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Stoned human dignity
by Thanos Kalamidas
2008-11-06 09:27:21
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I should be writing about the Wind of Hope that Barack Obama is bringing and has definitely fascinated me just like the whole world, but a thirteen year-old girl’s news just squashed any sense of joy inside me. The news of a thirteen year-old girl and a documentary I saw, I think, two years ago.

I’m not sure, perhaps Asa will remember the exactly date, but a few years ago we watched the screening of a documentary in Helsinki focusing on the torture of a woman; she was sentenced to be stoned from the Sharia law because she had a baby with another man. Both Asa and I know the director of the film and the little respect we might have had for him dropped to unbelievable depths that day because of a question the director asked two human rights representatives in the documentary - the question first shocked us and then made us angry. He asked them if there was any other way to …kill the woman other than inhumane stoning. His Arabic origins are no excuse for what he asked.

You could see through the silence of the two women their shock at the question and I felt like running out of the theatre screaming. I think the director of the film that day reached the bottom of the inhuman attitude. How can you stone somebody? How this can be called justice and how dare people call the Sharia laws fair?

But I’d better tell you about the thirteen year-old girl. This story is unveiled in Somalia, a country with strong Muslim beliefs and Sharia laws. A thirteen year-old girl was raped by three men and as any normal, logic, civilized - call it as you might like - person would have done, she ran to the police station to make an accusation for the crime. That’s in normal countries because in countries under the Sharia law this is what happens: the girl, because she's thirteen and not a woman, had to admit …adultery since she’s been out of the house alone, not accompanied by a male member of her family and she was sentenced to death by stoning.

I’m sorry but I find it difficult to find the right words to describe these animals who like to be called humans, religious, believers, ethics or anything else they want. I find it difficult to call them humans. Fifty men, you see, according to the Sharia law, have the "privilege" to participate in this kind of justice of stoning a thirteen year-old girl because she was raped. These are the people who talk about the uncivilized west, these are the people who dare criticize the western way of life and these are the people who preach god!

I have said it before many times, I am one of these weird types who has read the Koran and it is a book of love and compassion like all holy books, but how can these criminals use a holy book to make crimes like that and what the punishment should be for them? Because they should be punished somehow. From the moment that I read the news about the girl I have felt so angry. I cannot understand how somebody like the Archbishop of Canterbury dared to say that we must think about the practice of the Sharia law in Europe. What law and what justice?

Only this example should be the reason to forbid the practice of the Sharia law internationally from the United Nations, these people are the real terrorists who have no respect at all for human life. A thirteen year-old girl was killed because she was raped and they dare call that justice!!! And then a ‘reporter-director’ who enjoys all the privileges and liberties of the western life asks if there are …other ways to kill except stoning!!!

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Dimitrios2008-11-06 13:00:27

Emanuel Paparella2008-11-06 15:30:51
This article is bound to provoke some reflections on the relationship of law, human rights and religion. Perhaps some further clarifications are in order. It is not very logical to go around advocating the elimination of laws derived from religious tenets and at the same time to advocate cultural relativism. Cultural relativism leaves one defenseless against charges of neo-colonialism, cultural imperialism and racism and failing to respect the other. If one advocates cultural relativism then it logically follows that each religion should have its own social laws which could turn out to be very different from each other. Some have misguidedly advocated the elimination of religion as a radical solution to the problem but the abuse does not take away the use. The liquidation of religion as “poison” (Mao) or as “opium of the people” (Marx) is the equivalent of taking away the use of religion because of the abuse of religion, and in the name of modernity and emancipation violating another fundamental human right, that of freedom of religion. That is a false solution. (continued below)

Emanuel Paparella2008-11-06 15:31:28
Kant suggested an alternate solution to moral and cultural relativism: that for a moral law to be such it has to be universal. Which is to say, if moral laws are not universal, they can be suspected of violating human rights once examined under the light of reason. In other words, human rights are vested in the individual, what the founding fathers of the U.S. called “inalienable” rights, they are not vested in a group or a society. The individual is born with them and it is not the state or society that grants them or can they take them away for that matter. Therefore freedom of religion also means the freedom to leave a religion that is found unreasonable and intolerant, even the freedom to practice no religion whatsoever. In practice that means the secular state wherein laws are made democratically but are never seen as transcending human rights that accrue to the individual and are rock bottom, and the moral law is seen as universal and not relative to a group or society or an ideology. What logically follows from the above considerations is this question: on what does one ground universal inalienable human rights if not the power of the state or of a society? Is mere universal reason sufficient? The answer to those questions has provoked rivers of ink and is subject matter for a separate discussion.

