This week’s edition of Dymphna’s greatest hits is from the spring of 2006. Until I reread the piece this morning, I had forgotten about the case of Abdul Rahman, the Afghan man who faced death for converting to Christianity, and who probably would have been executed had it not been for pressure brought to bear by the U.S. government.
The links embedded in the original no longer work, and have been removed.
originally published on March 28, 2006
The Christian convert in Afghanistan who faced execution has been let go, at least for the moment. Because Afghanistan’s President is anxious to join the modern world, which has a secular rule of law, he was able to bring pressure to bear on the Sharia Court to let the religious prisoner go. And because he wants to bring his country into the 21st century, Karzai was open to the urging of world leaders who called him to intervene in this case.
Things will not go so well for the Sharia-shackled prisoners in Iran. The government there is deaf to any pleading, and in fact, is planning its executions in secret so as to fly under the radar of humanitarian groups who might seek to interfere. Here are two current cases:
The first is a 17-year-old young woman named Nazanin who was out walking with her niece and their respective boyfriends in March, 2005. The two girls were set upon by three men. When the men began stoning the girls, the boys ran away. Injured from the stones, the girls were dragged to the ground and Act II, the rape, began. Nazanin managed to get out a knife she carried to protect herself from attacks. She stabbed her rapist in the chest and he died from the wound. So, of course, Nazanin now faces execution for this act of self-defense. She was sentenced in January, 2006, though the date of execution isn’t certain.
The second case is an older woman, Fatemeh Haghighat-Pajooh, who murdered her “temporary husband” for his attempted rape of her daughter. The whole sick idea of “temporary marriage” is Sharia-speak for permitting adultery and prostitution, which would otherwise be punishable by execution. “Temporary marriages” can be of any duration, from a quick assignation at lunch, to many years’ duration. You can be married to one woman and still contract with another for a muta. This is largely a Shi’ite permutation, though Sunnis have been known to use it when convenient. Needless to say, built in to this corruption is a lack of protection for the “wife” of these arrangements: