Monday, November 17, 2008

Stoned to death, in November 2008

I've read three articles now about the 13 year old girl who was stoned to death in Somalia recently. Her crime? She was raped by three armed men.

This article in the Scotland Sunday Herald was the most graphic. I hesitated to include it on my blog, but really, we can't ignore what is reality for many women in our world today. The bigger question is, what can we DO about it?

The 13-year-old girl from the Somali port city of Kismayo was taken to the police station by her aunt to report the crime. Asha was the one who was arrested. After being held for three days and tried in secret by an Islamic court, Asha was sentenced to be stoned to death for adultery.

Kismayo's rulers encouraged people to come to the football stadium to watch the execution. A lorry load of stones was laid out. Asha, dragged kicking and screaming into the stadium, was buried in the ground. With around 1000 people watching, 50 men stepped forward and started hurling the stones at Asha's head. After a few moments, the stoning was stopped.

Two nurses were asked to step forward and check if she was still alive. She was, they said, so the stoning continued.

I say we speak out against extremism. All forms of extremism carry with them the capacity to justify killing the innocent.

Have you ever thought about which form of extremism you'd prefer living under? I wonder if I'd prefer communism over religious extremism. Tough choice. I hope we are wise enough, strong enough and vocal enough to prevent either from gaining a foothold here.