Love Survival

Came across this story, “Young lovers stoned to death”, a Reuters story in the Ottawa Sun, on August 17, 2010. Searched for the online version of the story, and came up with “Taliban stone to death secret lovers“, from U.K. Mirror. Here is the text, by Greig Box Turnbull:

Two young lovers have been publicly stoned to death by the Taliban – for having a secret affair.

August 17, 2010

The married man, 28, and 20-year-old woman, who was engaged to someone else, were arrested when their families shopped them as they planned to elope.

They died at the hands of a baying mob of around 150 in a market at Mullah Quli in Aghanistan’s Kunduz province on Sunday – the first execution of its kind in the normally moderate Muslim area.

One witness said villagers were called to attend the stoning, in a loudspeaker announcement from a mosque.

He said: “There was a big crowd, with the women all in black. The Taliban started throwing stones. We were asked to throw too. After a while, the woman was dead, but the man was still alive.

“The Taliban shot him three times. They warned villagers if anyone does anything un-Islamic, this will be their fate.” The deaths follow a call last week by fanatical Afghan clerics for a return to capital punishment under
Sharia law.

A week ago, a woman was publicly flogged and brutally executed in northwestern Badghis province after being accused of adultery.

Despite the presence of more than 140,000 foreign troops, backed by 300,000 Afghan soldiers and police, the Taliban have managed to spread beyond their traditional strongholds in the south.

A spokesman for Nato-led forces yesterday slammed the extremists.

Brigadier General Josef Blotz said: “They have increased acts of violence and are trying to repress the population.”

They even filmed the execution, which was later released by Afghan Security Forces.

Wondered about the woman who was publicly flogged and then killed, a short time prior. I found the story, this time in the UK Daily Mail, credited to “Mail Foreign Service”:

Afghan widow given more than 200 lashes before being shot dead by Taliban for adultery was PREGNANT

By Mail Foreign Service
10th August 2010

The Afghan woman publicly executed by Taliban militants for alleged adultery was pregnant, it emerged today.

The victim, 48-year-old Bibi Sanubar, was flogged up to 200 times before being shot on Sunday – in the head and chest – in the remote Qades district. Her alleged lover managed to escape.

Abdul Jabbar Khan, security chief in the Taliban-controlled area, said the killing was ordered after the woman allegedly killed her newborn child to conceal illicit sex.

The international coalition in the country issued a slightly different version of the incident, saying Sanubar was a still-pregnant widow who was killed for alleged adultery.

Elders in the village of Quds contacted Taliban commanders after the woman’s pregnancy became known. A local official said: ‘She had an illegal relationship with a man who was not her husband.’

But he added: ‘Her husband died many years before. Then she became pregnant so, according to Islam, we gave her a very strong punishment. It was more than 200 lashes. Then we shot her.’

Afghan police said the body was later dumped in an area under government control.

Khan told The Times newspaper: ‘This was not the way she should have been punished. She should have been arrested and we would have had proof that she had an illegal affair. Then she should come to court and face justice.’

‘Justice’, Afghan style, is still relatively harsh. Rape victims, for example, are prosecuted for having sex outside of wedlock.

Under Afghan law, Sanubar would have been jailed for up to three years if found guilty of adultery, but many women are then returned to their families to face traditional punishments, including so-called honour killings.

Sanubar’s execution comes days after an Afghan woman was flown to the U.S. to have reconstructive surgery after the Taliban cut off her nose and ears – after she tried to escape from an abusive husband.

Qades is an isolated area held by Taliban militants in north-western Badghis province.

When in power from 1996 until 2001, the radical Taliban staged public stonings or lashings of those found to have sex outside marriage.

Sunday’s execution would be the second of a woman by the Taliban since they were ousted from power nine years ago.

A woman was previously executed for alleged spying for foreign forces.

The judiciary in neighbouring Iran last month suspended a sentence of death by stoning for a woman convicted of adultery after an international outcry over the case.

Then wanted to find out about the woman who was in the U.S. for reconstructive surgery after the Taliban cut off her nose and ears, as punishment for her wanting to leave her husband…

But can’t search or write any more. If anything even vaguely approximating these attitudes appears in any form in Canada or any other country purporting to respect human rights, it must be opposed in the most unequivocal manner, by the general citizenry, across faiths. Sometimes I find that people will say this is “just” the supposedly barbaric Afghanis and, as such, an isolated issue. It is not. Plus, Canadians fought and died there, for a better life for everyone, everywhere. Speaking mildly…

About brucelarochelle
This entry was posted in Afghanistan, Civil Rights, Oppression of Women. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Love Survival

  1. I attended the opera weekend before last. It was “Romeo et Juliette”. It’s the same story, as the two lovers die, because those around them refuse to accept the validity of their love.

    The stories you relate about the Taliban should have added as context that they are at war with “us”, whoever we are. Remember that the Viet Cong also did everything they could to terrorize the local population to keep them from any positive associations with “us”. And it’s not like “us” doesn’t terrorize back – occasionally stories break through into the media about wedding parties mistakenly bombed, and the like.

    The other thing that I wonder about, in the context of the war between “them” and “us”, is that the “them” is generally demonized in our media, likely in part to justify the war. Perhaps all these events really occurred, I don’t doubt, as acts of terror or revenge, but I bet the evil acts of “them” are over-reported here, and those of “us” under-reported here, and vice versa there.

    All this speaks to the brutality and immorality and amorality of war. People do things to “them”‘s in wars and are heroes, whereas if they did the same things to “us”‘s in peacetime, they would be serial murderers. The best thing would be not to engage in such behaviors, not to get involved in such wars. If we weren’t fighting them, would they feel the same need to engage in terror acts to control their population? Possibly not?! I wonder?

    It’s such a difficult problem! When are you justified to intervene in someone else’s affairs because you disapprove of their heinousness? How much terror are you allowed, in order to combat someone else’s terror? I think Christ would have said that you are allowed none. So perhaps, against our best judgement, we should disapprove, but try to forgive, and possibly through good works sway them around to behave better themselves. It sounds naive, doesn’t it? But a truly religious person is supposed to put God’s commands ahead of his/her own rationality, and also ahead to the ethical standards of his/her own community. Yet, at the same time, it is difficult to condone in any way the violence you describe.

  2. Deiter says:

    I suppose what is particularly disturbing about what you’ve described is that it was done in such a public manner, with the apparent complicity of the public. Just how complicit or how coerced would be interesting to know, but for appearances, the situation seemed both institutional and societal. Violent and oppressive regimes thrive in places of desperation like Afghanistan. We, in Canada and the U.S. or A. (my home), have committed plenty of heinous acts of our own. Our institutions, while much human rights friendlier, have their own answering to do as well.

    If I’m reading you right, you’re suggesting that the West has an obligation to intervene. First, we must ask: Are we even worthy for such a task? And, second: Could we do so without making matters far worse? I’d argue, given our manifold histories of intervention, the latter. In 2012, would Iraq been better off with Saddam Hussein or where they are now, after these many years of international (but mostly U.S.) intervention? It’s debatable. (Certainly Exxon is better off.)

    I agree with your premise that something should be done. I doubt, though, that we’re the worthy parties to do it.

  3. On December 22, 2011, Neil Remington Abramson commented as follows (e-mail correspondence reproduced with permission):

    I entirely agree with Deiter’s comment on your blog. Saddam Hussein was responsible for far fewer Iragi deaths (not counting his war vs. Iran, which the US supported) than Mr. Bush. I read that Gulf War 2 cost 100,000 Iraqi lives and not quite 5.000 US soldiers. They hung Hussein, but only hung Bush out to dry.

    I wonder how many on our side would have been tried for war crimes over the years since WWII, if the other sides had been able to do it? Vidal reports documentation to show the British deliberately caused 6 million Assamese to starve to death in WWII (by destroying the rice supply) because it was feared they’d support the Japanese against Britain due to their opposition to colonialism.

    It’s not a concentration camp, nor for racial reasons (except “white man’s burden”) but it’s the same number and same result the Germans did to the Jews. Lucky the British won, and buried the paperwork for 50 years.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s