Stoning – the true horror

350x(By Anne Marie WatersRecently I posted a blog about the treatment of women in many Islamic states and the fact that such treatment, if following the legal definition, amounts to a crime against humanity. In it, I linked to a document produced by Amnesty International entitled “How to stone someone to death“. The document describes in step-by-step detail, as outlined in the Iranian penal code, exactly how to bury someone up to their waist — or chest if female — and throw stones at their head until they die.

A few days after I had posted the blog, I re-read the document and felt it merited a blog of its own. Why? Because we need to admit, and face up to, the true horror of stoning. It is really happening. It is happening to real people and it is happening in the name of Islam. This is the truth — whether we like it or not.

Liars, apologists, the desperate to believe, and the interminably naive will deny it, or wish it not so, but no amount of wishing, denial, or apology erases objective fact, and these facts must be confronted.

If you don’t have time, or can’t stomach it, here are some of the main points of the document (though the pictures are worth looking at):

  1. The size of the stone is specified (with accompanying pictures) so that it will not be too small, or too big. Suffering is important.
  2. A man is buried to his waist and a woman to her chest. If he/she can get out of the hole, they can escape the punishment; so must make sure women cannot get out.
  3. If the stoning is based on confession, the judge will throw the first stone. If based on witness testimony, the witness will throw the first stone.
  4. Every 20 minutes or so, the stoning will stop to see if the condemned has yet died. If not, stoning continues (this is Article 23 by the way).
  5. It is not all bad news though: Article 16 states that the punishment should not “inflict torture, torment or mutilation of the condemned” and the stoning will be carried out “with ultimate calmness and without exercising violence”. I’m not sure what dictionary the Iranian regime reads but they’ve got a rather strange understanding of the words “torture” and “violence” – but then words mean whatever you want them to mean when you talk about Islam.

Earlier this year, Iran reviewed its penal code. Stoning as punishment for adultery was removed — that is until the Guardian Council got hold of it and promptly re-inserted this religious command. The Guardian Council is a group of unelected clerics who hold supreme power in Iran, and who ensure the compatibility of all legislation with sharia law.

Saudi Arabia also stones people to death, and the barbarism is swelling as sharia law advances. In the last few years, a 13 year old girl in Somalia, a soldier in Pakistan, and a young couple in Afghanistan have all been stoned to death. On all occasions, Islamic sharia law was cited as the justification. In fact, all of the countries whichmaintain stoning on their legal books are governed by sharia law.

Stoning is not mentioned in the Quran and because of this many people deny that it stems from Islamic teaching. This is dishonest at best. Stoning is not in the Quran but it is in the ahadith and for that reason, is part of sharia law. When Maryam Namazie and I debated a couple of Ahmadiyya Muslims at UCL in 2011, one of our opponents Ayyaz Mahmood insisted that stoning was not a part of Islam. His desperate to believe audiencesoaked it up, but the next day he was online admitting he had lied. The comments he made have since been removed, but Maryam has discussed them here.

This is what he said:

‘Had Maryam asked me, “Has the Holy Prophet (sa) ever ordered that a man be stoned to death?” To this, I would have had to answer yes, and then hope and pray that the moderator would give me a minute or two (which isn’t really enough) to explain the whole background of those specific Ahadith… But of course, at the time, the opportunity did not afford itself to give this entire explanation. So I gave her the direct answer to her question, which was a big, “NO”. Only to silence her. Because I didn’t want to get into this whole issue during the debate…’

So, let’s clear this up — what is the basis for stoning in Islam?

Here is the hadith;

A bedouin came to Allah’s Apostle and said, “O Allah’s apostle! I ask you by Allah to judge My case according to Allah’s Laws.” His opponent, who was more learned than he, said, “Yes, judge between us according to Allah’s Laws, and allow me to speak.” Allah’s Apostle said, “Speak.” He (i .e. the bedouin or the other man) said, “My son was working as a laborer for this (man) and he committed illegal sexual intercourse with his wife. The people told me that it was obligatory that my son should be stoned to death, so in lieu of that I ransomed my son by paying one hundred sheep and a slave girl. Then I asked the religious scholars about it, and they informed me that my son must be lashed one hundred lashes, and be exiled for one year, and the wife of this (man) must be stoned to death.” Allah’s Apostle said, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, I will judge between you according to Allah’s Laws. The slave-girl and the sheep are to be returned to you, your son is to receive a hundred lashes and be exiled for one year. You, Unais, go to the wife of this (man) and if she confesses her guilt, stone her to death.” Unais went to that woman next morning and she confessed. Allah’s Apostle ordered that she be stoned to death.

Sahih Bukhari 3:50:885

As a direct result of this story (and various translations but which always end the same way), stoning is a reality in Islamic states.

Lying is not the only defence against this barbarism though, apologists must also take credit. Their arguments include:

  1. There must be four witnesses so really this is just a deterrent. Is this good enough? We don’t object to a society where our sex lives are governed by the threat of a horrific punishment? Sorry, I don’t want the threat of stoning any more than I want stoning, and to be fair, threatening to stone someone to death for having sex could hardly be described as moderate.
  2. “But it’s in the Bible as well”. Yes it is in the Bible, but it’s not being carried out in the name of the Bible (not any more at least). So the difference is between it happening and not happening. A rather significant difference you might say.
  3. “This is the extreme fringe of Islam, it is a misinterpretation” – it seems that all Islamic states have misunderstood this, but so have many of Britain’s mainstream and high-profile Islamists, including it seems, the moderate Muslim Council of Britain.

Inayat Bunglawala was a high-profile member of the MCB for many years. When he was the assistant secretary general, Bunglawala was asked by journalist Joan Smith to condemn stoning for adultery. Bunglawala refused to do so, adding “you are asking me to condemn my prophet”. Bunglawala is not alone in the MCB in this regard. Suhaib Hasan has also misunderstood (Hasan is a prominent figure in the Islamic Sharia Council and blames women for the violence they face). He advocates stoning and once told us that “stoning will turn Britain in to a haven of peace“.

The ultra-moderate Swiss academic and lecturer at Oxford University Tariq Ramadan has debated this issue in France with Nicolas Sarkozy. The ultra-moderate Ramadan not only told us that his view is a minority one, but that this view only stretches as far as asking for a “moratorium”. In the debate Ramadan denied there was any violence against women in Islam, having just seconds earlier called for a “moratorium” on stoning for adultery. This is the 1984-esque double-speak we have come to expect (see point 5 above).

Interestingly, Ramadan also called for a “politically independent” Muslim French population.

The fact is that stoning is very much a part of Islamic sharia law, and very much a reality in the lives of millions of people. Whether they face the stones, or face the threat of them, the real horror of this cannot be denied. Stoning needs to be named and shamed — there is too much at stake to run from this and bury our heads in the sand.

See also: ‘The Stoning of Soraya M‘ is an important film and I highly recommend it. It displays the true terror of this crime in all its abominable glory. The Iranian Government called the movie “Islamophobic” which would be funny if not so deadly serious. The film is based on true events.

6 thoughts on “Stoning – the true horror

  1. Every religion has right to interfere in the personal life. Religion is the name to submit your own will. Every religion forces us to follow some rules. If you do not agree with the philosophy of any religion, this is not essential for you to follow that religion. Everyone has his own choice and I advise you to suck penis of homosexuals rather than following any religion. You can be anything you want. Has ALLAH ever punished you personally?

    • Muhammad,

      Only dictators interfere in personal life of their citizens, and demonic cult interferes in personal life of its followers. Religion is not to submit own will, to anything like murder, killing, loot, raping and inhumanity. Religion should be free to criticism, questions, doubt, and then freedom to accept and deny, which is not in the case of Islam.

      I would rather not try to entertain you with your abuses, but the answer for the question, “Has ALLAH ever punished you personally?” is that he can’t. Allah is a non existing deity in minds of ignorant people. He was alter ego of Muhammad, and never existed. So he can not punish me, but yes his followers are punishing mankind, by killing innocent people daily in his name. What you say about that?


      • In other words, Indian Government is a dictator, isn’t in? Man is a social animal and it’s improper for him to demand complete privacy. He has his friends and relatives. He lives in a society. His personal issues concern his surroundings as well. Study socio-biology and environmental biology.

        Islam means to surrender before God’s will. Islam doesn’t preach murder, killing, loot, raping or inhumanity. I’m a Muslim and I declare that I hate these filths. Islam is free to decent criticism. You can’t hurt someone’s feelings but freedom of opinion is your right.

        ‘And obey God and obey the Messenger and beware. And if you turn away then know that upon Our Messenger is only (the responsibility for) clear notification.’ (Q. 5:92)

        Terrorists are not following God but their own desires. They are murderers by nature and they use Islam to fulfill their desires. Every religion preaches love and peace. Only unbiased people hate Islam.

  2. Stoning was a punishment given in ancient times. Time has changed now. Laws change with time. Islam has told us what is the maximum punishment for a crime e.g. maximum punishment for theft is to cut off hands and that for murder is death.

    • Modest Muslims,

      No one except fanatic Muslims wants punishment like, cut off hands for theft, and lashes for adultery. I want to know why Islam interferes in personal mater like homosexuality and Lesbians? I can be anything I want, who is Allah to decide my fate?

      Please answer.


      • Cutting off hands is a punishment that can be given to a thief even in modern ages. If a thief insists on theft and doesn’t repent even after committing the same crime many times, the maximum punishment that can be given to him is to cut his hands off. But it’s non-Islamic to cut off hands of a thief if he has committed the crime for the first time or if he has been encouraged by his corrupt government’s injustice.

        Homosexuality is not one’s personal problem. One day you’ll say that if one beats his wife, that’s his personal issue and we can’t interfere. No, these are social issues or I can say SOCIAL PROBLEMS. We can’t allow a man to have sex with a man or a woman to have sex with a woman. This is the same like we can’t allow a brother to marry his sister. May God cure all gays and lesbians.

        Allah (God) is your Creator and Master. One day you’ll ask the same question about the right of parents to decide their children’s fate. Everybody is this world is FORCED to follow a constitution. You live in India and follow the Indian Constitution. Every Muslim follows the Islamic Constitution which is known as Shari’ah. Without a constitution, life is hell just like a game is boring without rules.

        Briefly, homosexuality is a disease and the diseased must refer to a good doctor.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s