As reported by CNN, at any moment now a woman in Iran—a mother of two—could be buried up to her chest and stoned to death, using stones “not so large as to kill her immediately.”
Her alleged crime? She was convicted—without a single witness—of adultery, which is a capital offense in Iran, a nation whose laws reflect Bronze Age religious morality, and whose justice system functions most decidedly against women.
Our own State Department, perhaps in an effort to avoid forcing the Iranian’s hands, has not exactly expressed outrage at the possibility that in the year 2010, a nation that once was part of the modern world could bury a woman in the ground and brutally murder her with stones for an alleged adulterous affair:
“We have grave concerns that the punishment does not fit the alleged crime, ” Assistant Secretary of State P.J. Crowley said Thursday. “For a modern society such as Iran, we think this raises significant human rights concerns.”
“Grave concerns” and “raises significant human rights concerns“? Look, I understand that diplomats in the State Department specialize in rounding off the corners of controversies, but should the execution actually take place, something more reflective of our outrage should emanate from the top of Foggy Bottom.
In any case, what makes the execution of Sakineh Ashtiani possible is not just the awful reality of Islamic law, but a stubborn refusal to acknowledge that the age-old, infallible “truths” handed down by God were not in fact handed down by God and therefore not infallible.
That fact is something which religious conservatives everywhere have trouble digesting.
Here is the CNN report: