Iran: 100 Lashes and 6 Months in Jail for Tattoos

Due to his recent release from jail, Mohsen Karimi does not want his true identity revealed

Due to his recent release from jail, Mohsen Karimi does not want his true identity revealed

One hundred lashes and six months in jail – when it comes to tattooing, Iran’s regime takes a harsh line. Tattoo artist Mohsen Karimi experienced just that and is determined to continue his work anyway.

The day he was arrested Mohsen Karimi wanted to kill himself. Although it is now a year and a half ago that day still haunts him. Mohsen Karimi is not his real name. He was released from jail only a short time ago. Using his real name might endanger him again.

We are in the courtyard of a fancy art gallery in northern Tehran, where the chic boutiques and cafés line the busy boulevards. High walls shield the tables from the noise of the traffic, which never stops in Tehran. Although it is fairly cold, Karimi and his friends are sitting outside. Cups with steaming tea, packages of cigarettes and mobile phones are scattered on the table.

Karimi is around 30. With his stubbly hair and moustache, he would blend into any of Berlin’s hip neighborhoods. Until last year he had his own studio at his home. His skills with the tattoo gun were well-known in Tehran, and his customers included famous athletes from the national soccer team. So he thought he was safe. And then one day 25 revolutionary guards with a warrant forced their way into his studio.

Detained and interrogated

After searching the house for his tattoo apparatus, Karimi was forced to give the men the password to his Facebook account. Then they blindfolded him and arrested him. “I knew that my work was risky,” Karimi says. “But I never expected the regime would treat me like a cocaine dealer. I was really scared.”

When he was allowed to take of the blindfold he found himself in a cell, roughly one by two meters, he says. Karimi immediately knew that he was in Evin, the notorious prison where the regime detains and tortures student activists and journalists. He would spend another six months in Evin’s cells.

During the first two weeks, Karimi was interrogated several times. Sometimes he had to wait for hours, blindfolded and cuffed to a table in a painful position, he says. They asked him who his customers were and why and how he worked. Tattooing is not generally considered something forbidden in Iran. Like smoking, it is makrouh, which means it is allowed, but it should be avoided.

A confession and a lashing

That’s why he still finds the charges against him surprising, he says: “They charged me for being a tattoo artist, for tattooing famous people and for posting pictures of my work on Facebook.” Only after he signed a written confession was he allowed to contact a lawyer. Finally, after six weeks in jail, he was dismissed to wait for the trial, which took place a few months later.

The verdict: four more months in jail and 100 lashes of the whip.

They were executed on the very last day of his detention.

Karimi hoped he might be allowed to wear clothes that would at least protect him a little from the braided leather whip. But he had to strip down to his boxers and socks. Then a guard began to whip him, while two witnesses watched. “After ten lashes I started to tremble,” Karimi says. “The guard asked me whether I needed a break, but I refused.” After the final 10 extra hard lashes, he was allowed to dress and leave.


4 thoughts on “Iran: 100 Lashes and 6 Months in Jail for Tattoos



    1. Although the stoning punishment was invented in Abbasid era, it was never unanimously approved. The contemporary Sunnah scholars admit that Al-Mu’tazala and Rejectionist (Khawarej) rejected the stoning. (Sayyed Sabiq, Sunnah Scholarship, 2/347, the Encyclopedia of Scholarship based on the four dogmas, 5/69 written by Abdel-Rahman Al-Jazzeeri).


    2. The oldest narrations about stoning were mentioned in Nowata of Malik in a narration by Mohammad Ibn Hassan Sheibani. The narration started as: (Malik told us that Yahya Ibn Saeed heard Saeed Ibn Mossayyab said: When Omar Ibn Al-Khattab came from Mina …etc). That means the original narrator of this anecdote was Saeed Ibn Mossayyab. He claimed that Omar delivered an oration claiming the existence of the stoning verse in Qur’an, but it was omitted. However, Ibn Mossayyab was two years old when Omar was assassinated. How can a crawling baby telling stories about Omar. So, it is impossible for Ibn Mossayyab to be the narrator. Also, it is impossible for Omar to say something like that.


    It means that Omar accused the Qur’an of being forged and this is blasphemy. God, Almighty, said: “We revealed this Qur’an, and we are protecting it.” Al-Hijr 9. So, as far as the subject, this narration is false. In this narration, they attribute a verse to stoning that says:” The senile man and women shall be stoned if they commit adultery”. It is very well known the concept of senile does not indicate the marital status. One can reach this stage and stays single. Mohammad Ibn Hassan Sheibani felt this shortcoming in the meaning and realized by commenting on another narration about the Jewish adulterers (Narration no. 694):( Any Moslem man committed adultery with a woman and was married to a free Moslem woman and copulated with her, and then he shall be stoned. This is the “married” man. If he did not copulate with her or she was a Jewish or Christian, then he is not married and no stoning. He shall be flogged with hundred lashes. This is the saying of Abu Haneefah and the majority of scholars). Sheibani (a student to Abu Haneefah and one of the two scholars in the Hanafis) put a specific definition and a correction to the narration of stoning related to Omar that included adulterous “senile” people. In his definition, “senile” was no longer the criterion for stoning the married adulterer, but also, the Moslem who married a free Moslem woman. However, the one who married a Jew or a Christian, his marriage is not complete and no punishment for his adultery.


    3. There is another anecdote in Mowata no. 692. This anecdote is completely false under all measures. Malik narrated this anecdote from Ibn Shehab (Al-Zuhry) who narrated this by himself. Al-Zuhry lived towards the end of the Umayyad era and was one of the followers who never met the Prophet, peace be upon him, or lived his time. Even though we read the following in Mowata: (Malik told us that Ibn Shehab told us that a man admitted committing adultery during the reign of the Prophet. The man testified against himself and was ordered to be stoned. Ibn Shehab said: For this, one can incriminate himself by self-confession.


    4. The narrations were iterated after Malik. Shafi’e, Bukhari and Moslem wrote them. Sometimes these narrations claim that certain verses in Qur’an did exist and omitted. Bukhari, died yr 256 A.H., narrated from Omar Ibn Khattab, who died 200 years before him, about verses that were omitted from Qur’an and Omar declared them late. Some of these narrations claim that the stoning rite was stemmed from the monkey’s society before Islam.

    Bukhari narrated in his anecdote no. 3560:” Naeem Ibn Hmmad told us about Hasheem about Amr Ibn Meimoun saying: I saw before Islam a bunch of monkeys stoning an adulterous monkey, and I did the same with them. It seems that the monkeys’ society before Islam was ahead in applying the stoning.


    Anybody asked about this monkey’s marital status?


    Did the narrator discuss this issue with the Clergy of the monkeys and how to prove the occurrence of adultery?


    Did the monkeys use four witnesses? All of these narrations contradicting themselves.



    Contradiction is the main characteristic of Narrations. Two kinds of contradictory characters appear in narrations: partial contradiction in the details of the same story, and major contradiction among different stories. As an example of the latter, Bukhari produced a narration about a man came to the Prophet and admitted committing adultery. The prophet avoided him. The prayer time came and the man witnessed the prayer with the Prophet. He reiterated his confession to the Prophet and demanded to be punished. The prophet said to him: did you not pray with us? The man said: yes. The Prophet said: God forgave your sin. This means that prayer forgives the sins and negates the stoning. This is a stark contradiction with other narrations that are damped with the stoned victims’ blood.

    While Bukhari, Shafi’e and Malik narrations emphasized that the punishment for the married adulterer is only stoning, we found that Moslem narrated repeated stories emphasizing in them that the Prophet said: The punishment of the single is 100 lashes and one year exile. The married punishment is 100 lashes then stoning. The danger in these narrations that it made the punishment for the married adulterer was 100 lashes before being killed by stoning. This is another contradiction with other narrations.

    These stories and anecdotes were written in the books of narrations to become major source of legislation for Moslems. Especially, when the scholars and the storytellers celebrated them and everyone re-iterated these narrations as “real” and “rites”. This was emphasized by the application of these narrations that sent many men and women victims to death based on legislation God never authorized.

  2. HEH UP!


    Muslim (17:4192) – Clarifies the different penalties for adultery (when the subjects are married), and fornication (when they are not): “in case of married (persons) there is (a punishment) of one hundred lashes and then stoning (to death). And in case of unmarried persons, (the punishment) is one hundred lashes and exile for one year” (See also 17:4191)

    The Qur’an uses the phrase “fornicators or adulterers” in Qur’an 24:2 and prescribes 100 lashes as the punishment (verse 4:15 suggests house arrest for “lewdness”). This almost certainly refers to unmarried sex only, since it would make little sense that fornication and adultery be prescribed the exact same punishment when they are very different offenses. It would also contradict the many examples from the Hadith in which Muhammad put adulterers to death. In fact, Muslim (17:4209) records a case in which an unmarried man is ordered flogged, while his married partner in crime is stoned.

    According to Umar, the companion of Muhammad and Islam’s second caliph, “[Allah] sent down the Book (Quran) upon him (Muhamad), and the verse of stoning was included in what was sent down to him.” Umar went on to insist that “Stoning is a duty laid down in Allah’s Book for married men and women who commit adultery when proof is established, or it there is pregnancy, or a confession.” (Muslim 17:4194)

    In other words, there was a verse in the original Quran narration that prescribed stoning adulterers, but it was left out of the compiling process in the years following Muhammad’s death. Umar’s insistence on the stoning verse is recorded in other volumes that are also among the most reliable Hadith, including Sahih Bukhari 8:817: “I am afraid that after a long time has passed, somebody will say, ‘By Allah, we do not find the Verse of the Rajam in Allah’s Book,’ and thus they will go astray by leaving an obligation which Allah has revealed. And the punishment of the Rajam is to be inflicted to any married person (male & female), who commits illegal sexual intercourse.” (Rajam refers to stoning).

    According to a strong tradition (found in Sunan ibn Majah, Book of Nikah, Hadith no. 1934), Aisha also recalled the verse that prescribed the death penalty for adulterers. It was written on a palm leaf that was in her home following Muhammad’s death. Unfortunately, a goat or sheep wandered into the house and ate the leaf (along with others) before it could be collected and merged into the other hodgepodge of writings that became the Qur’an.

    Islamic law (Sharia) requires that adulterers be put to death, since it was the example set by Muhammad. In practice, the women are executed far more often, since they are presumed to bear the burden of sexual responsibility (in Islam’s male-dominated society) and are, perhaps, more likely to confess their discretion. Rape victims are sometimes convicted if they speak out. Reporting a rape means a confession of adultery under Sharia law if four male witnesses cannot be found to confirm the victim’s claim.

    Unable to get around the fact that stoning adulterers is very much a part of Islam, apologists typically travel the familiar path of claiming that Christianity is no different. In this case, they could hardly be more wrong. Not only is the Old Testament rule of stoning anyone explicitly done away with by the example of Jesus (see John 8:1-11, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”) but the episode itself is proof that Christianity is not under the same law as Islam.

    While the teachings and example of Jesus stand between Christians and Old Testament law, Muhammad skipped straight back to the harshest of rules (which even the Jews of his day were reluctant to enforce so literally, as Bukhari (6:60:79) makes clear). As with so much else – from forgiveness to waging war – the contrasting personal example set by Jesus and Muhammad with regard to killing adulterers could hardly be more different.

    While many Muslims today do find the practice distasteful, there is simply no arguing that killing grown adults over consensual sex isn’t firmly rooted in Islamic theology. In fact, according to a recent fatwa, merely denying that is appropriate to stone married adulterers in the modern age is a sign of apostasy.

    Numerous examples of stoning adulterers under Islamic law persist, from the Islamist frontier of Somalia to the modern state of Iran. In 2010, the Taliban planted a couple having unauthorized sex in the ground and brutally pelted them with stones (the man had to be finished off with three gunshots) only a few days after they flogged a pregnant woman 200 times and then shot her in the head. In “condemning” the killings, the “moderate” president of Afghanistan would only say that they were wrong because they were not preceded by a trial.

    Likewise, a leading theologian in Iran defended a recent stoning sentence simply by reminding his audience that “Democracy, freedom, and human rights have no place in Islam.”

    From the Hadith:

    Bukhari (6:60:79) – Two people guilty of “illegal intercourse” are brought to Muhammad, who commands that they both be stoned. Apparently their act was out of love, however, since the verse records the man as trying to shield the woman from the stones.

    Bukhari (83:37) – Adultery is one of three justifications for killing a person, according to Muhammad.

    Muslim (17:4192) – Clarifies the different penalties for adultery (when the subjects are married), and fornication (when they are not): “in case of married (persons) there is (a punishment) of one hundred lashes and then stoning (to death). And in case of unmarried persons, (the punishment) is one hundred lashes and exile for one year” (See also 17:4191)

    Muslim (17:4196) – A married man confesses that he has adultery. Muhammad orders him planted in the ground and pelted with stones. According to the passage, the first several stones caused such pain that he tried to escape and was dragged back.

    Muslim (17:4206) – A woman who became pregnant confesses to Muhammad that she is guilty of adultery. Muhammad allows her to have the child, then has her stoned (the description is graphic).

    Muslim (17:4209) – A woman confesses adultery and is stoned to death on Muhammad’s order.

    Ibn Ishaq (970) – “The adulterer must be stoned.” These words were a part of Muhammad’s farewell address to his people on the occasion of his final pilgrimage to Mecca.

    Islamic Law – “The stone shall not be so big so as to kill the person by one or two strikes, neither shall it be so small that it cannot be called a stone” The victim is intended to suffer.

    The Qur’an:

    Stoning is not prescribed in the current version of the Quran. According to Muhammad’s companions, a verse that did order stoning existed at one time but was forgotten.


    And remember the incident of Pen & Paper, where Umar REFUSED Mohammed’s request for pen & paper to give an INSPIRED instruction to his followers.

    The more I study Mohammedanism, the more I see proof that Mohammed was POISONED by the GANG OF 4, Abu Bakr, Umar, Aisha & Hafsa and it was they who COMPILED THE QURAN & took over the running of the Arabian Cult, after Mohammed’s death. They also were the cause of Fatimah’s & her unborn child’s death.

  3. Pingback: Iran: 100 Lashes and 6 Months in Jail for Tattoos | Last Days News4Christians

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