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Posted in: Islamic Gender & Religious Apartheid, Honor Killings

Published on Aug 19, 2010 by Phyllis Chesler

Written for Pajamas Media

Only Cowards Stone People To Death

An Islamic Religious Ritual


Yesterday, I appeared on FOX-TV's "The Strategy Room" to discuss a recent stoning in Afghanistan and the issue of stoning in general. Kimberly Guilfoyle interviewed me both skillfully and graciously. The subject is a very distressing and somewhat mysterious one for most westerners.

What does it mean when a mob of men, numbering anywhere from 50 to 200, stone a female child to death—as happened in October of 2008 in Somalia? That poor soul was not only a 13 year-old child—she had also just been raped. Indeed, that was her sole "crime" and the reason for her torture-execution. She was forced into a hole and buried nearly up to her neck. She took a long time to die and kept crying out for her life. In addition to the 50 active stoners, 1000 more men cheered them on.

What does this tell us?

First, that barbarians are mainly cowards who do not view themselves as responsible for their actions. Everyone is the murderer and therefore, no one is the murderer. The group both absorbs and atones for any possible guilt or hesitation that even one individual might have felt. However, as we shall see, there is also another way of looking at this.

For a culture presumably so concerned with "honor," so consumed with concepts of responsibility towards the family, clan, or "ummah" (Muslim people), those who stone a living being to death utterly shrink from any individual responsibility for carrying out their bloody deeds. Entire families become conspirators in an honor killing; village and religious councils collaborate to issue a death sentence; Muslim men sexually harass women in the streets (of Egypt)—and in large mosque-inflamed mobs (in Algeria).

In terms of stoning, which is primarily a contemporary Muslim-only custom—not only do cowardly men hide behind each other, clearly, they lack the ability to act as individuals. That power is reserved for one man, one leader, one ruling cabal only. In Afghanistan, the Taliban hooligans threw the first stones.

This tells us something else that is important. The need for a mob is, in a sense, proof that the individuals who compose it are all being held hostage to the will of the psychopathic criminals who rule them. Oppose them, and you yourself might be stoned to death. Hostage-mobs also share the "guilt," or rather, their leaders' point of view. The leaders cannot be held accountable for their actions either–everyone did it.

In addition, sharing a so-called Muslim sinner's blood, especially female blood, is yet another way to forge a blood-brotherhood that is based on male supremacism.

Stoning is practiced in contemporary Afghanistan, Iran, Saudia Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, and Nigeria. In 2006, a poll conducted in "moderate" Indonesia found that 50% of Muslims there supported stoning in cases of adultery, however it is defined. Adultery might include: A married woman who is raped by a stranger, or a woman promised in marriage to one man but who chooses another. This is precisely what happened in the recent case in Afghanistan.

The Grand Torturer Khomeini brought stoning back to Iran. Uneducated mullahs in the provinces rather liked it. They also liked drugs, drug trafficking, forcing girls into prostitution and then jailing or hanging them for it; temporary "marriages"; forced veiling, etc. Although stoning is now under legal review in Iran, to date, eight men and three women await stoning execution.

In Iran, one woman, accused of adultery, was sentenced to be lashed 99 times—and then sentenced to be stoned to death. Due to an international campaign and due to the hard work of Iranian dissidents, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani's sentence was delayed. But she was lashed 99 times and her teenage son was forced to witness her helplessness, humiliation, and torture and, in a sense, forced to both share these emotions, second-hand with his mother. Her son's presence before her nakedness was meant to shame them both and challenged him to become a very hard man as a way of avoiding an eventual nervous breakdown.

I am not sure whether there is any connection, but think about this. When Muslims go on pilgrimage to Mecca, part of their three day ritual includes stoning "The Devil." Large groups literally throw stones at giant concrete pillars. This suggests that stoning is a Muslim religious ritual, not a tribal custom. Therefore, stoning a living human being is not only an act of human sacrifice—it is a classic religious ritual meant to glorify the stoners' God.

A little like jihad if you ask me.


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