By:Bahman Aghai Diba
The human rights organizations and activists have called upon the officials of the Islamic Republic in Iran many times to refrain from imposing the barbaric punishment of stoning, which has roots in the rituals of the ancient Bedouin Arabs (1). According to this practice, the convicted women are buried up to their chests in a pit, and men are buried up to their waists, while their hands are tied behind their backs. And they are struck with rocks until they die. It is a slow and painful death, because as the Islamic code prescribes the stones should not be so big to kill the concerned person with one or two stones. (2)
At the same time, the Iranian regime has been criticizing the judicial systems exiting in the world and it keeps propagating that Islam has a solution for every problem and if the instructions of the Islamic jurisprudence are observed, those problems will go away. For instance, the solution of Islam for removing adultery from the society and saving the family is the stoning of the adulterers. As such, the regime of Iran is not only proud to be in a position to impose such practices, but it seeks opportunities to teach the others about the benefits of these practices.
There are two major kinds of punishments in the Islamic regime of Iran. According to the Islamic Code of Punishment in Iran, these are: Hodood and Tazirat. The first category is those that Islam has set a certain punishment for them and the legislators in the Islamic countries can not change them. Hoddod are set by God and they have to be observed under any conditions. For example, the Haad (single form of Hodood) for drinking alcoholic beverages is lashing. If this is repeated three rimes, the convicted person must be executed. (3) The Haad for Zena (Adultery) is stoning.
Tazirat are the punishments set by the Islamic legislators and as such they are subject to change according to the expediency. Therefore, asking the Iranian Islamic judiciary to change the law of “Hodood” and delete the stoning as a form of punishment for adultery is like asking a shopkeeper to close his shop and go home.
The Islamic regime is “living” in Iran because of imposing such laws and regulations that the officials of the Islamic regime believe will “save” the human beings from falling in the same miserable situation that the Western cultures have fallen. The mission to impose such laws (as cutting the hands of the thieves), is the resone d’eter of the regime. Until the day that the Islamic regime collapses in Iran, these practices will continue, no matter what the officials of the regime claim (4).
The Islamic law has one important “loophole” for the adultery that should be used by the people who try to abolish the practice of stoning for adultery. This loophole is the way to prove the occurrence of adultery. According to the Islamic jurisprudence (5) about adultery, in order to make sure that adultery has happened “Four religiously qualified men should testify that they have seen directly and without any doubt, the actual practice of the intercourse between the concerned persons.” This is really hard that “four men” (not less than four men and not women at all. ), that are “religiously qualified” (this means that if they are followers of any religion except than Islam, or they are not known as being persons that strictly observe their religious-Islamic duties, such as praying five times a day and observing down to dusk fasting one-month a year, they are not qualified) testify that they have “seen with their own eyes (any kind of doubt, including repeating what one has heard from others, makes the testimony invalid)the act of adultery. If the number of the “direct witnesses” do not reach four men, then the remaining three persons will be subject to sever punishments. What the Islamic courts do in Iran in order to avoid such difficult criteria is getting “illegal” confession from the concerned persons. It seems that the best way to stop such barbaric practices of nomadic Arabs as stoning is concentrating first on the “conditions to prove adultery” and second the “illegality of getting confession under pressure and torture” in Iran.
(3) He can be hanged, thrown down the mountain in a sack, or stoned to death.
(4) In the past, the officials of the Islamic regime of Iran have claimed to set a kind of moratorium on the practice of stoning and they have not actually done so. //www.speroforum.com/site/print.asp?idarticle=6333
(5) As practiced by the regime of Iran. There are differences in the Islamic sources about these practices. The Iranian version of Islam is called Shiite Ithna-ashariah (Twelve-Imam Shiites). It is not even clear how much the Islamic Code of Punishment in Iran is compatible with the Islamic jurisprudence in general or Shiite jurisprudence in particular.
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