Friday, February 10, 2006

I Mean, Just to Be Fair...

"An Iranian court has sentenced a teenage rape victim to death by hanging after she weepingly confessed that she had unintentionally killed a man who had tried to rape both her and her niece.

The state-run daily Etemaad reported on Saturday that 18-year-old Nazanin confessed to stabbing one of three men who had attacked the pair along with their boyfriends while they were spending some time in a park west of the Iranian capital in March 2005.

Nazanin, who was 17 years old at the time of the incident, said that after the three men started to throw stones at them, the two girls’ boyfriends quickly escaped on their motorbikes leaving the pair helpless.

She described how the three men pushed her and her 16-year-old niece Somayeh onto the ground and tried to rape them, and said that she took out a knife from her pocket and stabbed one of the men in the hand.

As the girls tried to escape, the men once again attacked them, and at this point, Nazanin said, she stabbed one of the men in the chest. The teenage girl, however, broke down in tears in court as she explained that she had no intention of killing the man but was merely defending herself and her younger niece from rape, the report said.

The court, however, issued on Tuesday a sentence for Nazanin to be hanged to death."
I wonder when sharia law will be recognized for the human rights violation that it is, in as much a league as Saddam's People Shredders and China's lack of due process (among many others), and be dealt with accordingly? Dealt with of all nations who adhere to it.

Of course, I don't imagine that will happen anytime soon - too many Muslim countries who adhere to it can block those kinds of resolutions in the UN. But still, it's apalling, and should have no way to hide behind "accepted religious practices" in the eyes of the international community any more than cannibalism or genocide.

Caveat: I understand from here (take it as you will) that sharia law doesn't just call for hanging young rape victims, that some Islamic scholars say it can help keep the peace by enforcing laws. Maybe so, maybe not. But if the heart of such a moral code and law it accepts these practices as both necessary and mandated by relion, I can't imagine the entire law has much of a moral leg to stand on.

Of course, at first glance, one could say the same about some practices of Christianity - but thank goodness that example only has about 6 members.

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