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July 21, 2005

Ashraf Choudhary

Ashraf Choudhary, a Labour MP in New Zealand refused to condemn "the practice of stoning homosexuals and adulterous women".

He refused to disagree with the Koran's recommendations, saying it was appropriate in "those societies", not in New Zealand. Dr Choudhary's statement says he is a devout Muslim and stands by the teachings of the Koran but, as a matter of personal belief, he abhors stoning and is strongly opposed to violence.

The Prime Minister has weighed into the argument, saying she wants to make it clear her party is inherently opposed to capital punishment. Helen Clark says Mr Choudhary's comments on the show certainly do not fit with Labour values or her own.

Helen Clark misses the point. Unless she seriously thinks it is appropriate under any circumstance to impose a criminal sanction upon adultery or gay sex, this is not an argument about capital punishment. This is an argument about whether the state, an ideology or a religious belief can impose any such sanction in the first place. Despite her claim she would seek clarification of Choudhary's apparently unambiguous remarks, Helen Clark has yet to pass on any such clarification to the public.

Update: The next time anyone tries to defend the Iranian "revolution" around me I am going to punch them in the nose. I could care less what your "tradition", "religion" or "culture" has to say. If you are going to imprison, torture and execute people for being gay you are a monster and your tradition, religion and culture must be ruthlessly suppressed.

Two gay teenagers were publicly executed in Iran on 19 July 2005 for the ‘crime’ of homosexuality. The youths were hanged in Edalat (Justice) Square in the city of Mashhad, in north east Iran.

The stoning of women for adultery, often women who had in fact been raped, is a routine occurence in the countries whose culture Choudhary deems "appropriate" to the act. Imagine what it would take to join a state sanctioned mob and throw stones at someone until they were dead. Now imagine the mentality of this New Zealand MP, a man elected by free people, that he could condone it. It is a treachery to the office he holds.

It is offensive to imagine. It is something worse to see it happen. Every one of Choudhary's constituents should watch this video (or this video) and defend their vote. The Labour party and the Prime Minister of New Zealand should be ashamed to be associated with this barbarity. I know these do not represent the whole of Islam. It is time more Muslims stepped forward to oppose these beliefs and their elected apologists in the West.

Iranian criminal code. Article 104: Stones used in stoning should neither be so big as to kill the adulterous at the first or second blow, nor as small as a pebble.

Update: It gets worse. This piece on Women, Islam & Equality documents an act so vile it defies the imagination.

According to a "religious" decree, virgin women prisoners must as a rule be raped before their execution, "lest they go to Paradise." Therefore, the night before execution, a Guard rapes the condemned woman. After her execution, the religious judge at the prison writes out a marriage certificate and sends it to the victim's family, along with a box of sweets. In a written confession in January 1990, Sarmast Akhlaq Tabandeh, a senior Guards Corps interrogator, recounted one such case in Shiraz prison: "Flora Owrangi, an acquaintance of one of my friends was one such victim. The night before her execution, the resident mullah in the prison conducted a lottery among the members of the firing squads and prison officials to determine who would rape her. She was then forcibly injected with anesthesia ampoules, after which she was raped. The next day, after she was executed, the mullah in charge wrote a marriage certificate and the Guard who raped her took that along with a box of sweets to her parents."

Human Rights Watch is on the case, saying "The situation for human rights in Iran is far from ideal." Well, that's telling them.

Update: It turns out the linked article regarding the execution of two gay teenagers in Iran failed to mention they were convicted of raping a 13-year old boy. I have no difficulty in believing their confessions were the result of torture or that their sentence would not have been applied had they raped a 13-year old girl. Nevertheless, this is not quite the same as suggesting they were executed for being gay, that was the lashing sentence, when they were executed due to their rape conviction.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at July 21, 2005 11:27 AM

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Great piece. It never fails to amaze me when people have such moral cowardice.

Posted by: Tony B [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 21, 2005 04:29 PM

Thanks. I am surprised the story has not had wider coverage. It looks like quite a bit of traffic is arriving at this post but with no trackback and Technorati acting wonky I would be grateful if someone could let me know where the link is! And please feel free to come back tomorrow for Harry Potter news...

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 21, 2005 05:08 PM

I tried to track back to it, but ran into some sort of problems that I couldn't figure out. I've emailed the story to about 20 of my friends though.

Posted by: Tony B [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 21, 2005 05:20 PM

I got here from Protein Wisdom if that'll help you

Posted by: StevenT [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 21, 2005 06:20 PM

Good thing all cultures are equal, except for headgear and cuisine, else I'd be rather unsettled by all this.

But like a good multi-cultus, I know it's really the fault of George W. Bush and the JOOOOSSSS!!

Posted by: The Sanity Inspector [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 21, 2005 10:27 PM

But its their culture innit?

Great piece Flea if not that surprising. Lets hope the feminists in NZ tear this idiot to bits.

Posted by: Andrew Ian Dodge [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 22, 2005 06:09 AM

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