"According to the Scriptures, it's the government's job to enforce God's law and to uphold his law, and the Bible talks about how, I don't want to really get into this — it'll make me sound like I'm crazy — but it does talk about how [homosexuals] are to be put to death. The wages of sin is death. But I want to make [it] clear that I'm not advocating the [independent] killing of homosexuals. … I'm saying that the government's duty is to uphold God's law. … I know that's harsh, but we have all broken the law, God's law, and we need to be held accountable." Christian activist Michael Marcavage to the Philadelphia City Paper.
Adultery is forbidden in Islam, which places sentences ranging between flogging to stoning to death on the adulterers unless they repent and change their evil ways.
However, people are not entitled to stone the adulterers by their own hands, for it's the responsibility of the Muslim state and its concerned bodies to do the punishment in order to maintain peace and security and prevent chaos and disorder.
Islam sets very specific and clear-cut conditions to prove adultery.
The person accused of adultery makes a confession and does not go back on it. Once the person retracts his/her confession, he/she is not punishable because there is no proof of the act.
Four reliable and pious men testify that they witnessed the act and actually saw the male sexual organ inserted into the vagina.
A woman without a husband found to be pregnant.
Scholars agreed on the first two methods of proving adultery, but disputed the third one; some scholars rejected the third point as proof.
It should also be clear that the punishment should be prevented as much as possible.
In the name of Islamic principles, there should be an immediate moratorium in the Muslim world. First, the ulama are not in agreement on the interpretation or authenticity of texts referring to such injunctions or on the political and social contexts in which they would be applicable. Second, the punitive application of the sharia today is used by repressive powers to abuse women, the poor, and political opponents within a quasi-legal vacuum. Muslim conscience cannot accept this injustice. Third, Muslim populations, without direct access to many of the relevant texts, tend to believe that devotion to Islam requires a strict and visible display of punishment, partly in opposition to 'the West." It is necessary to resist such a formalistic drift.
(From the State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration)
In the year following the defeat of the Taliban, more than 2 million Afghan refugees returned to Afghanistan, more than 3 million Afghan children – boys and girls – returned to school, 15 million Afghan children were immunized against polio, and 8 million children were immunized against measles.
These are some of the outstanding humanitarian success stories in Afghanistan during 2002, according to a fact sheet issued January 10 by the State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM).
The PRM Bureau provided funds totaling over $110 million to the United Nations and other international organizations, as well as to non-government organizations (NGOs) to carry out programs for Afghans. Such programs include health care, shelter, vocational and literacy training, and education.
the warlords have largely used their official positions to cement their own authority in the regions they control and have resisted attempts to disarm their personal militias or meld them into the national army.
She can't leave the house without an all-covering blue burqa, many of her relatives are scandalised, but Shahida Hussain is preparing to stand for parliament anyway.
The 50-year-old women's rights activist who lives in the Taliban spiritual heartland of Afghanistan is one of at least two women in the southern city of Kandahar who are preparing to stand for elections in Afghanistan's parliamentary polls on September 18.
Khan says all of the women at the workshop have fathers and brothers or other relatives involved in the Milli Gund party or they wouldn't be allowed to get involved in politics, but he says it's a step in the right direction.
"At least the women are out of the home and finding out about politics," he says.
Getting party representatives to sit around the table and discuss politics is also a major step forward, Khan adds.
"We had a meeting here last week with eight political parties and people who had been thirsty to kill each other were sitting and talking. That's big progress," he says.
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