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Iran murderess given stoning verdict for adultery
May 18, 2005 5:31 AM   Subscribe

Iran murderess given stoning verdict for adultery Death by stoning for adultery is still a possibility in Iran. (I'm guessing "Desperate Housewives" doesn't have an Iranian TV equivalent.)
posted by kmtharakan (47 comments total)

 
*sigh* Way to skew the story.

An Iranian mother of two who strangled her lover to death has been sentenced to die by stoning.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:45 AM on May 18, 2005


Here in America we'd try and convict her and she'd probably end up with life in prison or something. That's so barbaric, but even the people in Iran don't have it right. If a woman strangles her lover to death, she shouldn't be sentenced to death by stoning. She should be strangled to death. That makes more sense, doesn't it? An eye for an eye and all that? Stoning's too good for her. [/sarcasm]
posted by ZachsMind at 5:49 AM on May 18, 2005


Why is it skewed? The stoning verdict *is* for adultery. She still faces hanging for the other crime which happens to be murder.
posted by vbfg at 5:50 AM on May 18, 2005


Right, C_D, but she's been sentenced to hang for the murder. The stoning is specifically for the adultery.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:52 AM on May 18, 2005


Moreover, according to the article :

she was unlikely to face this penalty, which has not been carried out for several years.

So what is the point?
posted by TimothyMason at 5:52 AM on May 18, 2005


"I put the rope around his neck from behind and yanked it tight until he fell to the ground," the official Iran newspaper quoted Fatemeh as telling the judge.

Yep, hanging would be an eye for an eye (qisas in Iranian law).

Stoning (rajm) can also be prescribed for things other than adultery, but the most common case outside that is treason/sedition.. Odd in this case as the conditions for "proof" are either direct confession of guilt or 4 sane, upright witnesses. I'm guessing the former?
posted by Mossy at 6:04 AM on May 18, 2005


American murderer executed today.

Of course, this is incomparable to the link above: he was black and those Iranians are foreigners. And no doubt executing murderers is considered qisas in American Law. Or something. Oh, and this actually happened, unlike the stoning.
posted by andrew cooke at 6:24 AM on May 18, 2005


Why is it skewed?

Just that the broughaha over being an adulterous seemed to gloss over the murder charge and hanging sentence. I mean, if somebody uses an illegal firearm to kill a convenience store clerk, there wouldn't be a fuss like "No permit=15 years to life!"
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:36 AM on May 18, 2005


I am starting to grow a real distaste for the completely skewed or completely wrong posts.
posted by DigDugDag at 6:40 AM on May 18, 2005


Not only did they hang this guy, but they stabbed him first. What would you suggest the punishment be?

Man, stoning seems like a terrible way to go out.
posted by b_thinky at 6:46 AM on May 18, 2005


it seems to me that people who have so little stomach for carrying out their cherished death penalty that they use lethal injection, should not be lecturing others about their methods of executing criminals.

if americans had to witness the brutality of stoning someone to death - or even a public hanging - maybe the penalty of death might less often be given.
posted by three blind mice at 6:47 AM on May 18, 2005


if americans had to witness the brutality of stoning someone to death - or even a public hanging - maybe the penalty of death might less often be given.

Or, it would catch on immediately and become the next big entertainment fad. For centuries, all across the globe, public executions and punishments were (and still are) an event to attend. Remember, these events take place in sports stadiums in the MidEast. I imagine if we implemented them here, it'd be pretty similar.
Making it public wouldn't make it less popular. It'd just make the rest of the entertainment industry try to compete with novelty and reality of death entertainment.

It's better to just not kill people in the first place, isn't it?
posted by Jon-o at 7:29 AM on May 18, 2005


"if americans had to witness the brutality of stoning someone to death - or even a public hanging"

The next reality TV! It would blast Survivor and its ilk completely off the screen.
posted by mischief at 7:37 AM on May 18, 2005


And all this over sex. That the shame is so much that murder is the "best way" out. Note too that the husband participated in the murder, it wasn't just the woman. The husband stabbed the guy.

And this sort of crap happens in the West too.

There is too much focus on women's "purity", a purely imaginary concept. Again, something that's prevalent in the West too (re: pr0n sites that tout virgins and etc)

Sorry, just a lamentation on the sorry state of women from me.
posted by Red58 at 7:39 AM on May 18, 2005


And this sort of crap happens in the West too.

There is too much focus on women's "purity", a purely imaginary concept. Again, something that's prevalent in the West too (re: pr0n sites that tout virgins and etc)


pr0n == stoning?

I get the argument, but that seems a bit much. Most Western states could be considered recovering sexists. Iran still has its head firmly up its ass.
posted by gurple at 7:48 AM on May 18, 2005


Did Reuters just write "murderess"? Really?
posted by 4easypayments at 7:55 AM on May 18, 2005


As I was tossing snails out in the street to get them away from my peas and broccoli this morning, it occurred to me that getting run over by a purportionately large vehicle would be a quick and only very briefly painful way to go.

That said, I am mostly anti death penalty for vertebrates.
posted by Danf at 8:02 AM on May 18, 2005


just a lamentation on the sorry state of women
I hope you mean for women.

Interestingly enough on a slightly different tangent, Kuwait's parliament voted today in favour of allowing women to vote. How progressive of them.
posted by peacay at 8:08 AM on May 18, 2005


Sorry to be unclear. The problem is the idea that a woman's value resides in her purity.

In the West we have have pr0n that touts virgins (as if that makes the women more alluring) and, frankly, a culture that still values female virginity (sexually active women are sluts and sexually active boys are lucky, white wedding dresses to indicate purity, etc ). In other countries it's more brutal and perhaps the woman gets stoned to death and the guy mostly gets away with no punishment (a more extreme version of girl is slut and boy is lucky). The response varies by culture of course.

It seems like a real perversion of any value system to worry about what has or has not been in someone's vagina. Especially while simultaneously having very little concern about where the penises have been.
posted by Red58 at 8:09 AM on May 18, 2005


Yes, I do mean for women. Again, sorry to be unclear.
posted by Red58 at 8:10 AM on May 18, 2005


Snore...
posted by scarabic at 8:14 AM on May 18, 2005


Three Blind Mice says:

"[It] seems to me that people who have so little stomach for carrying out their cherished death penalty that they use lethal injection, should not be lecturing others about their methods of executing criminals. "

No. The lethal injection method was devised to overcome the objections to the other methods raised by the anti-death penalty crowd.

It is sort of like the argument against the death penalty because of the expense of all of the appeals, when those hurdles are the result of those trying to prevent the enforcement of the penalty.
posted by Capt. Bligh at 8:47 AM on May 18, 2005


The lethal injection method was devised to overcome the objections to the other methods raised by the anti-death penalty crowd.

precisely capt. bligh.

the iranians have the stones to keep their brutal laws brutal. there is something to be said for that. americans keep the brutal laws, but timidly introduce civility into how they are carried out.
posted by three blind mice at 9:19 AM on May 18, 2005


The problem is the idea that a woman's value resides in her purity.

I think that's more a symptom than the root of the problem. The real problem is that women are prevented from having real power in countries like Iran.

There's a legitimate biological reason for virgins to be more desirable to men: less chance that you end up raising a kid who isn't your own. It's a holdover from a more primitive phase of society's evolution, and yeah, it's common to both East and West to some extent. Men who are really part of modern Western society either aren't really affected by or overcome the virginity preference. But it's there.

In Iran, though, they've got laws drawn up to enforce virginity and punish women for sexual infidelity. Why can these laws exist? Because the men have power and the women do not. To say that the West has the same problem as Iran, and just expresses it differently (pr0n vs. stoning) is to trivialize the situation of women over there.
posted by gurple at 9:37 AM on May 18, 2005


gurple,

I think your failure to grasp my point is a trivialization of women everywhere.

Yes stoning is TERRIBLE. DEATH is a terrible punishment. ESPECIALLY when not meted out evenly to both sexes.

As for legitimate biological reasons being a justification, well that's another can of worms. It certainly doesn't describe why a virgin might be more sexually desirable (in the context of pr0n for example) Wouldn't an experienced sex partner be more desirable for sexual pleasure? This is one hell of a derail and there's probably a better thread for this, but these symptoms have the same root cause, even though the result for women in some other countries is WAY more severe.
posted by Red58 at 10:17 AM on May 18, 2005


What happens to Iranian men who are unfaithful?
posted by WaterSprite at 10:25 AM on May 18, 2005


I would say the situation in Iran re: women has actually improved since the formation of the Islamic republic. Education and literacy rates have improved and I'm pretty sure there's a higher percentage of females in the majlis than the US senate even.

Sure, it's a long way from being perfect, but with more females than males in university and an increasing reformist lobby, increased equality in rights should be forthcoming in the next few years.

Assuming America doesn't attack it of course, in which case the hardcore faction will rise again with extreme rapidity and cement control.

Light years better than Saudi.
posted by Mossy at 10:28 AM on May 18, 2005


What happens to Iranian men who are unfaithful?

Well, you can bet it isn't death by stoning.
posted by Specklet at 10:35 AM on May 18, 2005


Red58: Wouldn't an experienced sex partner be more desirable for sexual pleasure?

Not in traditional marriage circumstances, although boys have always gone to prostitutes for pleasure, but they pay so there is no risk.
Because I think there's a traditional fear and ignorance among menfolk about women's sexuality.

I reckon repression has enabled men to feel more secure. A virgin bride can't judge their husband's performance comparatively. So there's less fear of ridicule/failure/abandonment. It's that whole 'damaged goods' ethos that persists even today in the west, although probably less frequently and more a silent 'hoping' kind of thing, if I guess right.

But I think the power (stoning, repression, lack of women's rights) is exercised ultimately because of fear.
posted by peacay at 10:52 AM on May 18, 2005


What happens to Iranian men who are unfaithful?

The Qu'ran (and the Bible) prescribe death by stoning as a punishment for adultery. But (in Islam) a person cannot be convicted without a confession or 4 eyewitnesses of sane mind. In this case, the chick confessed.

BTW, the penalty for pre-marital sex is 100 lashes.

I'd bet men are stoned just as often as women, but cases such as these get more attention when international "womyn's" groups complain about them.

I do not have a problem with the death penalty. In fact, I'd like to see more criminals recieve this sentence. For instance, brutal sex offenders such as rapists or pedophiles should be given instant death, in my opinion.
posted by b_thinky at 11:08 AM on May 18, 2005


if americans had to witness the brutality of stoning someone to death

Or witness the brutality of lethal injections and electrocutions. There's a site out there that lists about a hundred lethal injection and electrocution stories, where the procedure went wrong, and it is disgusting beyond belief. And yet... there are states where executions still take place. Sick, sick, sick.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:27 AM on May 18, 2005


Red: I think your failure to grasp my point is a trivialization of women everywhere.

Heh. That sentence is really funny.

Bizarre. You accuse me of trivializing women because I'm decrying the lack of power that women have in Iran and similar countries.

I'm not sure why I'm responding, except to point out that that really makes no sense.
posted by gurple at 11:35 AM on May 18, 2005


Sorry, but I gotta do it:

MetaFilter: Your failure to grasp my point is a trivialization of women everywhere.
posted by gurple at 11:37 AM on May 18, 2005


I'd bet men are stoned just as often as women, but cases such as these get more attention when international "womyn's" groups complain about them.

Are you suggesting that 'womyn' are man haters or over emotional fools? Funny how people are marked as 'haters' when they defend themselves (or their sex or etc).
And as long as we're gonna be THAT specific and, you know, just generally attack those damn "womyn", here are a few sources of male vs female justice in 2 countries.

Here is an article about Pakistan law:

In practice, these laws protect rapists, for a woman who has been raped often finds herself charged with adultery or fornication. To prove zina, four Muslim adult males of good repute must be present to testify that sexual penetration has taken place. Furthermore, in keeping with good Islamic practice, these laws value the testimony of men over women. The combined effect of these laws is that it is impossible for a woman to bring a successful charge of rape against a man; instead, she herself, the victim, finds herself charged with illicit sexual intercourse, while the rapist goes free. If the rape results in a pregnancy, this is automatically taken as an admission that adultery or fornication has taken place with the woman's consent rather than that rape has occurred.

Here something from Iran:

In addition the Islamic Republic in 1980's has e-established that. "A man's testimony is equal to 2 women's." According to the Islamic Penal Laws which is being practiced by the present regime of Iran, "a woman is worth half of a man".


There are also plenty of sites that point out that stoning is not in accordance with Islamic law, and some that say that it is. We are left with the premise that it is, at least, cultural.
posted by Red58 at 11:49 AM on May 18, 2005


It is sort of like the argument against the death penalty because of the expense of all of the appeals, when those hurdles are the result of those trying to prevent the enforcement of the penalty.

Or, you know, maybe it's to prevent innocent people from being executed, it's not like there's no precedent here. And besides that, the people in favour of the death penalty should be the staunchest supporters of the appeals process, to prevent innocent people from being put to death (one of the few areas the pro and anti sides agree is, I suspect, the need to prevent innocent people from being killed).
posted by biscotti at 11:57 AM on May 18, 2005


And besides that, the people in favour of the death penalty should be the staunchest supporters of the appeals process, to prevent innocent people from being put to death

That's the catch-22 about the death penalty. In order to keep innocent people from being killed, you have to create such an onerous appeals process that it costs more to society to kill the person than it does to keep them locked up indefinitely. If it weren't for that issue I'd be squarely pro-death penalty.
posted by gurple at 12:10 PM on May 18, 2005


gurple...Bizarre. You accuse me of trivializing women because I'm decrying the lack of power that women have in Iran and similar countries.

I think what Red58 was trying to communicate is not that stoning of an adultress and 'virgin' pr0n are commensurate, but that they are both examples of how males in this world hold the idea of pure and chaste women to be valuable commodities.

It's a more generalized observation than merely consideration of a culturally sexist anachronism as being a power play. That power play, like the high esteem 'virgins' (however that might be proved) are often held in, to one extent or another around the globe, are both ultimately products of a kind of deranged male attitude towards women.

You may be right to an extent about this repressive attitude arising so as to ensure paternity, but when 'the virgin meme' is played out on pr0n sites as well (ie. strong advertizing suggestion of same), you can take a step back and see it all as a perverted regard of women. Perverted in the sense that it's illogical and based on fictitious beliefs. And as I said above, I reckon the fear factor about female sexuality in tandem with male desire to be the great performer in the sack are equally responsible as traditional paternity surety for both repressive bias against women in some cultures and in the lingering desire of many men to 'land' a virgin. That gives pr0n sites a focus upon which to entice visitors and thereby proliferating this myth that sees female 'virgins' as the great mantle to be acquired by any means.

That's if I've read all this correctly.
posted by peacay at 1:40 PM on May 18, 2005 [1 favorite]


peacay - thank you for the rephrasing
posted by Red58 at 2:35 PM on May 18, 2005


Red58: Article on why more women witnesses are needed than men witnesses. Note that this is religious doctrine, and one that you can't really question, at least in the eyes of a muslim.

As for my wager that more men are stoned that women, it is something I cannot back up. However, I'm arguing that more men than women are stoned as a whole, not just for sexual related crimes.
posted by b_thinky at 3:15 PM on May 18, 2005


Re: two women, one male. In traditional sunni interpretations of the texts (4 madhabs), this is commonly taken to refer to the situation in the previous ayat, ie a financial one and is heavily circumscribed.

Re: Pakistani rape laws. These are odd. Pakistanis are ostensibly sunni, but their rape laws do not fit in with traditional Hanafi (the madhab (methodology) that most subcontinental scholars follow) approach to rule derivation. The pregnancy as evidence descriptor only applies to the Maliki source derivation methodology/school and even then is heavily regulated - eg if she showed distress at approximately the time the incident happened, it is counted as rape. In addition, the testimony of one woman is enough in most of these systems to pretty much convict a man of rape, based on Prophetic traditions relating as much.
posted by Mossy at 4:09 PM on May 18, 2005


Pakistanis are ostensibly sunni, but their rape laws do not fit in with traditional Hanafi (the madhab (methodology) that most subcontinental scholars follow) approach to rule derivation...

Why are you using all these facts and nuances when we're trying to have a flamewar? Sheesh! Stop using facts and logic on MeFi!

(in all seriousness: thanks for the very detailed info, I never would have known it without you)
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 3:14 AM on May 19, 2005


Speaking of Pakistan, they've recently allowed women to train to be fighter pilots.
posted by peacay at 3:42 AM on May 19, 2005


And Iran, of course, has female police officers (memri video link, sorry!).

The Pakistan huddud application has troubled me for a while.. I know some of the students of some of the top scholars there and will be contacting them to try to find some more info. Strange.

This is one of the best analyses I've seen of the issue:
http://www.crescentlife.com/articles/social%20issues/rape_laws.htm

Which provides an analysis with respect to the traditional positions and evidences that the sunnis use (warning: looong).

It doesn't really go into the conditions set by the Maliki school for pregnancy proof, but the author isn't a student of that school, so it's not surprising.

To be honest, given the classical approach to these issues and the reliance of muslims on classical interpretations of the base texts, I'm surprised at the lackadasical nature of these applications (which is why I fully support Tariq Ramadan's recent call for a moratorium on hadd punishment, although scholars I've talked to are wary about it (v defensive in some cases)).

The requirements of proof in the absence of a non-coerced confession and discounting pregnancy are quite ridiculously high.

For example, one of the companions of the Prophet (pbuh), Abu Bakra, was convicted for the crime of qazhf (accusing zina without sufficient witness) and given the hadd (prescribed) punishment of 80 lashes.

This case is notable for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the case was one in which there were actually 4 witnesses who saw the couple engaged in illicit sexual intercourse. However, when it came to testimony, 3 indicated that they had seen *penetration*, but Abu Bakra's brother indicated that he had not.

Thereby, the evidence was insufficient and technically false testimony against the female as the witnesses have to see *penetration*.

As a reminder, the punishment for illicit premarital sexual intercourse is 100 lashes. False accusation is 80. The above counts as false accusation..

Secondly, this is important to note in the sunni interpretation in particular as the companions (sahaba) play a special role in sunni interpretations and are considered the most upright and upstanding of people (this is not the case with the shia interpretations). Therefore incidents such as this reinforce the immense difficulty in actually having the required evidence for a hadd punishment, which effectively changes it to public indency being the act punished and an extreme protection of a woman's right not be accused of infidelity/looseness (no more calling girls ho's or sluts..).

Indeed, the Prophetic traditions dealing direct with these actions (in the sunni tradition) clearly state for the participants to not confess, but rather keep it to themselves and repent, as can be seen by the advice of the companions to Ma’iz ibn Malik and the reluctance of the Prophet (pbuh) to hear his confession (as such a conviction does, of course, cause public discord).

Erm, ramble over..

I wonder how many men are lashed for false accusation? I believe thats still a part of shia law (well, it's in the Qu'ran directly).
posted by Mossy at 5:43 AM on May 19, 2005


mossy, you indeed bring a level of interpretive exegesis sadly lacking on this site at times. You obviously have no info in your user profile other than the email hint and some posting history.
I wonder how you yourself regard application of these traditional laws (and I'm ignorant for the mostpart) in the face of modern secular approaches to law enforcement?
And is it wrong in Islamic 'circles' to advocate moves away from what many in the ignorant west view as anachronistic traditionalism (keeping it to law in this instance) in Islam??
Sorry, I'm not trying to tease out a thesis from you -- I'd just be interested in your general reactions and understanding (and I sense that it's from a belonging to the Sunni faith, unless I'm misinterpreting), given that you're obviously well educated and if not a citizen of a western country, then otherwise pretty cluey about general western culture and attitudes.
posted by peacay at 7:18 AM on May 19, 2005


Hmmm. That is a thesis topic indeed.

