Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani aged 43 having served 5 years in Jail and received 99 lashes is to be stoned to death: her sex? female: her crime? adultery: the place? Iran: the time? now the 21St. Century.
The appetite for revenge and barbarism is indeed worldwide: it is difficult to imagine anything more horrible than this but: I believe that that is because most of us don’t really think too intensely about the methodical and deliberate act of legally taking the life of a fellow human being. Imagine offering stoning or a firing squad to a condemned person: most people would instinctively choose a bullet as it takes seconds whereas stoning can take hours. Have you really considered this though? What if the prisoner decided that stoning would give him/her another couple of hours to live despite the suffering and, maybe just maybe something might just turn up during that time to save them: let me ask you these 2 questions 1/ just how daft does my suggestion sound? plenty daft I hear you murmur. And 2/ how many times have you been condemned to death? My hypothesis is that arguing for stoning to death is entirely understandable but: it puts some people in the position of supporting capital punishment as long as it’s not by stoning or maybe some other means and; there are many.
I agree of course with those who are horror-struck by the very thought of stoning this woman to death (it’s nearly always a woman BTW) but: I find it impossible to look at it in isolation. After all no one has ever been executed and came back to give us their opinion of the method have they (Jesus doesn’t count here) my point is of course that taking a life is wrong: end of story and I find the argument about which method to use every bit as repellent as the act itself.
There are a very strident and large number of people in the UK who would gladly volunteer for the job of executioner: I came across one at the election who made me think: he was a guy who was in my class in school and we hadn’t met or spoken for decades. He walked past me at the polling station and I hailed him expecting him to ask who I was but: to my surprise he came over to me calling me Terry and challenged me in no uncertain terms to support capital punishment which I refused to do and he was incensed: so much so that he left saying he would not vote for any of us. I thought about this and I realized that I still recognized him because he is an ex soldier who involves himself in Army charities and parades etc. it completely escaped me that he would still know me because I am a councillor and like him I’m every now and then in the paper. He was not the guy I remembered from school who was a great laugh and a really nice guy: he was consumed with rage and frustration. He had recently attended a dinner with a young soldier who not long after that was stabbed to death in the street while on leave. I realize now that he thought he had the answer and I have no way of knowing what he might have seen and done while serving but: I recognize him and more like him as being people who in fact don’t have the answers and with no disrespect to him, the Army is not the place to find those answers.
As is habitually the case the western countries are screaming barbarians and such at the Iranians but as is the case again they / we: are living in glass houses, in the US you can serve life in a hell hole prison by the “3 strikes rule” 3 crimes and in you go and they can be any crime from murder to jaywalking. They also put to death mentally handicapped people and those on death row are overwhelmingly black, I wrote about a prisoner on death row recently who cheated the executioner by dying of natural causes: he was 97 and wheelchair bound as well as blind and suffering from several diseases as you do at that age but: he was still on death row and had they got him fit enough they would have executed him. What about China where we are told people in great numbers are executed? We still deal with them, big trading partners right.
The chorus of disapproval in Britain is warranted but: seriously flawed and hypocritical: in Saudi Arabia years ago we saw a young Princess beheaded in public for adultery and we learned of thieves having their hands cut off; not chopped off mind you but amputated in hospital by surgeons and followed up by full medical recovery care, women who are raped are put to death for being unclean! FFS who are we kidding oh! Did I mention that we deal in oil with the Saudis?
The West describes countries like Iran as being trapped in medieval times which always makes me think of something from the Spanish Civil War which wasn’t in medieval times but 70 years ago. A large Madrid prison was used to hold Republican women prisoners and it was staffed by Nuns, these Nuns did the job of executing these women prisoners: they dragged them: sometimes from their children and wrestled them screaming on to the scaffold and hanged them to the sound of praise from Franco and the Church, the Nation who gave the world Cervantes: Goya and Picasso were capable of this and the nation who gave the world Wagner: Bach: Goethe and Kant also gave us Goering: Himmler and Hitler so a little perspective is required: stoning to death is an abomination but it doesn’t make Iran unique.
We have been watching the demonization of Iran for several years now by the West: mainly the US and Israel and they are itching to go to war with them. Don’t let the propaganda persuade you that it would be right to start bombing them, world pressure can work and get them to stop such behavior as well as banning the death penalty worldwide, killing is wrong it’s not really that difficult to understand. Whether it is the horrendous stoning of a woman to death or the horrendous dropping of big bombs on a population.