Nigerian court upholds death-by-stoning sentence on adulterous mother.
August 19, 2002 7:43 PM   Subscribe

Nigerian court upholds death-by-stoning sentence on adulterous mother. The ruling will stay as it was; the now 30-year-old woman, sentenced to die for having a child out of wedlock, will be executed in January 2004, the time the court has deemed "she will no longer be necessary to breast-feed the baby." You read that right. Something tells me they didn't.
posted by XQUZYPHYR (62 comments total)
 
I am vaguely reminiscent of a thread that might have been here about the original case, but I've only been posting here for a few weeks, so if I'm right perhaps one of the ol' folks could help me out here. Or I can just add my personal "This is the most goddam ridiculous backwards animalistic thing I have ever heard... this week" right here.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:49 PM on August 19, 2002


The New York Times has a photo of the mother and child. It's a stunning and appalling violation in so many different ways I have trouble finding the words that do it justice. The case reminds me of Pim Fortuyn's political candidacy, which brought into question whether tolerant Western countries can assimilate immigrants whose personal spin on religion is so fundamentally intolerant they would reach a sentence like this.
posted by rcade at 7:55 PM on August 19, 2002


From the article:
"Lawal is the second Nigerian woman to be condemned to death by Islamic courts for having sex out of wedlock. The first, Safiya Hussaini, had her sentence overturned in March on an appeal."
So she will probably be OK, except of course for the trauma of a death sentence. Also, apparently Nigeria doesn't have DNA testing yet.
"The man Lawal identified as her baby's father denied the accusation and was acquitted in March for lack of evidence. "
Which to me seems kind of scary, although not as scary as the idea of killing a woman for having a good time/making a mistake (circle the statement you feel comfortable with). But what I really want to know, and what the article does not address is this:
If she is killed in 2004, who will care for the child? For some reason I don't expect the state to take much pity on the child of a "sinner"
posted by Grod at 8:08 PM on August 19, 2002


The man Lawal identified as her baby's father denied the accusation and was acquitted in March for lack of evidence.

Unfortunately, Lawal had the "evidence" of her own adultery inside her womb. So she gets stoned and he goes free.

I try hard not to be overly judgmental about other cultures, but in this case it is difficlt for me to understand why a religious group would think it is better for a baby to be motherless rather than be raised by an adulterer. I can understand a culture that wants to use shame as a weapon against promiscuity (as in the case of the Puritans: See The Scarlet Letter.) I am sure given the choice, Lawel would much rather be branded on her forehead than be stoned.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:11 PM on August 19, 2002


True, Grod, but they seem to be enticed to having the infant raised healthy and well until the age of three... at which point they apparently think it's healthy and natural for the child to watch its mother get violently murdered.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:13 PM on August 19, 2002


A fundamentalist Islamic run government? Where have I heard that before?

You'd think that after the Taliban, people would realize it just doesn't work.

Just one more reason why I'm grateful that we, for the most part, have a separation of Church and State here in the US.
posted by lasthrsman at 8:17 PM on August 19, 2002


lasthrsman, we do have separation of church and state? It's hard to tell these days...
posted by delfuego at 8:40 PM on August 19, 2002


Yet people still pack churches, temples, and mosques to worship the invisible men in the sky. There's this wonderful denial of the fact that religion only holds modern societies back. Free expression, women's rights, and scientific research are hampered by religion in the first world and unsurprisingly religion literally creates its own special kind of hell in in the third world.

lasthrsman I wish I had your optimism especially with Bush and Ashcroft driving the bus.
posted by skallas at 8:59 PM on August 19, 2002


Our book group just finished reading Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, a book relating the effects of British colonization of Nigeria and, in particular, the conflicts between the native spiritualism and the smothering blanket of Christianity. It lends an interesting perspective to this case, I think.

Part of our discussion focused on the always thought provoking merits (or lack thereof) of cultural relativism. In the traditional culture depicted in Things Fall Apart, when twins were born, the infants were taken to the forest and left to die. Twins were considered evil. For our western Judeo-Christian perspective, this is appalling.

This case is even more interesting because it has multiple levels of cultural relativism: the non-native Islamic presence in a traditional culture being judged from our Western perspective.

From the article: The introduction of Islamic law, or Shariah, in a dozen northern states has sparked clashes between the country's Christians and Muslims. And these Christians and Muslims comprise groups that are practicing non-native religions, religions wholly unsuited to the environment.