Sand2008-11-06 17:52:45
I really don't need a universal moral law to be horrified by the injustices described. Whether my disgust arises out of my particular cultural upbringing or from the abysmal stupidity of unreasoned cruelty of inflicting torture and death on fellow humans I cannot say. Apparently the US government which I assume is somehow influenced by the same cultural forces as I have been is somewhat more flexible in the matter.

Emanuel Paparella2008-11-06 20:56:59
When Lord William Buntinck, one of the governor of India in the 19th century insisted on the elimination of Sati (widow burning) from Indian society despite the insistence on the part of the elders of that society that it had its foundation in the traditions sanctioned by their holy scripture (the Rig Veda) he had three options before him:

1. The bully Machiavellian option. He could have told the elders that he did not care a fig about their religious customs which were cruel and stupid in any case. He was in charge, albeit in their home, and what he said went. In a relativistic world all customs may be equal but he who has the power dictates the law.
2. The Kantian rational solution. He could have made a case that human rights are universal, based on universal reason and universally applicable and that they do not contradict any genuine religion who respects reason and freedom. The Kantian solution.
3. The Imperialist solution. Pit one custom against another and support it with the legality of law and power.

He was too good of a governor and diplomat to adopt n. 1 as a colonizer lording it over in somebody’s else home. He chose n. 3 telling the elders that he too had a custom that he intended to apply, that of hanging those who burned widow. Certainly n. 3 was better than n. 1, even admirable to a certain extent: not power makes right (n. 1) but power for right (n. 3). But he would have been by far wiser had he chosen n. 2: the universality of human rights in harmony with freedom of religion. The Hindus would have understood that appeal to universal laws much better than the threat of raw power and the positive law made by a conqueror. The chickens have now come home to roost: the English have to decide on what grounds they wish to outlaw Sharia law among Muslims living in England. I think that n. 2, the Kantian position is still the best.

Sand2008-11-06 21:16:29
The judgment as to whether abysmal customs should be permitted or not is separate from the methods used to administer justice. The American south treated black people like inferior animals for a hundred years until the federal government sent in the military to see to it that federal law was obeyed and little black kids could attend school. No doubt the problem is still not entirely solved but without force it never could have started to be solved.

AP2008-11-07 02:50:40
Yes, that's disgusting. Had heard about it before.

Other ways to kill? I could suggest the director to shoot from a helicopter... no, wait... where did I hear that before?

AP2008-11-07 03:01:53
The director could try "other smoother ways to kill"... himself, like:
1. electrocuted by a movie camera, or multiple cameras
2. chewing his sadistic tongue to death
3. trying to seize the depts of the ocean
4. drowning on the swamps of a swine farm.

Hank W.2008-11-27 18:28:16
Well, with this "multiculturalism" that is being pushed upon Finland thats what we'll be having in a few years.

Hank W.2008-11-27 18:33:02
Wow, Thanos, you're being such a racist. Now as we know from all these multiculturalism workshops you may not say the stupid foreigners are being stupid because you might hurt their feelings. You have to cherish the enrichment they will bring to our culture when they follow their traditions. Naughty naughty naughty. Someone might be thinking you have been reading Halla-aho or voting "True Finns" when you write something like this. You evil neonazi you, really cannot you see the beauty of a multicultural society with sharia for all?

After all its just us wicked Finns that want everybody playing with the same rules.

Ruby2008-12-10 21:19:42
Actually I'm a muslim and that's barbaric- thats not islam- they are not follwing sharia law. They are following their own laws.

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