. If it isn’t it the Quran, well it was or would have been, but a goat ate it and we’re going to put in back in anyway, so start piling up those stones, boys.

      When looking up the legitimacy of stoning in Islam I found this gem:

      The present-day Qur’an does not explicitly mention the act, but according to hadith, the Qur’anic verses of stoning were written on a piece of paper and were lost when a goat ate it:
      [Narrated 'Aisha] “The verse of the stoning and…

  5. Once upon a time, under Communism , so we are told, Afghanistan was a country which was freeing itself from the tyranny of religion. The United States has promoted the values of Afghan’s tribal hinterland for what they claim is in ‘our’ geopolitical interests. If the ‘West’ was more in favour of human rights, the Afghans might have been allowed to make their own way along the path to becoming a modern state. Instead, colossal sums of money have been spent in propping up the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and campaigns of death and destruction.

  6. What?
    Some ignorant gents who seem scared of knowledge and reality are using old fairy-tales as an excuse to terrorize and kill people who are different from them?

    Could this be an Abrahamic religion at work?

  7. Afghanistan’s penal code dates back over three decades .The government is drawing up a new one to unify fragmented rules and cover crimes missed out when the last version was written, such as money laundering, and offences that did not even exist at the time, such as internet crimes.

    ‘Critics ‘ of Islam must be disappointed. There’s not a single Islamic country is the world, where ‘stoning’ is the law of the land, as far as I can see. Neverthess, among people who take their religion seriously, there’s always a danger of barbaric punishments being carried out at a local level, or re-instated when there’s a change of government.

    • In reply to #14 by aldous: I’m sure that makes the victims of such atrocities feel much better.

      Afghanistan’s penal code dates back over three decades .The government is drawing up a new one to unify fragmented rules and cover crimes missed out when the last version was written, such as money laundering, and offences that did not even exist at the time, such as internet crimes.

      ‘Critics ‘ o…

      • In reply to #42 by Free Speech:

        In reply to #14 by aldous: I’m sure that makes the victims of such atrocities feel much better.

        Since the Guardian article referred to was Stoning will not be brought back, says Afghan president it should be welcomed by everybody. Apparently, not by you.

  8. Well, who says time doesn’t run backwards? Right here’s a giant step out of the Middle Ages back to about the year 700. Stone Age – here we come! At this rate, H. erectus might reappear in the foothills of the Himalaya within our lifetimes!

    Actually, that’s probably an insult to H. erectus.

  9. I don’t think the law penalises unmarried people for “cheating” on anyone (though I haven’t seen the draft provisions); my understanding is that it in fact punishes all forms of zina (illicit sex), which essentially means sex between any two people who are not married to one another.

    Zina perpetrated by a married person (with someone who is not their spouse) is considered more serious (stoning) than zina committed by an unmarried person.

  10. In reply to #16 by Jabarkis:

    I don’t think the law penalises unmarried people for “cheating” on anyone (though I haven’t seen the draft provisions); my understanding is that it in fact punishes all forms of zina (illicit sex), which essentially means sex between any two people who are not married to one another.

    Perhaps we should be focussing on capital punishment itself rather than the method of execution. As far as I know, stoning is not mandated by any government in the world.. The top five countries for executions are consistently China, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the USA. An important consideration, obviously, is what are classified as capital crimes. Murder is universally seen as a crime demanding severe punishment. What is worrying is when everyday activities like adultery and homosexuality should be stigmatised as crimes, let along being subject to harsh punishment.

    • In reply to #19 by I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing:

      It’s just great isn’t it? You get rid of one Taliban only to have a new one evolve in its place.

      The New Taliban appears to be a Pashtun liberation movement. Unfortunately, that means perpetuating the tribal code of Pashtunwali of which a primitive form of Islam is a part.

  11. Bukhari :: Book 4 :: Volume 56 :: Hadith 829

    Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar:

    The Jews came to Allah’s Apostle and told him that a man and a woman from amongst them had committed illegal sexual intercourse. Allah’s Apostle said to them, “What do you find in the Torah (old Testament) about the legal punishment of Ar-Rajm (stoning)?” They replied, (But) we announce their crime and lash them.” Abdullah bin Salam said, “You are telling a lie; Torah contains the order of Rajm.” They brought and opened the Torah and one of them solaced his hand on the Verse of Rajm and read the verses preceding and following it. Abdullah bin Salam said to him, “Lift your hand.” When he lifted his hand, the Verse of Rajm was written there. They said, “Muhammad has told the truth; the Torah has the Verse of Rajm. The Prophet then gave the order that both of them should be stoned to death. (‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar said, “I saw the man leaning over the woman to shelter her from the stones.”

    ***What this hadith is saying is that stoning was being abandoned in favor of lashing, but that Muhammad revived its practice!

    • In reply to #20 by Fouad Boussetta:

      ***What this hadith is saying is that stoning was being abandoned in favor of lashing, but that Muhammad revived its practice!

      There’s no reason why you should take the fundamentalist position on this. Can you name a single country where stoning is prescribed by the state. The modern Islamic position is that stoning is an Old Testament form of punishment which has no relevance today.

      As the spokesman for the Turkish office of religious affairs says, “You can find these punishments in the Prophet’s time because society needed these rules for social peace,” he said. “Today, we have different social systems. We can say these rules and punishments are historical.”

      • Can you name a single country where stoning is prescribed by the state.

        This from Wiki article:

        “As of September 2010, stoning is a punishment that is included in the laws in some countries including Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran, Yemen and some states in Nigeria[19] as punishment for zina al-mohsena (“adultery of married persons”).[20] While stoning may not be codified in the laws of Afghanistan and Somalia, both countries have seen several incidents of stoning to death.[21][22] Many Muslim clerics, religious scholars, and political leaders—including those in the countries where stoning is practiced—have condemned stoning as “un-Islamic”, as it is not explicitly mentioned in the Quran”

        This refers to 2010, but lists 5 countries. Perhaps others will know the current status.

        The modern Islamic position is that stoning is an Old Testament form of punishment which has no relevance today.

        But the countries listed mainly follow Islam rather than Christianity – perhaps if these countries were more Islamic these laws would have been removed long ago!

        In reply to #24 by aldous:

        In reply to #20 by Fouad Boussetta:

        ***What this hadith is saying is that stoning was being abandoned in favor of lashing, but that Muhammad revived its practice!

        There’s no reason why you should take the fundamentalist position on this. Can you name a single country where stoning is prescribed by…

        • In reply to #26 by Marktony:

          This refers to 2010, but lists 5 countries. Perhaps others will know the current status.

          You can read the rest of the article from Wiki you quoted to get further information. Iran seems to be the most likely candidate for a country where stoning is permissible under national law, even if not mandatory, for certain ‘crimes’ .

  12. In reply to #10 by aldous:

    Once upon a time, under Communism , so we are told, Afghanistan was a country which was freeing itself from the tyranny of religion. The United States has promoted the values of Afghan’s tribal hinterland for what they claim is in ‘our’ geopolitical interests.

    Quite true.

    As I pointed out [here] (https://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/08/22-1) (you have to read from the bottom), it was the PDPA and the Red Army that stood for the rights of Afghan women and would have solidified those rights within a framework of secularism had they had the chance to finish the revolution they started.

    Or as another commentator on that site said, “The USA sold out Afghan women during the Carter and Reagan regimes, when to attack the Soviet Union they recruited ‘freedom fighters’ with slogans such as, ‘The Communists will liberate your women’ — which, of course, they would have.”

    • In reply to #21 by Sally:

      In reply to #10 by aldous:

      Once upon a time, under Communism , so we are told, Afghanistan was a country which was freeing itself from the tyranny of religion. The United States has promoted the values of Afghan’s tribal hinterland for what they claim is in ‘our’ geopolitical interests.

      Quite tr…

      The people the Soviets were supporting weren’t saints either. I think they could be fairly brutal against political opponents as well and I wouldn’t hold them up for a model of human rights or even women’s rights. But I agree and it is ironic that the US always claims one of the reasons we are there is to help the women when they probably had it much better (still pretty awful) under the Soviet puppets than the American puppets.

      IMO, the real answer is first of all people need to rule themselves. To me that is even more important than anything else even fighting religion or even women’s rights. You can’t impose those things on people, we need to get out and let them make their own way. Often I find the actual women in the women’s rights groups in Afghanistan agree, they don’t want the US there either.

      • In reply to #22 by Red Dog:

        IMO, the real answer is first of all people need to rule themselves. To me that is even more important than anything else even fighting religion or even women’s rights. You can’t impose those things on people, we need to get out and let them make their own way.

        How did that ideal pan out in central Europe during the early half of the 20th century? Just askin’.

        • In reply to #27 by Ignorant Amos:

          In reply to #22 by Red Dog:
          How did that ideal pan out in central Europe during the early half of the 20th century? Just askin’.

          I don’t know what you mean. How does what happened in central Europe in the early half of the 20th century relate to the point I made that people should be given the right to control their own nation?

          • In reply to #30 by Red Dog:

            In reply to #27 by Ignorant Amos:

            In reply to #22 by Red Dog:
            How did that ideal pan out in central Europe during the early half of the 20th century? Just askin’.

            I don’t know what you mean. How does what happened in central Europe in the early half of the 20th century relate to the point I made t…

            What I mean is that some times leaving folk to their own devices or not getting involved early enough can fuck things up for others, sometimes a lot of others, as was witnessed last century in a number of places. Each instance should be addressed on its individual merits or lack thereof… IMO.