I never know what is right any more.
posted by jdroth at 9:02 PM on August 19, 2002




Just because we can't see him doesn't make him invisible, skallas.

For our western Judeo-Christian perspective, this is appalling.

You don't know what to think? You can't tell if leaving two children to die is wrong? What the f... it's not worth it. How do you know a specific religion is not suited to a specific environment. Religion ain't science, batman.
posted by insomnyuk at 9:08 PM on August 19, 2002


You'd think that after the Taliban, people would realize it just doesn't work.

Wudjoo talkin' bout, Willis? You know what brought the Taliban down, right? Hint: it wasn't their mismanagement of the country! The Taliban have been martyred, which inspires courageous young Islamists everywhere to follow their example. If the Taliban had simply collapsed under the weight of its own incompetence (which I suspect would have happened within a few years or so) they would certainly have become an example of what not to do. But that didn't happen, so instead they're heroes of the faith.

I don't say this with the intent of condemning the attack on Afghanistan (what a great way to derail the thread that would be). I'm still not sure, one way or another, whether that was a good thing or not. But I just don't see anyone open to Muslim fundamentalism saying "let's not do that, or we'll end up like the Taliban." Ending up like the Taliban -- that is, as martyrs and therefore heroes -- could easily be considered a good thing.
posted by ramakrishna at 9:11 PM on August 19, 2002


Just because we can't see him doesn't make him invisible, skallas.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged, '98:
invisible
\In*vis"i*ble\, n. 1. An invisible person or thing; specifically, God, the Supreme Being.
...

So, there's that.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:18 PM on August 19, 2002


And this whole time I thought invisible was like in the movies, you know, real people who just couldn't be seen.
posted by insomnyuk at 11:18 PM on August 19, 2002


I'm an idiot.
posted by insomnyuk at 11:43 PM on August 19, 2002


Let's take these in order...

Skallas: lasthrsman I wish I had your optimism especially with Bush and Ashcroft driving the bus.

As a very religious person (Pagan Minister actually) and an active citizen of the US (i.e., Vote, write congress/senate, keep up with current stuffs) I have to be optimistic. We have two years left of this Morons On Parade administration. Hopefully in that time, more people will see what a fuckup he really is before the uninformed masses put him back in for a 2nd term. If I believed something like this was inevitable and the damage he's done was irreparable, then I'd go out of my mind.

In an extraordinary show of unity, virtually the entire Senate showed up for a morning prayer Thursday, heads bowed behind their desks, to affirm that the United State is "one nation under God," after a federal appeals court declared the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional.


This is just grandstanding. I put no stock into it. Like everything else those sheep do.

ramakrishna: You make a very good point, and a scary one.
posted by lasthrsman at 12:19 AM on August 20, 2002


If the Taliban had simply collapsed under the weight of its own incompetence

Well, golly, we should have just left 'em alone! Never mind the people being killed under their rule or the guys who killed 3,000+ people being protected by them.

I can see clearly now.
posted by owillis at 12:37 AM on August 20, 2002


'western Judeo-Christian perspective' jdroth? I am an atheist and find infanticide and stoning of women as abhorrent as everyone else on the list. In fact I find this state-sanctioned death sentence more chilling than the abduction and murder of two children by two deranged sick people.
And if you take the notion of 'cultural relativism' to its limits it means you can make no moral judgements on cultures that are different from your own - an argument I've heard from pro-Apartheid white South Africans who say 'you just don't understand our culture'. Do you mean that if the stoning was sanctioned by a 'native' religion the action would be in any sense less appalling?
I take issue with the phrase 'non-native religions, religions wholly unsuited to the environment' for number of reasons. The majority of those who practice religion do not follow a 'native' religion and I'm sure few of those would see their faith as being enviromentally specific. Many Muslims would uphold the view that stoning women to death is nothing to do with Islam but a corrupted local interpretation of their religion.
Colonialism is an important factor in this sorry state of affairs, but the implied notion of 'native spirtualism=good', 'everything else=bad' is highly dubious.
posted by rolo at 1:21 AM on August 20, 2002


this is as much to do with poverty as islam. these cases are coming from small, remote villages where there is no 'law and order', no central government authority. the women are also uneducated.

given just how criminal nigeria's government has been and to a lesser extent remains so today, it is possible to see how people have retreated from contempory institutions to the koran.

but nigeria has never been a byword for morality, ethics etc etc
posted by quarsan at 2:08 AM on August 20, 2002


Boy, that just makes me so mad! On so many levels. Bloody misogynist barbarians!

