Marquise Brown | Staff Writer
Throughout history, people — particularly women, have been victims of stoning. Today, stoning is still occurring in countries such as Iran, Pakistan, Sudan and Yemen.
The stoning of Rokhsana, an Afghan woman who was in her twenties, this week in Afghanistan shed more light on the extreme treatment of women by the Taliban and religious extremists in parts of the Muslim world.
The answer to why women are still being stoned comes not from religion itself, but rather from the role of religion. In a search for a new identity in a region plagued with turmoil, woman are a very important symbol of a family’s horror.
Some countries believe in stoning those who engage in sexual activity before marriage. During the stoning, there can be up to four eyewitnesses to the act itself before the judgement is passed. Secondly, men and women both should receive equal treatment.
According to CNN, the moderate majority of Muslims, “though they are familiar with the stoning issue, they know to take the spirit of what applied thousands of years ago and apply its lesson in terms of encouraging modesty among women and men in modern days, rather than the actual stoning.”
Zainab Salbi of CNN interviewed a few young women who are citizens of Jordan, Syria about the stoning of Rokhsana after her attempted escape with a man her age.Salbi said that the womens’ responses had nothing to do with the stoning. They believed that because the young woman was wrong, she deserved to be punished – just in “other ways”. Never before in Islamic history have women been so brutalized, whether it’s stoning in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran, kidnapping by Boko Haram in Nigeria or assassinations in Libya.
The crossing of the line physical attacking of woman in such savage ways has spread in recent decades, but it’s really taken off in a wild direction with the rise of ISIS. According to CNN, this new massive violation of women has been a shock to Muslim women themselves, who are respectful of the religion but not in the ways extremists are attempting to define it: as a complete silencing of woman’s expression, from the social to the political realm.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, in the United States there is currently a woman who is the favorite to run away with the presidency in year 2016. Though horrifying for the Muslim world, it is quite dangerous to acknowledge any “extremist” Muslim behavior as Islamic.
Assuring that Muslim women’s voices are heard in all discussions for peace and security in various country is the only way to help balance the Taliban and their affiliates and back towards the moderate majority who are inventing, creating and seeking a decent life.