Monday, January 18, 2010

Iran sentences two to death by stoning

The Koran specifies the death penalty in numerous cases. In several of these cases, death by stoning is prescribed. One of these is a married woman who is convicted of adultery. By modern standards, Islam is a very harsh and authoritarian system of governance. Riots occurred in Nigeria in 2006 because the court refused to enforce the penalty. Several cases of stoning to death have been enforced recently in Somalia. As these cases demonstrate, the Islamic legal system is alive and well in the world. Stoning to death is a particularly brutal method of inflicting the death penalty.

I am not necessarily against the death penalty. I am also against violation of a nation’s sovereignty. However, stoning to death is a Middle Ages (or earlier) concept whose time has long passed. In addition, this penalty is specified by a ‘religion’, not a national government. If any government has anything like this enforceable within it’s legal system, that very government should be held in contempt. Not that this alone is justification for removal of the government. However, the very fact that stoning to death is an enforceable penalty is a good reason to keep a very close eye on that government’s activities as other Middle Ages concepts may also be present. Concepts like support of an armed ‘religious’ crusade (terrorist groups fighting for Jihad, or violation of any nations sovereignty because that government is seen as an ’occupier’) that would justify the toppling of any modern government and replacement with a more modern system of governance.

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