Hopefully, she'll be able to appeal succesfully, like the last time a Nigerian woman was condemned to stoning.

BTW: This has nothing to do with Islam per se -- this is just a product of fundamentalism. The Bible tell people to do the very same.

Leviticus 20:
10: And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death."

Deut. 22:
22: If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.

(Source: this fundamentalist webpage)
posted by cx at 3:45 AM on August 20, 2002


The Bible tell people to do the very same.

Yeah, except for the part in the New Testament where Christ forgives the prostitute, or when Paul instructs the church to forgive the woman who comitted adultery and bring her back into the church. Only the most orthodox Jews and strict Christian Biblical Reconstructionists would even consider adultery punishable by civil law. On a lighter note, at least Leviticus/Deuteronomy ascribe equal punishment to men and women.
posted by insomnyuk at 5:44 AM on August 20, 2002


Safiya Husaini, the woman who won her appeal against a similar sentence in March won won because the courts ruled that 'the adultery in question took place before the sharia law had been passed, and so the crime was beyond the court's jurisdiction. ' As such, I'm not sure it holds much hope for Lawal.

In other news, Nigeria is bidding for the 2012 Olympics
posted by darsh at 5:59 AM on August 20, 2002


I am an atheist and find infanticide and stoning of women as abhorrent as everyone else on the list.

Rolo: I, too, am an atheist. I, too, find infanticide and the stoning of women abhorrent. (Hell, I find the stoning of anyone abhorrent.) Further, I made no claims that native religions were somehow superior to non-native religions.

However, I do believe that non-native religions are better adapted to their cultures. A body of rules and laws arises around a society's shared environment and understanding of that environment, and this shared ethos assists in living day-to-day in a way that an "outside" religion (or set of rules, if you prefer) cannot do.

Is infanticide always wrong? What about in an environment already overburdened beyond its carrying capacity? Perhaps the Nigerian Igbo developed the practice of leaving twins to die as a means of providing some sort of natural balance, as some sort of small check to overpopulation. Who knows? I cannot just say "this is wrong" without more information.

The stoning of this woman is wrong, though!

I did not mean to advocate cultural relativism, or to propose that one religion was better than some other religion. I was merely trying to note an interesting relationship between the themes of Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart and this current situation.
posted by jdroth at 6:18 AM on August 20, 2002


Insomnyuk, I wasn't my intention to imply that such a praxis is Christian per se. Just that it is fundamentalistic, and if you are being a fundamentalist about it, it doesn't matter whether you're Christian or Muslim.

BTW, I consider myself a Christian, but I have to say, that except for the four Gospels, most of the Bible should be thrown in the rubbish can. But that's just MHO, of course.
posted by cx at 6:40 AM on August 20, 2002


o.k. J.D.Roth. There is a great mefi thread (august 17) on cultural relativism that goes way beyond this discussion and I won't attempt to repeat it here.
This was one hell of a depressing news story and darsh's comment above makes it worse.
posted by rolo at 6:56 AM on August 20, 2002


Ok, so here's a suggestion: Send a comment to the IOC and let them know that you believe that Nigeria should not be considered for the 2012 games. Maybe more international pressure will move them to reconsider her sentence.
posted by greengrl at 7:14 AM on August 20, 2002


and her conviction... but that may take much more than just international pressure.
posted by greengrl at 7:16 AM on August 20, 2002


Is infanticide always wrong?

Add one more name to the list of people who will never be allowed to baby-sit my children.
posted by rcade at 7:44 AM on August 20, 2002


Hmm... state sponsored death penalties for moral crimes, are called for by many citizens - in the US (for rape or murder), in Nigeria and elsewhere (for unmarried sex). No-one deserves this. It would greatly concern me if my civil liberties became restricted by some one's religious beliefs [oh wait - they already do]
posted by dash_slot- at 7:57 AM on August 20, 2002


