Before NASA rushes to expand its horizons to include reaching out to Muslims (see Doug Powers article over at MichelleMalkin.com) as ordered by the President (or is it Ayatollah now?), it might be more productive to stop and realize just who we’re getting into bed with. Literally.
While we were celebrating our independence here in America over the weekend, a mother of two is expected to be executed soon in Iran, in as horrific a fashion as one can imagine. It’s a death sentence ordered by the Muslim judicial system, stuck on 14th century barbarism.
42 year-old Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, sentenced to be stoned to death, could have her execution carried out at any time. She had been interrogated in 2006 for her husband’s murder. In May of that year, branch 101 of the Criminal Court of Oskoo in the province of Eastern Azerbaijan (in northwestern Iran) sentenced Sakineh to 99 lashes for committing adultery even though there was no proof or evidence to support it. She reported that she was forced into making a confession during the punishment. This is not an uncommon event according to prominent human rights lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei (who, himself, is at risk for torture due to his efforts regarding human rights and amnesty in Iran).
Regardless, Ashtiani was lashed 99 times, a horribly painful experience and one that scars you both physically and mentally for life.
Four months after her lashing, a different court (branch 6 of the Criminal Court of Azerbaijan) sentenced Ashtiani to death by stoning for the same offense.
According to the web site Women Living Under Muslim Laws:
Sakineh’s case, like others pertaining to stoning, has some serious errors and objectionable problems. For example, two of the five judges, Kazemi and Hamdollahi, presiding over the case in branch 6 of the provincial Criminal Court, believed in her acquittal.
In an interview with Rooz, Mohammad Mostafaei, Sakineh’s laywer, stated, “When two, or even one of the magistrates presiding over a case in the Criminal Court, believe in an acquittal and find errors in the presented evidence, then the defendant should not be sentenced to death. When the life of a human being is in question, there must be more hesitation and contemplation. One’s life should not be taken away so easily or be subjected to [excruciating] death.”
But apparently three out of the five Muslim judges disagreed. According to the Islamic Penal Code, four fair witnesses are required to have seen the act first-hand, in full, and from close up. In this case there are no witnesses, but that does not matter to the judges: without the four witnesses required, they still imposed the sentence of death by stones.
The execution is done in barbaric fashion as described by Amnesty International: The woman is bound and covered with a shroud. She is then buried up to her upper chest so she cannot move and her head is exposed. At that point, small rocks – small enough not to kill on their own, but large enough to inflict horrific pain, are hurled at her until, eventually, she dies from accumulative wounds.
Her two children have turned their appeal to the world. In an open letter, they write:
Today, we stretch out our hands to the whole world. It is now five years that we have lived in fear and in horror, deprived of motherly love. Is the world so cruel that it can watch this catastrophe and do nothing about it?
We resort to the people of the world, no matter who you are and where in the world you live. Help to prevent this nightmare from becoming reality. Save our mother…
We are unable to explain the anguish of every moment, every second of our lives. Words are unable to articulate our fear.
What You Can Do To Help Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani:
While several amnesty groups are trying to save Sakineh, their efforts may fall on deaf ears unless those with the power to stop the execution see how much support there is for amnesty throughout the world.
But time is absolutely of the essence. If you would like to help push for amnesty in what is clearly a case of barbarism, please click HERE and follow the instructions. Political and public pressure is about all Sakineh has left to hope for.