Taliban Stones Couple To Death — With Support of Our Allies

The Taliban resume public executions on Sunday by stoning to death a young couple who had committed the crime of falling in love and eloping. The couple — Khayyam, 25, and Siddiqa, 19 — publicly proclaimed their love for each other and reportedly refused to yield to the fanatics who are retaking control of parts of the country.

Some of their own family members were part of the hundreds of local residents in the village who stoned them to death. The couple reportedly proclaimed “We love each other no matter what happens.” They were promptly stoned to death in the name of Islam by the Taliban.

What is most disturbing is not just the resurgence of the Taliban but the support of such violations of human rights by our allies. Human rights officials in the country report an renewal of draconian measures and the oppression of women with the support of government officials.

The head of the Ulema Council in Kunduz Province, Mawlawi Abdul Yaqub, is considered a “moderate” figure in the country but said that the stoning was the appropriate sentence for an illegal sexual relationship. The woman had been told to marry another man and had refused. The Ulema Council is a body of Islamic clerics with religious authority that works closely with the government.

The national Ulema Council of hundreds of leading clerics issued a statement on August 10th calling for more such punishment under Shariah law, which includes stoning, amputations and lashings. We continue to spend billions and lose American lives to help a government that is quickly descending back into such medieval practices and oppressing women across the country.

Failure to carry out such “Islamic provisions,” the council statement said, was hindering the peace process and encouraging crime.

While he has condemned the couple’s execution, , Afghan President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly warned that he might join forces with the Taliban. Various moderate officials have threatened to resign due to Karzai embrace of Taliban allies and Karzai has said that he doubts the Taliban can be defeated.

In a move that would abandon any principled reason for our sacrifices and years of war, Obama has indicated that he may also accept the Taliban returning to positions of power. It seems that we are just trying to secure some semblance of peace to offer political cover for a pullout. So, with thousands of dead and wounded in our ranks, we could be declaring victory by leaving a country in at least partial Taliban control, where the most basic rights and protections to women and religious minorities are savagely denied. If we are just waiting for politically plausible moment to declare some pyrrhic victory, our continued sacrifice of lives and treasure in that country is grossly immoral. I have long been a critic of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, though I believe that the invasion of Afghanistan was justified in light of their protection of Osama Bin Laden. However, remaining in that country to try to build a new nation was folly in my view in light of the hundreds of years of strife and the extreme form of Islam followed by many residents. I am particularly disturbed by our soldiers fighting to protect officials who are opposed to the most basic rights of women. It is a bizarre scene to have our female soldiers dying so that government-supported clerics can continue to impose Shariah-based restrictions on their ability to be educated or even marry.

The scene of this loving couple dying on this dusty field symbolizes more than simply the grotesque views of the Taliban. It symbolizes the tragic and fruitless sacrifice of our own people — and perhaps our own values if we are soon to reach a “compromise” with the Taliban. I would prefer a “principled pullout” over a “victory” based on alliance with the Taliban. We have been right to declare the Taliban the enemy — not just because of Bin Laden but because of their hostility to human rights. If we cannot maintain that line of distinction, we are sacrificing our personnel to manufacture a politically convenient moment of withdrawal to benefit our leaders.

Source: New York Times

29 thoughts on “Taliban Stones Couple To Death — With Support of Our Allies”

  1. Byron it’s reefer not refer but I know what you mean.

    I would not feel so all alone, everybody must get stoned.

  2. stan kohls:
    I completely agree with “we simply cannot fix it” by the way. I just needed to vent about the “it is their country” thing.

  3. stan kohls,

    It’s *whose* country? The Taliban’s? The Northern Alliance? People in Kabul who have tied their fate to secularization and human rights and the west?

    The Americans? If the Americans were able to defeat the Taliban and run the country, why do they have any less right than the Taliban to rule all the other groups in Afghanistan?

    There is no group in Afghanistan of whom you can say it is THEIR country.

    My point is that stoning adulterers and all that other stuff isn’t an Afghan custom, any more than it is an Iranian custom. It’s a custom practiced by the fanatics who happen to be have some power at the moment in both places.

    (There’s a funny jesus and mo cartoon in which Moses plays the cultural relativist and of course is completely inflexible in his beliefs.)

    My rant for today.

  4. Let’s keep in mind it’s THEIR country. They make the laws, they carry out the customs. It’s barbaric, of course, but much of the world lives in a state of barbarism. We simply cannot fix it all. European countries see us as being barbaric because we still have capital punishment.

  5. Bob,Esq.,
    The nation building has been almost entirey notional, so they should be OK.


    Until the seventies secularism, nationalism, and moderate forms of Islam were much more the rule than the fundamentalist and extreme forms which are so influential today. Hamas, Hizbollah, the Islamic Republic in Iran … all began late seventies early eghties. And of course the mujahadeen in Afghanistan.

    I don’t think that a moderate, largely secular Muslim world, like in Iran after the war, was impossible.

    But Al Fatah was quite bizzah.

  6. ‘Let them all kill each other off, if they so wish. It’s their country, not ours, and we don’t have any right to be mucking about in their affairs, savage and Stone Age as they may be.’

    I think we do have some responsibility in destabilizing the region. When things get destabilized they don’t automatically pop back up to the pre-event state. You don’t have to look any firther than the USA to see the truth of that…things go back to the last most stable place, that is why things like terrorism by those ingrained in power (and unable to evolve) use it. Threats, violence, intimidations, economic oppressions, these things don’t exist because they don’t work….and those things happen here all the time. Over there, the society has evolved differently so the impact of violence will look different as well.

    those people are hurting for order and hurting by it as well…

  7. But, like the Time cover explained to us, THINK WHAT AWFUL THINGS WOULD HAPPEN IF WE WERE NOT THERE TO PREVENT THEM!. Just horrible things like people being stoned to death or having body parts cut off. Those things would happen if we were not there . . . wait, what happens when we are there? Yeah, OK.

    And the screaming ninny award has to go to Luna (you ended too soon, should have appended the ‘tic’). People who blame this on one religion have a lot of stuff to ignore included the strong desire on the part of a sizable minority of American Christians to impose Old Testament law on all of us. We do not have mid evil rules because Christians oppose it, we do not have them because our society opposed them in opposition to the church.

  8. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t recall the 9/11 Authorization for Use of Military Force containing any language regarding nation building.

  9. The Taliban are there because the local populace wants them there, that is obvious. Otherwise they’d be fighting them with the same vigor and fervor that they are fighting us.

    Let them all kill each other off, if they so wish. It’s their country, not ours, and we don’t have any right to be mucking about in their affairs, savage and Stone Age as they may be.

  10. Bob Ewing 1, August 17, 2010 at 10:29 am

    The sad thing is that what the Taliban is doing is upholding the sanctity of traditional marriage.
    Oh, I would have to disagree. The thing that makes marriage sacred is not the rules imposed by Taliban, it is the persons that have made an interpersonal agreement and have set the intention to work together under that umbrella. The Taliban is the most anti-marriage entity I have ever witnessed.

  11. The sad thing is that what the Taliban is doing is upholding the sanctity of traditional marriage.

  12. “I think rabbinic Judaism put an end to the practice of stoning to death.”

    so did the new testament

    and ‘do unto others’

    and rational compassion

    and anti-reactionary thought

    and….well you get the drift…I think those that employ these old, outdated and barbaric ‘solutions’ are doing so out of extreme dim-wittedness and ulterior motive.

  13. The Jewish Bible (old testament) provides for the same:

    If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death — (Deut 22:23)

    One could be stoned to death for several violations of that law.

    It is clear that the Islamic practice came thousands of years after the Jewish practice.

    I think rabbinic Judaism put an end to the practice of stoning to death.

  14. You don’t even know where to begin.

    I’ll tell you one thing, though, that is almost a certainty: whoever is presidemt, this war is going to end when there is a deal done with the Taliban, which means a deal done with Pakistan. As far as I can see there’s no other way out.

    Which of course means more stonings and cutting off of noses and acid in the face of school girls. Maybe the taliban and Iran will have a competitin to see who can be more evil an disgusting.

  15. And we serve what purpose there? Oh yeah..Oil’s interest. Duh, I am so naive…..

  16. How does one do the ‘correct’ thing without catering to the fundamentalist extremes? There will always BE an extreme stance…why would OUR government support the extreme positions abroad instead of protecting and shoring up the freedoms and tolerances of the majority of people who live in between those extremes here at home?

    If we truly do lead by example maybe we ought to clean up the fundamental rights and freedoms that have been abrogated by corruption here at home.

    It’s nicer where the land is free by choice and tyranny is not the norm…


Comments are closed.