Is infanticide always wrong?... Who knows? I cannot just say "this is wrong" without more information. - posted by jdroth at 6:18 AM PST on August 20
So...rather than develop some effective form of contraception (many forms existed before the pill, even tho' not exactly 100%), let the human child die in agony from exposure &/or starvation? What a psychological burden for the family & tribe! And just as ridiculously unevolved as stoning an adultress.
I don't care much that it's another culture: some cultures are murderously racist (mediaeval europe, for example, to side step Godwin's law), or murderously sexist (Puritan England),. or - lest we forget the cradle of democracy - murderously infanticidal (ancient Greece).
I'll take no lessons from any of the fundies on morality when innocent, vulnerable humans are killed in their culture for victimless 'crimes'.
posted by dash_slot- at 8:14 AM on August 20, 2002


I just went to http://www.olympic.org/ - no good, as you can't seem to email them! I wanted to say:
With the abuse of women's rights in Nigeria, especially when adultery is punishable by death (for the woman), orphanage (for the infant), and NO PUNISHMENT for the father, is Nigeria a real contender for the 2012 Games?


However, this is their contact info:
International Olympic Committee
Ch√Ęteau de Vidy
1007 Lausanne
Switzerland

Tel: (41.21) 621 61 11
Fax: (41.21) 621 62 16
posted by dash_slot- at 8:37 AM on August 20, 2002


I dont know what evidence was presented for the man to be released but I would really want to know why. But in the case of the woman, if she admits that she has the baby out of wedlock, the Quran is clear about that. Her fate is according to the religion she accepted and adheres to, and she knew very well the commandments of her creator. This is her religion, her way of life and as a Muslimah she can not pick and choose from Islam what she would adhere to and what she would ignore unlike the path Christians have chosen.

This is their way of life, we can make our individual judgements but thats all we can do.
posted by adnanbwp at 8:40 AM on August 20, 2002


Well, golly, we should have just left 'em alone!

owillis, I specifically said my comment was not intended to condemn the attacks on Afghanistan. The point is: the Taliban were not just evil misogynist barbarians (and nobody say anything about this being a logical part of Islam here, even Iran called them extremist); they were also incompetent nitwits with no clue how to run a government effectively and do the things they themselves intended that government to do. I strongly suspect that their regime would have collapsed in a few years if they had been left alone; and that such a fall would have seriously discredited them among radical Islamists in a way that being attacked by Americans emphatically did not. Does any of that justify the additional suffering to women that would have been caused by leaving them alone for a few years, or the additional risk to American lives from not destroying the al-Qaeda training camps in the ensuing time? Perhaps not, but the point still stands.
posted by ramakrishna at 8:55 AM on August 20, 2002


rcade: kudos. Someone on metafilter actually understands Fortuyn's ideas rather than, like the NYT, painting him as a Neo-Nazi.
posted by goethean at 9:20 AM on August 20, 2002


I dont know what evidence was presented for the man to be released but I would really want to know why.

He didn't have to present evidence to be released. He just had to say "I didn't do it" and that was good enough. Of course a woman cannot simply deny the charges in many cases since she's the one that carries the evidence - the child. Thus the law can never be applied fairly and equally to both sexes.

This is her religion, her way of life and as a Muslimah she can not pick and choose from Islam what she would adhere to and what she would ignore

Well, my opinion is that people should choose to use the gifts that God, Allah, or whomever gave to them - reason, wisdom, and mercy - instead of blindly adhering to a dogmatic set of principles.
posted by pitchblende at 9:21 AM on August 20, 2002


You have the right to your opinion sir/ma'am, as I mentioned earlier, but the point is the same. Thats the rule of the way of live she chose. She has to follow it all and does not have the liberty to pick and choose.
posted by adnanbwp at 9:38 AM on August 20, 2002


adnan: followed to it's logical conclusion, shouldn't every state have separate penal/civil codes for each citizen's religion - and one for the atheists & agnostics, too?
come to think of it, this idea could be the of fundementalism, as on maturity, each person would elect to be treated under each code, and the brutal, sexist, hateful theologies would wither on the vine...

[wakes from daydream...]
posted by dash_slot- at 10:00 AM on August 20, 2002


adnan: but according to the Hadith, doesn't she deserve death if she chooses to become an apostate, to leave Islam? Or are you suggesting she simply moves to a country which does not enact Sharia?
posted by insomnyuk at 10:05 AM on August 20, 2002


It sure must be a day dream because its not very practical to have different laws under our system. But in a Muslim state, the law is that of Sharia and is applicable for every Muslim in that state. Now if people belonging to other faiths live in a Muslim state, they can live their lives according to what is demanded of their faith as long as it does not openly and publicly hinder with the ongoings of a Muslim society. Meaning for example if you do not fast during the month of Ramadan cuz you belong to some other faith, you have the right to eat and drink whenever u want but u shouldnt out in the open where a majority is fasting. Its not only moral but also the right thing to do. I have seen some people do that here in my office just cuz they respect me and I deeply appreciate that.

Now, we are talking about a Muslim state. Any state where minorities are oppressed or killed in the name of Islam is not really a Muslim state to begin with.

So in closing, even in the US, the US courts accept cultural and religious marriage arrangements of its inhabitants. So as far as possible, every state does accomodate for its citizinery's beliefs. Now if proven and given the death penalty, Moussavi would not be spared because he is French and the French do not have a death penalty law. Because this is US and it has its own law and rules of its society. The French have the right to voice their opinions but they shouldnt interfere with how the US court punishes Moussavi. Similarly we can voice our opinions, but since Nigerians have inacted the Sharia, this is what their law says about a married woman having sex with some one other than her husband. And we should not interfere just like the French shouldnt.
posted by adnanbwp at 10:13 AM on August 20, 2002


Adnan, you may find that this fellow disagrees with you.
posted by cell divide at 10:22 AM on August 20, 2002


At the bottom of the IOC page, you'll see a link that says "Public Suggestions" -- you can use the form there to comment on the "Bidding Process". That's what I did, anyway.
posted by greengrl at 10:22 AM on August 20, 2002


um, this isn't going to affect the pending transfer of $US10 million into my account, is it? Dr. Hosi Muwumba will be soooo dissapointed.
posted by quonsar at 10:27 AM on August 20, 2002


cell devide which one of those posts were u referring to. Couldya tell me the ID of the poster plz. thanks.
posted by adnanbwp at 10:40 AM on August 20, 2002


adnanbwp: Do you really think this woman can be said to have chosen her religion and it's rules? Was she ever - in even the slightest degree - allowed to be exposed to differing ideas and values? Can anyone growing up in a fundamentalist religious culture be said to have a true choice in the matter?

Given a real choice in the matter of belief, do you imagine that nearly 50% of Nigerian women would submit - or make their daughters submit - to female circumcision?
posted by John Smallberries at 11:06 AM on August 20, 2002


Good point, John Smallberries. What kind of "choice" are we talking about here?
posted by beth at 11:40 AM on August 20, 2002


hadith- punishment for apostasy
posted by insomnyuk at 11:52 AM on August 20, 2002


All this Nigeria sharia court stuff, in addition to the Pakistan stuff, is just embarassing for me as a Muslim. Shari'a law is quite complex and, believe it or not, has a lot of room for personal freedom. Levying the hadd punishments (capital punishment, etc.) is not something to be taken lightly, and at least in theory the standard of proof that needs to be applied is so high as to make the punishment extremely rare.

There is a strong privacy foundation in Shari'a, where you cannot incriminate yourself, even under pressure, and whatever you do in the privacy of your own home is between you and God. There is a hadith where a woman came to the Prophet to confess adultery, and he pretended not to hear her (even though she said it three times) because he didn't want to know about it and/or inflict the punishment. Even if this person was asked point blank about adultery, she had the right not to answer, and the fact that she bore a child is *not* evidence of adultery so long as rape was a possibility.

I think Shi'apundit put it best when he referred to tribal customs being wrapped up in an Islamic cloak to give it legitimacy. That explains the warped verdicts in Pakistan as well. In more advanced Muslim countries like Turkey and Malaysia, the shari'a is being interpreted in a very much different way (in the former, it is being interpreted to allow women equal religious rights in the mosque).
posted by laz-e-boy at 12:36 PM on August 20, 2002


The punishment is extremely rare but it does not mean that it doesn happen. It is in the sharia to be practiced not to be framed and hung on the wall. Therefore if circumstances arise and valid proof is found then the commandment is clear. Adultery should be equally frowned upon wether it is a backward Muslim state or an Advanced one.

What on earth is female circumcision ? Oh man this is terrible. WHAT KINDA MESSED UP PPL ARE THESE ?

If a person is not happy with what he/she knows, its his/her duty to look for further answers. The opportunity is always there. What is the "differing idea and value" one should be exposed to, that it is OK to sleep around with several men or women out of wedlock ?
posted by adnanbwp at 1:22 PM on August 20, 2002


If a person is not happy with what he/she knows, its his/her duty to look for further answers. The opportunity is always there.

It is? When you are in extreme poverty, and just keeping food on the table and a roof over your head is a daily struggle, and you have no formal education, and all you know of the world is what you see around you?

There are a huge number of different value systems and beliefs in the world. Sure, yes, one differing idea could be that "...it is OK to sleep around with several men or women out of wedlock...." - which is not what she has done in this case. But another idea is that sleeping with someone does not justify being brutally murdered.

In order to change things, wouldn't she need to know that other ways even exist? Is she expected to form entire concepts of philosophy starting from zero?

But assume this woman is someone capable of overcoming all of this - and I would argue that would require her to be a genius - and still develop on her own a new set of beliefs, would the community accept that? Tolerate her beliefs? Banish her? Or maybe... stone her?
posted by John Smallberries at 2:19 PM on August 20, 2002


What is the "differing idea and value" one should be exposed to, that it is OK to sleep around with several men or women out of wedlock?

Interesting. So what is worse?

a) Condemning someone to death for adultery
b) Condemning someone to death by sleeping with them while knowing that you're HIV+ (as is so common in Africa)
posted by laz-e-boy at 3:14 PM on August 20, 2002


grngrrl: that comments section seems to be focussed on the issue of scaling down the Games, so - to keep my comment 'relevant', i posted this:

Down sizing the games

My suggestion for the reform of the games is that the IOC must decide to award the 2012 Games to Nigeria, as by then, the number of controversial & inhumane decisions made under the severe and repressive 'Sharia' laws will inevitably have led to a boycott of Nigerian cultural, sporting and tourist activities.

This movement will link individuals (including athletes, fans, volunteer workers and donors) with corporations and municipal boroughs, to dwarf even the anti-apartheid boycotts of the 70's and 80's; however, it will similarly achieve total vindication and satisfaction. It will also mean that the Games awarded to Nigeria could be a truly slimline event, enabling even the smallest Nigerian towns and cities to host these games.

Alternatively, the IOC might see that it would be inappropriate to collude with such regimes, award the 2012 Olympics to an alternative, more compassionate and sensible regime, incidentally having the effect not only of burnishing the reputation, image and integrity of the IOC - but of renewing the commitment of mankind to the pristine ideals of the ancient Games, and their modern renaissance.

Personally, I don't want to see the Games shrink at all: I would understand if the decision went in Nigeria's favour exactly what the message meant, to women under this system and to people all around the world: lethal, state sanctioned discrimination is not a sufficient reason to lose honour in the eyes of the from the IOC.

yours , john .............

[address]
posted by dash_slot- at 3:34 PM on August 20, 2002


I voted for Houston to host 2012 Olympics. Go Houston.
posted by adnanbwp at 3:45 PM on August 20, 2002


Lets hope the Texan X'ian Junta has been retired by then, too.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:47 PM on August 20, 2002


Who is X'ian Junta and why should he/she retire ?
posted by adnanbwp at 3:48 PM on August 20, 2002


I forgot the sarcasm tag, yh?

X'ian Junta = the Christian Fundamentalists in G Bush's govt. with links to Texas . They shouldn't impose their religious morals on a secular America (and, by extension, the world), as I am similarly arguing above about Islam & Nigeria.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:02 PM on August 20, 2002


Therefore if circumstances arise and valid proof is found then the commandment is clear.

But if shari'a allows for utmost privacy and this woman has not confessed, and the man involved has denied his involvement, then what is the valid proof against this woman which justifies putting her to death for literally a moment which no one can prove happened with her consent? She got pregnant outside of marriage, yes. (If we want to be technical, that makes her a fornicator, not an adulterer. If her partner was married, then he's an adulterer.) But does that prove that she had sex? The presumed father of her child denies it, perhaps she was merely inseminated with his sperm? (Stranger things have happened.) Is being made pregnant an act that is punishable by death?

She could have been raped and is afraid to say so, because of the numerous cases in which a woman claims rape, the accused is asked "did you" and he says "of course not" and the woman is instantly jailed for the "false accusation" and is treated with grave disrespect and great violence. (And let's not discuss honor killings. Let's just don't.)

We don't know if she felt that it was better to not bring up a rape charge and instead face this adultery case. If she knew the outcome of previous cases, she may have taken those instances and the fact that she's had a child as hope that she would be insulated from severe penalty. None of that is valid proof of jack crap.

In re: Olympics 2012 -- the games are going to China, despite world outcry about that nation's vast human rights abuses. I'm not holding my breath that they won't go to Nigeria as well.
posted by Dreama at 4:19 PM on August 20, 2002


What on earth is female circumcision ? Oh man this is terrible. WHAT KINDA MESSED UP PPL ARE THESE ?
With all due respect adnan, sounds like (assumption here) they are your co-religionists. They may ahve a less advanced sect, but I beleive femalecircumcision is practised in many muslim countries - not just Nigeria.
I know they won't listen to protests of this white, western, atheist apostate: change must come from within Islam, if it comes at all
posted by dash_slot- at 4:37 PM on August 20, 2002


dash_slot... here is a relevent excerpt from this page:

FGM: A cultural not a religious practice:
This mutilating operation is often associated mainly with the religion of Islam. This is incorrect. FGM is primarily a social practice, not a religious one. Female genital mutilation predated Islam. It originated in Africa and remains today a mainly African cultural practice. Some indicators of this are:

It is widely practiced in countries where the predominant religion is Christianity: Examples are Ethiopia and Kenya.
In multi-faith countries, it is often forced on girls whose families follow all faiths: Animism religions, Christianity, and Islam. For example, it is frequently practiced among both Muslims, Christians and Animists in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, and Sudan.
FGM was once practiced by Ethiopian Jews

etc, etc. There are many issues at work regarding FGM, this article does a good job of summarising the religious aspects as well as the cultural ones.
posted by cell divide at 4:47 PM on August 20, 2002


My apologies to muslims as I was under the impression that this was exclusively experienced under Islam. In fact, where this takes place in multi-ethnic countries, it appears the tradition spans religion and ethnicity.
Info on FGM:

It has been reported among Muslim populations in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Malaysia, although very little is known about the practice in these countries. In India, a small Muslim sect, the Daudi Bohra, practise clitoridectomy.

In the Middle East, FGM is practised in Egypt (98%), Oman, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates.

There have been reports of FGM among certain indigenous groups in central and south America, but little information is available.

FGM predates Islam and is not practised by the majority of Muslims, but has acquired a religious dimension. Where it is practised by Muslims, religion is frequently cited as a reason. Many of those who oppose mutilation deny that there is any link between the practise and religion, but Islamic leaders are not unanimous on the subject. The Qur'an does not contain any call for FGM, but a few hadith (sayings attributed to the Prophet Muhammad) refer to it. In one case, in answer to a question put to him by 'Um 'Attiyah (a practitioner of FGM), the Prophet is quoted as saying "reduce but do not destroy". Mutilation has persisted among some converts to Christianity. Christian missionaries have tried to discourage the practice, but found it to be too deep rooted. In some cases, in order to keep converts, they have ignored and even condoned the practice.
posted by dash_slot- at 5:02 PM on August 20, 2002


Man, I was born and raised in Pakistan, and I had never heard of FGM before today. My genitalia hurts thinking about it, and I aint even a woman :S
posted by adnanbwp at 9:43 PM on August 20, 2002


Will all due respect Dreama, I don't think the post you're replying to is worth it. Surely the woman could have been sleeping with the whole of Nigeria because she's a nymphomaniac and she still wouldn't deserve being stoned to death. We don't have to accept the laws of Sharia here. The argument that we shouldn't interfere in another country's business is irrelevant. We're not interfering, we're discussing.
posted by Summer at 2:17 AM on August 21, 2002


adnanbwp : I have a question. Who are you, or anyone else, to decide how one chooses to live their spiritual life?

I have often said that Going to church no more makes you a Christian than going to your garage makes you a car. It takes faith and following the doctrine of your chosen religion to make you, fully, a member. However, it's not a crime (in the US) to be a bad Christian, Jew, Muslim or Pagan. If she is not a devout Muslim, or, if she is just human and made a mistake, that is not the business of others.

She is being sentenced to death for screwing up. I'd challenge ANYONE, from the highest and holiest to the lowest member of any religion to stand up and say that they have NEVER made a mistake, or gone against the doctrine of their religion. Show me one, and I'll either call that person a liar or the messiah.

"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
posted by lasthrsman at 5:16 PM on August 21, 2002


« Older Jose Padilla is an US citizen   |   Manzanar War Relocation Center Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments