Imagine this: your daughter just gave birth, but she is facing having to raise the child as a single mother. What do you do? Well, if you live in Nigeria, the answer is easy: STONE HER!!
FUNTUA, Nigeria -- The European Union joined human rights organizations and lawmakers on Tuesday to condemn a ruling by an Islamic appeals court here that a single mother who had sex outside marriage must be stoned to death.
The woman's lawyers said they planned to file an appeal to a yet higher Islamic court. If that fails, they can appeal to the Nigerian Supreme Court, where the case would force a showdown between the country's constitutional and religious authorities....
Human rights groups declared that the sentence violated international conventions and called on the government of President Olusegun Obasanjo to overturn the sentence. Obasanjo issued no public response.
"The death penalty is never an appropriate punishment for a crime, and, in this instance, the very nature of the crime is in doubt," said LaShawn Jefferson of the New York-based Human Rights Watch.
London-based Amnesty International said stoning people to death was "the ultimate form of torture" and that the "sentence should not be carried out."....
Obasanjo's government has declared some punishments set forth by Islamic law such as beheadings, stonings and amputations unconstitutional. But some predominantly Muslim northern states, which began instituting Shariah, or Islamic law, shortly after civilian rule replaced military dictatorship in 1999, have accused him of meddling.
Clutching her baby daughter, Amina Lawal burst into tears when the judge delivered the ruling on Monday.
Lawal, 30, was first sentenced in March after giving birth to a daughter more than nine months after divorcing.
"We uphold the judgment from the lower court," Judge Aliyu Abdullahi said.
Many of the 60 people who packed the small courtroom in Funtua, in Nigeria's northern Katsina state, shouted "God is great!" while Lawal wept.
The judge said the sentence would be carried out as soon as Lawal finishes breast-feeding her baby. In June, the court postponed her execution until January 2004 for that reason.
God is great?? What kind of barbarians are we dealing with here? What kind of ignorant zealot would celebrate stoning an innocent woman for giving birth out of wedlock? Since when is being a single mother a crime? People who would celebrate this sort of barbarity do not deserve the right to propagate. While we're chopping off body parts here, let's start with the genitals of these morons. At least then they won't be able to father children and raise them in the same fear and ignorance they've been steeped in.
This is Islam in name only. I've read the Koran, and I'd challenge anyone to show where this sort of punished is prescribed or condoned. There is nothing in the tenets of Islam that states that women are to be treated like property or vessels whose sole function is to churn out children. This only goes to show what fear and ignorance can do when they cloak themselves in religious garb- and this is hardly something native to Islam.
Whether we're talking about Islam, Christianity, Judaism, or any other religion, there seems to be a serious disconnect between concept and execution. This is not a recent phenomenon (the Crusades, anyone??), and perhaps that is what makes this all the more disturbing. Religion, in concept at least, is about love, faith, and charity. In reality, religion has become all about social and political control. Too often, the people in charge of religious life are poorly-educated, unworldly, narrow-minded sorts incapable of grasping the subtleties of day-to-day life. Life is defined in black and white terms for these folks, while for the rest of us life is lived in shades of grey.
While it is easy to condemn the Nigerian courts making and upholding this ridiculous and barbaric sentence, we would do well to take a close look in our own closet. There are too many militant Shiite Christians who would be willing to take this country in the same direction.
Yes, we should by all means condemn the ignorance an barbarity being propagated by the Nigerian courts. Unfortunately, leaving it at that would be doing our own country a terrible misjustice.