Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Sharia Law is No Picnic

I have been writing about the injustice of what Israel is doing to Lebanon. In the sense of fairness, let me rant about Sharia law for a few minutes. Here is a heartbreaking story of the execution of Atefeh Rajabi in Iran. And what happened to the pedophile who seduced and raped a mentally ill minor child, because children, and those who are mentlly incompetent can never give consent freely...............? This is clearly wrong to me. What do you think?

Iran: Hanged from a crane aged 16

Sunday, 23 July 2006

Iran: Hanged from a crane aged 16 EXCLUSIVE JUSTICE IRAN STYLE: SICK GIRL EXECUTED BY JUDGE SHE DEFIED Her crime? She had sex with an unmarried man.

By Susie Boniface

The Sunday Mirror - It was exactly 6am and the start of another blisteringly hot summer day when 16-year-old Atefeh Rajabi was dragged from her prison cell and taken to be executed.

Every step of the way the troubled teenager plagued by mental problems shouted "repentance, repentance" as the militiamen marched her to the town's Railway Square.

The Iranian judge who had sentenced Atefeh to death was left unmoved as he personally put the noose around her neck and signalled to the crane driver.

Kicking and screaming, Atefeh was left dangling for 45 minutes from the arm of the crane as the crowd sobbed and - under their breath - damned the mullahs.

Atefeh's crime? Offending public morality. She was found guilty of "acts incompatible with chastity" by having sex with an unmarried man, even though friends say Atefeh was in such a fragile mental state that she wasn't in a position to say no.

But Judge Haji Rezaii was determined she should hang, regardless of the rules of international law which say only adults over 18 can be executed, and that the courts have a duty to children and the mentally ill.

The brutal end to Atefeh's short life has shone a new light on Iran's Shariah law, where adultery, theft and rape all carry the same punishment - death. Officially around 100 people - some just children like Atefeh - are executed each year. But human rights groups say the true figure could be much higher in a country where only half of the women can read, only one in 10 have a job and two-thirds are beaten in their homes.

Life was never easy for Atefeh, who was brought up in the industrial town of Neka, 250 miles from Tehran and close to the Caspian Sea. Her mother died when she was a child and her father Ghasseem, a heroin addict, left her grandparents to bring her up. She suffered from bi-polar disorder, which led to severe mood swings from hyperactivity to depression. Worried parents told their children to stay away from her - something many regret now. "Perhaps we should have helped her instead," said Hamid. "I think the death of her mother had a devastating effect. Before that, she was a normal girl. Her mother was everything to her. After she died, there was no one to look after her."

Mina, a childhood friend, said Atefeh was abused by a close relative. "She never dared talk about it with an adult," said Mina. "If she had told her teacher they'd have called her a whore. Tell the police? They lock you up and rape you." Atefeh first appeared in court, accused of having sex with an unmarried man at 14. Over the next two years she was accused of the same crime with different men.

They denied it and were sentenced to the lash and then released. But Atefeh pleaded guilty and each time received 100 lashes and a prison term. Mina said: "Atefeh sometimes talked about what these 'moral' Islamic policemen did to her while she was in jail. She still had nightmares about that. Atefeh said her mood swings made it easy for men to take advantage of her, and that most of her lovers were in the security force."

Two of them were members of the anti-vice militia. They encouraged other men to sign statements saying Atefeh had engaged in vice, and even claimed she had AIDS.

It was when Atefeh appeared before Judge Rezaii for a fourth time that she lost her temper - and also her life. In a rage she tore off her hi jab - a headscarf - and told the judge she had been raped and it was his duty to punish her tormentors, not their victim.

Rezaii told her she would hang for her "sharp tongue" and that he would put the noose around her neck himself. It became a personal crusade as he travelled to Tehran and convinced the Supreme Court to uphold his verdict.

Two petitions by her friends, saying she was mentally unwell, were ignored. Her father produced her birth certificate proving she was 16. Yet the judges "decreed" she was 22.

Atefeh also wrote to the Supreme Court: "There are medical documents that prove I have a weak nerve and soul. In some minutes of the day and night I lose my sanity. In a society where an insane person can be serially raped it is no wonder that a person like me is the victim of such an ugly act."

The day before she died she wrote again, saying: "Repentance, repentance, repentance." In Iranian law anyone who shows remorse has an automatic stay of execution and a right to appeal, but she was ignored.

A local pharmacist watched Atefeh's execution on August 15, 2004. "She looked so young standing there," he said. "Rezaii must have felt a personal grudge against her. He put the rope around her neck himself. I looked around and everyone in the crowd was sobbing and damning the mullahs." The family's lawyer has now filed a suit of wrongful execution against the judge and is preparing a murder case. Her life is also the subject of a secretly filmed documentary, Execution of a Teenage Girl, which will be screened on BBC2 on Thursday.

One of Atefeh's teachers said the authorities wanted to make an example of her: "She wouldn't take injustice from anyone, but the mullahs equate these qualities in a girl to prostitution and evil. They wanted to give all the girls and women a lesson."

Amnesty International UK director Kate Allen said: "The killing of Atefeh is a catalogue of the most appalling human rights violations. The public hanging of a child, believed to be mentally incompetent, totally beggars belief. To hang a child flies in the face of all that is humane."


PENALTIES imposed by Iran's religious mullahs include:

THEFT: Amputation of hands or feet for persistent offenders.

ADULTERY: Death by stoning.

UNMARRIED SEX: 100 lashes.


SODOMY: Death for adults, 74 lashes for consenting child.

LESBIANISM: 100 lashes, or on the fourth occasion death.


RUBBING ANOTHER MAN'S THIGHS OR BUTTOCKS: 99 lashes - on 4th occasion, death.


At 8:08 AM, Blogger DivaJood said...

This form of injustice is not what the Koran teaches at all. Have you read Reading Lolita in Tehran yet? You must.

At 8:28 AM, Blogger glenda said...

I know that, as I have family members from Iran and Lebanon. This is a perversion of the Koran.

At 8:36 AM, Blogger JBlue said...

That pisses me off. Every day, I become more and more opposed to organized religion, ALL of it.

At 9:27 AM, Anonymous anita said...

This is very disturbing...
Indeed there're a lot of "wrong doings"we have to fight agains in this world. However, we see it through our western eyes (thoughts), and I think we must "understand" the culture first, then help those immersed on it to understand that what they're doing is wrong. Now if we just say "you're evil", with all our arrogance -- it won't work.

At 9:50 AM, Blogger DivaJood said...

Glenda, yes, you may link my post in question at the Peace Train as long as it is properly identified: I copied a post by Lisa Goldman, from On The Face. I felt it was best to print it in full, because how many people actually click on the links?

BTW, unless I am on my home computer, I can't get INTO the Peace Train. That's weird.

At 10:03 AM, Blogger Peacechick Mary said...

Barbaric religious maniacs on the loose in the world.

At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Adorable Girlfriend said...

They say that you there is a relationship between extremism and how the society views women. Perhaps this is evident here. Thanks for illuminating this important issue, Glenda.

At 12:51 PM, Blogger glenda said...

anita, thanks for bringing up the cultural issue. Around nonabusive issues, I totally agree with you. There must be cultural understanding and cross-education.

But I am obstinate and unyielding in my belief that ANY abusive behavior that is intitutional or supported within ANY culture, foreign or domestic, is wrong. Abuseis abuse, there is no whitewashing it on cultural grounds or within religious beleifs.

There is no cultural compass that can make abuse right in MY eyes, and I am admanant about that stance. In fact, I've spent the past two decades debating this with liberal colleagues who want to forgive abuse on the basis of cultural understanding. I'm a zero tolerance kind of person where abuse of any human being is involved, and that includes within my own culture as well.

At 12:59 PM, Blogger Time said...

Ahhh, life under Islamic rule. If it were possible to separate religion from the government in the Arab/Middle East world, would that help curb abuses, killings, and war?

At 1:06 PM, Blogger Sothis said...

Horrifying. I've heard these stories over and over coming out of theocratically ruled Islamic countries. What happens to girls and women in places like Iran and Saudi Arabia makes me physically ill. Sharia forces women into the shadows under the control of men where they have no voice. Moreover, under Sharia, a woman's testimony is worth only half of a man's. Stuff like this is why I have given up on organized religion in any form.

At 5:09 PM, Blogger WeezieLou said...

certainly this is a perversion of the islamic religion. it is also a huge blow concerning the issues of mental illoness. bipolar disorder can make a person more impulsive than not. and that often comes out in ways such as hypersexuality, overspending - doing whatever to excess. if she was diagnosed as bipolar at such a young age, her disorder must have been severe. god rest her soul.;

sharia law is an affront to those who believe in a loving god, of whatever religion. the people who say they are among the holiest are more likely the terrorist.

At 6:43 PM, Anonymous earl bockenfeld said...

Although full with pro-women advices, it is difficult to find pro-women laws in Sharia. That seems to be an understatement, here's Sharia laws I googled:

1. A Muslim cannot be put to death for the murder of an unbeliever. (According to clause #14 of Prophet's Medina-Charter, proudly claimed by Sharia-proponents as "The First Written Constitution in the World".

2. A Muslim man is allowed to beat his wife or wives. - Qura'anic dictum.

3. A Muslim man is allowed to have four wives at one time. - Qura'anic dictum

4. A Muslim man can divorce his wife or wives instantaneously. Then he can marry a new set of wives and continue the cycle. - Corollary of Qura'anic dictum.

5. A Muslim woman must pay money to the husband by court orders to have the marriage dissolved. - Faulty human development on Qura'anic dictum..

6. If a divorced couple wants to remarry each other, the wife must marry another person, must have complete sex with him and must be divorced by him willingly. - Qura'anic dictum.

7. The evidence required in a case of adultery is that of four Muslim adult men - Faulty human development on Qura'anic dictum.

8. Women's testimony is not accepted in cases of adultery or in any capital offence. - Faulty human development.

9. Evidence of a female singer and slave (male or female) is not admissible. - Faulty human development.

10. Testimony of a non-Muslim that has been punished for false accusation is inadmissible. If s/he later becomes a Muslim, her/his evidence is then admissible. -Faulty human development.

11. The Judge of the Court shall be a Muslim. The Judge may be a non-Muslim only if the accused is a non-Muslim. -Faulty human development.

12. Adoption is not allowed in Sharia. - Faulty human development on Qura'anic dictum.

13. Custody of children goes to mother as long as the kids need care, normally 9 years for boys and 7 for girls, after which the father takes over. But if the mother does not pray or gets married, the kids immediately go to the father. - Faulty human development.

14. Women inherit half of men. - Faulty human development on Qura'anic dictum..

15. Women's witness is half of men's in business transactions. - Faulty human development on Qura'anic dictum..

16. If a woman is killed, the blood money (the money a killer has to pay to the family of the killed on demand to get acquitted) is half of that of a Muslim man. - Faulty human development on Qura'anic dictum.

17. Apostates (Muslims who leave Islam) automatically get death penalty. If not available for killing, their marriage is dissolved and they cannot inherit from Muslim parents or children. - Faulty human development on Qura'anic dictum.

18. Muslim men can marry Christian and Jews women but Muslim women can marry only a Muslim man. - Faulty human development on Qura'anic dictum.

19. A Muslim virgin cannot marry without permission of her male guardian.- Faulty human development on Qura'anic dictum.

20. A man can marry a woman for a fixed time, from few hours to several years (Mu'ta Marriage, - Sharia of Shia sect.). Rich men from the Middle East travel to Southern India to take advantage of this law on financially poor women, so do rich Iranian men on their women. The misery of those women and children born out of this practice are beyond comprehension. - Faulty human development.

Appartenly like the Catholic church, there are no female muslim scholars and jurists.

At 6:58 PM, Blogger thepoetryman said...

I am against torture... I am against rape... I am against wielding power by force... I am against religious intolerance... I am against intolerance... I am against ignorance in the willful way... I am against stereotyping... I am against the death penalty... the war... war... ...I am against hypocrisy... I am against nation building. Interference in the business of other nations. I am against genocide, yet still against interfering with sovereign nations... (see Iraq). The US is guilty of all these things mentioned in your post... No? I guess it depends on your culture, eh? I would fight for these people's right to do all these things in your post or at least fight to not have such punishment meted out. But... We are guilty of the same in this country.

Retarded executed. Blacks outnumber all other races in prison due not to their wrongs but to their skin color. Women raped daily. Children raped daily. Blue collar crime. White collar crime. Petty. Homicide. Fratricide. Suicide. Assault. Political crimes against humanity. Disproportionate wealth distribution. Starving on the streets in plain sight. Homeless children sold into slavery. Veterans homeless. Elderly thieved. Sex with minors. Adultery. Land stolen from the beginning. Native Americans disregarded and spit upon. KKK. White Arian Nation. Nazi Party. Republican, Democrat, Independent, Green, Liberal... Religious thievery. Religious enslavement. Religious (insert your vice).

My point? (See above.)

At 7:22 PM, Blogger glenda said...

Thanks to you all for your thought-provoking comments. The purpose is to get us all to evaluate and re-evaluate our thinking..these are all great!!

At 11:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barbarism rooted in the human propensity to 'believe' things. Cruelty and stupidity beyond measure. All for nothing. All because human are nuts. Pitiful.

At 12:49 AM, Anonymous Pekka said...

Supposingly poor Atefeh is doomed to burn in hell which just might be a better place than the one she was so cruelly forced to leave.

Am I wrong but, you executed an under aged and mentally disabled boy not too long ago?

At 8:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

woah..I'm at work, and I had to coment on this..very, very sad...thanks for bringing this to our attention..


At 11:53 AM, Anonymous Adorable Girlfriend said...

Wow! I printed out this post so I could read it last night. It makes me very very sad and very empowered. I am doing some research and then plan to take action. Thanks for getting me motivated to do something.

At 1:39 PM, Blogger glenda said...

pekka, yes, Texas has cruel punishment too. Both are in the wrong.
Thanks beth, adorable girlfriend, charlie!

At 7:08 PM, Blogger troutsky said...

Great blog, lots of valuable stuff, thanks.

At 4:55 AM, Blogger glenda said...

Thanks troutsky

At 5:30 PM, Blogger Fuff said...

Utter deplorable madness. Just came over from Charlie's blog. Great read (well, the other stuff)!

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