Various media outlets are reporting the latest outrage from Sharia courts. Iranian authorities have reportedly executed Mohsen Amir-Aslani, 37, for allegedly “insulting” the prophet Jonah and accused him of committing adultery. For that exercise of free speech and freedom of religion, a Sharia court had him hanged.
Amir-Aslani was arrested nine years ago for what is described in the Guardian article as “making innovations in Islam and providing his own interpretations of the Qur’an.” He was later accused of insulting prophet Jonah and having sex outside marriage.
Leila, his wife, said that the court declared his religious views as “spreading corruption on earth” and denounced “innovations in the religion.”
The specific charge regarding Jonah is based on his simple observation that the story of Jonah, which appears in Chapter 10 of the Qur’an, is “symbolic.” The Sharia court viewed that as insulting since Muslims believe that he was swallowed by a fish and imprisoned before he “glorified Allah” and repented for his actions.
The charge of illicit sex with people in his classes was added later and one can only imagine what officials may have done to his students and associates to support such a charge.
Human rights groups have charged that Iran’s ministry of intelligence was behind Amir-Aslani’s arrest. The case was given to a notorious judge, Abolghassem Salavati, who is known for denying basic rights and consistently ordering executions.
It is telling that these “judges” are so fearful of “innovation” or commentary on their religion. Such disgraceful executions only serve leave the impression of men who are insecure about the viability of their faith in the modern world or its ability to withstand commentary. The destructive legacy of these Sharia courts continues to mount as various Muslim countries disguises blind religious Orthodoxy and intolerance as forms of “law.” Salavati is not a judge in any plausible interpretation of that word. Likewise, this is no more of a “court” than was the tribunals of the Spanish inquisition. These atrocities will continue until the Muslim world embraces the concept of separation of mosque and state and rejects such crimes as apostasy.
RIP Mohsen Amir-Aslani
There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary be at rest.
Job, 3. 17