I'll give some brief responses now, trying to keep in line with the thread topic and possibly longer ones later (busy busy busy).

I personally believe the hadd punishments (ie prescribed ones) are currently being applied in a haphazard and *unjust* way due to conflation of cultural norms and assimilation of secular approaches to testimony etc.

There is not a world of difference between secular and Islamic legal traditions in reality, with the exception of a few major points - eg, the Islamic system has a reference to absolute morality, the Shariah (will of Allah (swt), not to be confused with our fiqh (understanding) of said will).

The result of this mishmash is a system that goes against Islam in the application of it's rulings due to a failure to ensure the prerequisites for conviction and enactment of the prescribed (hadd) punishments.

The presence of corruption and tribal attitudes just makes things worse in countries like Pakistan.

With respect to your second query, I would have to say, yes (with qualifiers).

I will use an example I partially referenced earlier to elaborate on this point.

Recently, Tariq Ramadan called for a moratorium on the hadd punishments as, quite simply, they are being incorrectly applied with reference to traditional Islamic exegeses of justice (note: I agree with pretty much everything he says there).

The response from this was quite vociferous from many high-ranking scholars and appeared to miss the mark as to what he was actually asking for, viewing it as a call to do away with the huddud altogether - as if it was an anachronistic piece of traditionalism in Islam so to speak.

One of the reasons for this is a hyper-sensitivity on the part of muslims today to criticize their own. With an acknowledgement of the rise of cultural Islam (honour killings and all that crap) and the atrocities commited in the name of our religion, there's a tendency to look inwards and to segregate to an even larger extent. This is exacerbated by the actions of, say, America, which are currently serving to further polarise the Islamic community.

In the end, in my humble opinion, there will most likely be an improvement in the absence of instigation in countries such as Iran due to the young populace finding and formulating their own Islamic identity, as is the case in the west with american and british muslims. This is, of course, if worldwide actions do not serve to make it into a "you're either with us or against us" type of situation.

Where does one get ones morality? Who knows.
posted by Mossy at 9:57 AM on May 19, 2005


mossy, thank you indeed.

I'll just note for the record, if not my memory that Tariq Ramadan is..
A Swiss national, he is a well-respected professor of philosophy at the College of Geneva and Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Fribourg. In fall 2004 Ramadan was appointed Henry R. Luce Professor of Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding at the Kroc Institute at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, USA.
I'm not going to ask any more questions. Those 2 articles you've cited and which I've only lightly skimmed look very interesting. I will get into them this w/end for sure. But thanks for your perspective. It's so easy to just react or have narrow views when faced with customs from non-western societies and Islamic teachings. I try not to have a preformed viewpoint. But of course as you'll appreciate, when 'we' hear about harsh treatment or sexist legal consequences, it's very difficult to derive a deeper understanding, and although even with a deeper look, some practices may still appear barbaric, getting beyond the rhetoric to an appreciation of the cultural and religious histories is a BIG undertaking. Which is why I'm doubly appreciative that this site attracts some wider views. Cheers.
posted by peacay at 11:16 AM on May 19, 2005


No problem. There is of course the gap between theory and practice. It's all very well if Islam itself says, and has preached equality and justice, but the fact of the matter is that there's a lot of injustice going on today that needs to be stopped.

Here are some more analyses and papers on Islamic law if you're curious:
http://www.sunniforum.com/forum/showpost.php?p=46409&postcount=44

The one on maqasid al Shariah (the very last link) is very interesting (penultimate link is on the rights of the individual in Islamic law).

If you want to ask questions from the sunni perspective on that forum, feel free. I would appreciate it if nobody spoiling for an arguments goes there though. I mean, what's the point?
posted by Mossy at 11:56 AM on May 19, 2005


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