That’s what I’m wondering, too » « Facts never get in the way of a good myth Shari’a sucks Barbarians. Share this:PrintEmailShare on TumblrTweet That’s what I’m wondering, too » « Facts never get in the way of a good myth
That’s disgusting. Don’t forget, though, that the U.S. also executes killers who claim self defense. Americans should be angry about their own country’s death penalty policies, as well as Iran’s.
It’s not just this girl. This is a not particularly uncommon thing in Iran.
What’s wonderful is that she probably would’ve been killed if the rapists had succeeded.
I don’t understand how you could loathe women so much.
I might be wrong on this but under Shari’a law for the rape defence to have worked I think that she needed to produce one or two male witnesses?
The entire system seems to be very anti women (of course they’re protecting them).
I smelled a rat. Do Iranian teenagers hang out in parks at night with their boyfriends? I doubt it. Even the language of the article sounded a bit odd. So I Googled the name of the originating site and found all sorts of interesting results.
There’s no question that the story is awful. I just wonder if it’s true. Even then, why are all these sorts of stories being so highlighted *right now*.
I still smell a rat.
It’s a horrible story, if true. The worst part might be that this is happening in Iran, which is largely Shia. Radical Sunnis are usually responsible for the worst impositions of Sharia. The Taliban and Saudia Arabia are Sunni countries.
PZ Myers says
My first thought on reading it was actually, “Iran sucks.” But then I realized that this poor girl, of course, is Iranian.
There might be some sneaky attempts to elevate anti-Iran news going on, but we just have to remember: the way to address evils committed against the people of Iran is not to bomb the people of Iran.
I have heard stories like this for years but no one cared until Iran started browsing the “make your own nukes” part of the hobby store.
Max Udargo says
Just to add another voice of skepticism… I’m wary of drawing conclusions from a short blurb like that without any additional context. We’re basically being told the girl’s side of the story and nothing else. Was evidence presented that contradicted what she said? Was it argued by the prosecution that she killed the man for other reasons and it had nothing to do with defending herself against rape? That short piece doesn’t provide nearly enough information to draw a conclusion about the case.
If there’s more information at the iranfocus.com link, I can’t get a page to load.
noone inparticular says
Ditto Max’s skepticism. There is also no indication from *this* story that Shari’a was invoked. Amnesty Intn’l’s concern was with the execution of someone who commits a crime as a child.
There is also no indication from *this* story that Shari’a was invoked.
Iran says that they can’t stop killing underage offenders because under shari’a the family of the victim can demand the death penalty. So Iran is definitely invoking shari’a law here.
Jeez, didn’t any of you skeptics follow the link to Amnesty International? And SO WHAT if the girl’s side of the story was the only one presented? Is there any conceivable justification for the execution of a minor?*
I sure hope that everyone’s hunch that Bush is about to bomb Iran isn’t getting in anyone’s way of telling right from wrong.**
*Noting of course that the US is one of the few countries besides Iran that does this.
**Maybe we should consider bombing Texas while we’re at it.
But but but…
Fossils and amber show that life hasn’t changed in 150 million years!
Therefore, treating women like concentration camp prisoners is okay!
I should note that in a country like this, you are damned if you do, damned if you don’t. If the story is basically true, then we have a situation in which if the girl had not fought back, she would have been raped and hence shamed and thought a slut regardless of whether she consented or not. Her family might even pressure her into suicide. If, on the other hand, she does fight back… she gets the death penalty. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Litterally. It’s just up to some man to decide when and if you’ll be damned.
The sad thing is that Iran was at least showing signs of moderation (admittedly small) before 9/11. Bush’s disastrous invasion of Iraq and the subsequent mismanagement has turned many Muslims against the West and most likely has set the liberalisation of Iran back years if not decades.
Bush is always harping on about the long view regarding the Middle East. At the moment the long view is looking very bleak indeed.
Max Udargo says
Jeez, didn’t any of you skeptics follow the link to Amnesty International? And SO WHAT if the girl’s side of the story was the only one presented? Is there any conceivable justification for the execution of a minor?
Well, for my part, like I said, the link wasn’t working for me before. I’m able to access the AI article now.
First, for the sake of accuracy, they are not in this case going to execute a minor, but somebody who committed a crime while a minor. I oppose the death penalty in all cases, but I’m not especially vexed by the idea of executing somebody who’s 18 and committed a crime at 17, as opposed to somebody who’s 19 and committed a crime at 18.
I guess – not being able to access the AI article – I assumed the issue here was the woman’s right to defend herself with lethal force against rapists. I don’t think the AI article gives us enough information to address the question of whether that right was assumed or respected. And that’s a more interesting question to me.
Conceding that we want to be vigilant against the right wing propaganda machine suddenly discovering torture chambers and “rape rooms” in Teheran, I think we can pretty safely echo PZ’s original comment without worrying that we’re buying a load.
Executing someone for a crime they committed in their minority sure bothers the hell out of me. Even if they have since had their 18th birthday in jail. And especially if it’s a young woman in a fundamentalist Islamic country accused of a crime that was at all related to sex. It’s pretty safe to say, I think, that there’s no “other side of the story”.
I’ve seen a phrase — “gender apartheid” — that seems an apt description of the conditions.
Torbjorn Larsson says
Let’s list some (non)random barbarisms nations can do:
– Death penalty
– Death penalty for minors
– Death penalty for mental sick people
– Torture camps
– Withdrawing legal rights for people from conflicted regions indefinitely
– Putting a nation on indefinite war status
– Making agressive wars
Now let’s list the number of nations who does this:
1? 2? Surely no more than 5?
Dunno how valid this is:
G. Tingey says
Yet again …..
In this case, numbers 2, 3, & 5 are the especially relevant ones.
1. No god can be detected – OR – God is not detectable
2. All religions are blackmail, and are based on fear and superstition.
3. All religions have been made by men.
4. Prayer has no effect on third parties.
5. All religions kill, or enslave, or torture.
John C. Randolph says
Self-defense is a valid extenuating circumstance in a murder defense in every state in the USA. However, *claiming* self-defense, is different from the jury agreeing that you were in fact acting in self-defense.
So, if the dead man succumbs to a bullet with an entry wound in the back of the head, and the shooter claims self-defense, the jury may not buy his story.
John C. Randolph says
I must take exception to your assertion #2, “all religions are blackmail”. Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Jainism, to name four, do not preach “do as I say or God will torture you for all eternity”. They’re still superstition, but they preach that we live in order to learn enough to escape the cycle of reincarnation and find enlightenment (nirvana). Karma isn’t a doctrine of punishment, it’s a belief that you’re on a path to self-improvement through compassion, which some people will achieve sooner than others.
Frumious B. says
There are a few facts which don’t add up. Feministing claims there were boyfriends present, but neither the AI article nor either of the two news articles posted by Arun mention the presence of others. The AI article places the attacks in a park, and the second of Arun’s links places the attacks on a Tehran road. I definately question the story. However, this doesn’t make me a supporter of the execution of minors anymore than questioning Bush makes me a supporter of terrorism.
Careful, PZ. I don’t want some cleric to issue a fatwa on one of my favorite bloggers.
Max Udargo says
It’s pretty safe to say, I think, that there’s no “other side of the story”.
Now see, it’s this kind of irrationalism that puts people in the uncomfortable position of defending Iranian court decisions.
My speculations are as follows:
1. The girls in the park with their boyfriends.
2. The religious enforcement goons attacked them. These are presumably similar to the Saudi religious police.
3. One of the goons was killed.
4. Because the goons were “enforcing” the law (unmarried girl and boy should not be together), the self-defence argument was disallowed.
5. This kind of incident happens at a few-per-year level in Iran, but only because we’re in a mode of gearing up for a conflict with Iran is this receiving widespread attention.
6. The earliest attention I see is in the right-wing blogs, asking, why aren’t the left-wingers – Amnesty Intl, feminists, etc., speaking up?
Thank you for that very insightful information.
We don’t know much about the girl in that story. We know she killed a man, and we know she claimed self defense. We don’t know what the prosecution’s case was or who testified or why the court ruled against her. For all we know she may have made up the whole self defense story.
My only point I wanted to make is that if Americans are angry about that case in Iran (and they should be), then they should be angry about death penalty cases at home too.
Max Udargo says
Arun, that makes a lot of sense and sounds familiar. I think I read an account of a similar incident in southern Iraq (on Riverbend’s blog, I think). Young men acting as morality police attacked a group of young people in a park or cemetery because they were a mixed group of unmarried men and women.
So, does it make sense to you that these morality enforcers would then turn on the girls and attempt to rape them? In their minds, have the girls given them license to sexually abuse them because they’ve proven themselves sluts by hanging out with boys in a park? There’s a certain creepy logic to that if you’ve witnessed sexual repression expressed as religious conviction. And I guess the nullification of her right to self defense would be the codification of that creepy logic.
But would a Mullah really say, “How could you murder a young man? We will teach you a lesson so that the likes of your filthy whores cannot raise a hand on men ever again.” Am I naive for finding that quote a little bit suspect?
There was a sensational story like this that appeared last year about an young Iranian girl in Neka being hung for “acts incompatible with chastity” which appeared on the US Amnesty website, but when I began to check into it I found the details were inconsistent and the earliest source I could find for it was what appeared to be a US funded radio station, outside of Iran. I was astonished that Amnesty did not seem to have checked very far into the sources of the story as I’d always assumed that they were very reliable. There are genuine human rights violations in Iran but I think we need to beware of buying into things which later turn out to be the equivalent of the ‘Saddam’s troops threw babies out of incubators in Kuwait’ propaganda stories. It’s a tough one – I think human rights groups sometimes need to be clearer about the sources for their information, how reliable they are, and what independent evidence they have. Not always possible, I know, but in general, the more sensational the claim – the more it should be backed by good evidence.
Iam all for checking the validity of the story, butitseems many people are skeptical of itjust because it seems too horrible to be true, and there are plenty of real life things that soundto horribleto be true. These kind of religios laws treat women like things and punish them much harsher than men accused of the same things. Religious courts ofany kind carry ut travesties of justice because crimes are committed against God and not just fellow citizens, just think of the european witch trials. So to me nothing about the story smells made up, I thinkits perfectly plausible that this wouldhappen in a sexist theocracy, of course that doesn’testablish the facts, but I reallydon’t smell that much of a rat, humans have done worse toeachother after all.
Well, Amina Lawal existed and was sentenced to be stoned to death. I know this because people did some basic journalism which found her and her family, and confirmed what had happened. Second hand reports, based on a single-source from a newspaper which might or might not be reliable are a different matter.
Alon Levy says
Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Jainism, to name four, do not preach “do as I say or God will torture you for all eternity”. They’re still superstition, but they preach that we live in order to learn enough to escape the cycle of reincarnation and find enlightenment (nirvana). Karma isn’t a doctrine of punishment, it’s a belief that you’re on a path to self-improvement through compassion, which some people will achieve sooner than others.
No discussion of Hinduism’s record on human rights is complete without at least mentioning the caste system and the religion’s rampant misogyny.