          • In reply to #33 by Ignorant Amos:

            What I mean is that some times leaving folk to their own devices or not getting involved early enough can fuck things up for others, sometimes a lot of others, as was witnessed last century in a number of places. Each instance should be addressed on its individual merits or lack thereof… IMO.

            To start with I don’t know who specifically you are referring to so I can’t reply in much detail. “A number of places” doesn’t narrow it down much.

            But I can respond to your general point. You seem to be saying that not interfering in local politics can have harmful effects and be worse than interfering. I challenge that statement. I would like to know a specific example you are referring to because I doubt that it’s true.

            The problem comes down to the motivation of nations. For your statement to be true requires an assumption that I think is false. That assumption is that nations make geopolitical actions for altruistic reasons, e.g. to help the human rights of some people outside the nation. IMO that almost never happens. Nations will use things like human rights as an excuse and as a way to motivate their people to make sacrifices and to motivate the world to let them intervene but in reality I can’t think of a single example where a nation actually put altruistic reasoning ahead of what people like Kissinger call Realpolitik.

            The Soviet Union claimed that it was invading Afghanistan for reasons such as advancing the rights of women and as some other commenters have said you can make a pretty strong case that women had it better under the Soviet puppets than they do under the US puppets. But no one but a Soviet apologist would seriously claim that was the real reason the Soviets were there. It was for strategic reasons about the region, how volatile it is, how critical the “stan” nations were to the viability of the Soviet Union, etc. Women’s rights was just an excuse and I maintain pretty much any example you can come up with, when a nation is claiming that they are invading someone due to human rights there are always other Realpolitik reasons that are the actual drivers and human rights or other altruistic concerns are simply an after thought to justify what are crimes of international law.

            So even when it may accidentally have good short term effects to invade someone, the long term effects, the effect of making the more rational people in the country less able to govern themselves, I maintain those effects always outweigh any transitory benefits. Moreover I maintain that the invading nations such as the Soviets in my example will always inflate the degree to which they care or do things about such human rights issues.

          • In reply to #34 by Red Dog:

            In reply to #33 by Ignorant Amos:
            The problem comes down to the motivation of nations.

            Actually the real motivation can be less important the the fake one.

            . You seem to be saying that not interfering in local politics can have harmful effects and be worse than interfering. I challenge that statement. I would like to know a specific example you are referring to because I doubt that it’s true.

            Napoleon.

            The Soviet Union claimed that it was invading Afghanistan for reasons such as advancing the rights of women and as some other commenters have said you can make a pretty strong case that women had it better under the Soviet puppets than they do under the US puppets. But no one but a Soviet apologist would seriously claim that was the real reason the Soviets were there. It was for strategic reasons about the region, how volatile it is, how critical the “stan” nations were to the viability of the Soviet Union, etc. Women’s rights was just an excuse and I maintain pretty much any example you can come up with, when a nation is claiming that they are invading someone due to human rights there are always other Realpolitik reasons that are the actual drivers and human rights or other altruistic concerns are simply an after thought to justify what are crimes of international law.

            Just because human conditions wasn’t the real reason why Stalin was interested in Afghanistan it doesn’t change the fact that change of they situation would be real. The not real reasons have very real consequences, just like religion might be run by people that don’t believe in it themselves, and be used to keep themselves in power, but what this religion say has real consequences if it is an afterthought or not. Real consequence of not real reason shouldn’t be ignored.

            Nations will use things like human rights as an excuse and as a way to motivate their people to make sacrifices and to motivate the world to let them intervene but in reality I can’t think of a single example where a nation actually put altruistic reasoning ahead of what people like Kissinger call Realpolitik.

            So in other words some of those people actually did believe in those fake humanitarian reason, and as a result could do real positive work, and somebody more skeptical could also act as if that was a real reason, and do something good himself. How are those fake reasons different then if those would be an actual reasons? The difference between those two seems to be mostly in human minds, not in the real world.

            The obvious problem there was that communism didn’t work. If it would then Stalin wouldn’t have to be so oppressive, most people would be very happy to live in working communist system.

          • In reply to #35 by Maki:

            Actually the real motivation can be less important the the fake one.

            I disagree. The real motivation is critical. If the real motivation for the Soviets invading Afghanistan was women’s rights they would have focused on women’s rights but it wasn’t so they didn’t. And the same with the US, when you cut through all the bullshit the US puppets are marginally (at best) less theocratic, backwards, and misogynistic than the Taliban. But it doesn’t matter because the real reason the US is there has nothing to do with fighting “militant Islam” that is just an excuse.

            Napolean

            My favorite story about Napoleon is when Beethoven ripped up (supposedly) the dedication of the Eroica symphony and said something like “he’s a tryant like all the rest”. Debating Napoleon’s influence and motivations takes us pretty far from the modern world. I think I could still make a case that I’m right even there but instead I’ll just say that such examples are irrelevant. I’m talking about the modern world. The world dominated by monarchies that Napoleon lived in was so different that I’ll concede possibly my thesis was wrong then (actually I really doubt it but I”m not in the mood to start reading up on the Napoleonic wars).

            Just because human conditions wasn’t the real reason why Stalin was interested in Afghanistan it doesn’t change the fact that change of they situation would be real.

            You don’t know much about the history of the region. This all happened starting with a coup in the 70′s well after Stalin was dead. And it does change facts as I said when Imperialist nations invade countries they may say they are doing it for human rights reasons, they may convince themselves they are doing it for that reason but they will never convince the people they are invading. Find me some quotes from human rights workers or feminists who were native afghans and who said “we welcome our Soviet overlords!” If you do I guarantee it was at the threat of being disappeared to a gulag that motivated them. And you can’t use the military to do “nation building” it just doesn’t work that isn’t what they are trained in. I don’t agree with US generals on many topics but that is one topic where I do absolutely agree with them.

          • In reply to #36 by Red Dog:

            In reply to #35 by Maki:

            Actually the real motivation can be less important the the fake one.

            I disagree. The real motivation is critical. If the real motivation for the Soviets invading Afghanistan was women’s rights they would have focused on women’s rights but it wasn’t so they didn’t.

            They would still impose they laws that were much better for females, real motivation or not.

            And the same with the US, when you cut through all the bullshit the US puppets are marginally (at best) less theocratic, backwards, and misogynistic than the Taliban. But it doesn’t matter because the real reason the US is there has nothing to do with fighting “militant Islam” that is just an excuse.

            USA has no ideology. I had never claimed otherwise. This actually shows why realpolitik without any fake humanitarian goals is worse then realpolitiks with fake humanitarian goals. If they would actually fight with Islamist ideology then we would be in much better situation now even if that would just be an excuse the consequences of that would be real.

            My favorite story about Napoleon is when Beethoven ripped up (supposedly) the dedication of the Eroica symphony and said something like “he’s a tryant like all the rest”. Debating Napoleon’s influence and motivations takes us pretty far from the modern world. I think I could still make a case that I’m right even there but instead I’ll just say that such examples are irrelevant. I’m talking about the modern world. The world dominated by monarchies that Napoleon lived in was so different that I’ll concede possibly my thesis was wrong then (actually I really doubt it but I”m not in the mood to start reading up on the Napoleonic wars).

            People confuse strength, and tenacity of a person with his politics being good or bad for the people. Modern world is still in big part run by dictators, and religion.

            ou don’t know much about the history of the region. This all happened starting with a coup in the 70′s well after Stalin was dead. And it does change facts as I said when Imperialist nations invade countries they may say they are doing it for human rights reasons, they may convince themselves they are doing it for that reason but they will never convince the people they are invading. Find me some quotes from human rights workers or feminists who were native afghans and who said “we welcome our Soviet overlords!” If you do I guarantee it was at the threat of being disappeared to a gulag that motivated them. And you can’t use the military to do “nation building” it just doesn’t work that isn’t what they are trained in. I don’t agree with US generals on many topics but that is one topic where I do absolutely agree with them.

            I don’t. I don’t even recall this region discussed in my history class. And you can do nation building after military intervention, USA did it in western Europe, and in Japan, both are now allies of USA. USRR did it in eastern Europe, and it would work if not for the economic collapse.

  13. The way things are going at present in America, how long before God’s blessed domain regresses to this state of affairs?

    And while I’m about it, how long before this “green and pleasant Land” does as much?

    Madness!

    And whence stems this madness?

    Oh dear oh dear, I’m going all rhetorical again.

    • In reply to #23 by Stafford Gordon: Muslims have already done some of these atrocities in the US. All I can say to anyone else trying such is “Bring it on”.

      The way things are going at present in America, how long before God’s blessed domain regresses to this state of affairs?

      And while I’m about it, how long before this “green and pleasant Land” does as much?

      Madness!

      And whence stems this madness?

      Oh dear oh dear, I’m going all rhetorical again.

    • In reply to #28 by esmith4102:

      Fellow Americans: Let’s get the fuc_ outta this third rate sewage of a country. NOW!!!

      I agree with getting out but I think it’s extreme arrogance and/or ignorance to call the country a sewer without acknowledging that the US has a great deal of responsibility for the sewage. Which doesn’t mean I think we should stay and try to clean it up because the longer we stay the worse we make it and the less of a chance we give the Afghans to establish their own country.

  14. Raise your right hand if you believe stoning actually ever stopped in this particular Islamic Hell hole …
    It didn’t. Stoning, acid throwing, shooting, lashing, burying live, burning alive, beating to death, beheading, etc., ad nauseum. I read articles about this every day all over this part of the world.

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