July 7th, 2010
08:22 PM ET

Opinion: Iran must halt woman's death by stoning

By Arsalan Iftikhar, Special to CNN

Editor's note: Arsalan Iftikhar is an international human rights lawyer, founder of TheMuslimGuy.com and legal fellow for the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding in Washington.

It is clearly stated in Article 5 of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights that, "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

Adopted in 1948 by the U.N. General Assembly, in addition to outlawing torture categorically, this international treaty was to be used as a common standard for international law and outlined - for the first time ever - fundamental human rights to be protected anywhere around the world.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Iran • Islam • Violence

soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. mossimo

    we can believe what we want to believe about God. But it doesn't change anything. We are all going to die. Therefore, if there is no God we will all share the the same fate. Those who believe in God will share the same fate as those who don't. which that means after death the debate will end?. However if there is life after death what do you think will happen to the non-believers or those who serves the wrong God. Besides that, if a person faith has changed his moral behavior why not allow him to believe what he wants to believe. jesus says to treat others the way you desire to be treated. Or you could say to serve others the same way you desire to be serve. Don't everyone desire this. Jesus also says that the world will hate us because of Him. And the world is fufilling this prophecy. Therefore for Jesus to be a myth, why is he hated by the world. that would be fooish http://www.trilogyoforgins.org

    October 24, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
  2. hank

    The question that begs to be asked is: where is the man involved and why isn’t he being punished? One can not commit adultery alone! The Holy Koran and the Holy Bible was written by men is the why of it. But do the men of Iran have mothers, sisters, aunts, daughters and female cousins? Men this cruel are no longer needed in a civilized world. Sadly there is nothing the U.S. can do about it. We have to clean up our economic mess(s) first.

    July 31, 2010 at 5:56 am |
  3. bwz

    Islam is definetely a pagan religion. How can anyone in his/her right mind subject another human to such outrageous treatment...

    July 9, 2010 at 9:21 pm |
    • alumette

      To BWZ: definition of Pagan: non Muslim/ non Jew/ non Christian. To be a Pagan is to ignore any control from organized religions so such horrible treatment would never occur in a Pagan culture. Only brainwashed members of a controlling religion do such things. Research history. Most conflicts were about religions. Right now, we are right in the middle of such behavior.

      July 9, 2010 at 9:34 pm |
  4. Chi

    The advance of a country is not measured by its nuclear technology, but rather by the passion and fairness it demonstrates in ruling its subjects. I hope the Iranian government shows some mercy and abort the stoning.

    July 8, 2010 at 8:55 pm |
    • alumette

      The word "rule" offends me. A good leader leads. A ruler..rules and we try NOT to have these in western civilized cultures.

      July 9, 2010 at 9:36 pm |

    And what happens to the dude???? Think I'll pass on embracing this culture...

    July 8, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  6. Just2Reason

    She was tortured to get a confession... There's a good article, "Say Anything," by Anthony Grafton, in the 11/05/2007 issue of The New Republic (online at tnr dot com /article/say-anything) – that talks about the victims of the Catholics inquisition (Jews, pagans, etc.) being tortured to get "confessions" – and they "say anything." What is happening in Iran is they are simply applying the law from the Old Testament, where adulterers are stoned to death. We don't want the church state here with Christianity that Iran has with Islam.

    July 8, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
    • Reality


      Your mixing the Torah with the superseding NT i.e. who here shall cast the first stone?

      July 8, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
    • Just2Reason

      @Reality: Superseding? It's all "the word of God." An infallible, omniscient, all-loving God changed his mind?

      July 8, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
    • Reality

      Just2Reason, What god? And if there even was one, free will vitiates any involvement of said deity in our lives. The torah/ot, nt, koran, the book of mormon et al are simply books written by humans for humans. Inspiration was not from any god or some "wingie, thingie" but from the ancients like Hammurabi who were some of the first to write laws for humans.

      July 8, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
    • Just2Reason

      @Reality: Re: "What God?" & "...simply books written by humans" – I couldn't agree more. I misread your "superseding" to be a defense of Christianity.

      July 9, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  7. Liz

    And the Iranians wonder why we think their culture is barbaric!

    July 8, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
  8. Eve Hunter-Scott

    In stoning anyone to death for whatever reason, one has to wonder; who wins here? And, what lessons are being learnt? People still commit adultery, murder, theft or other felony. Where mercy is shown can seriously impact on one’s perception of those who have shown mercy. All over the world, the authorities who have shown mercy are appropriately rewarded in terms of international recognition-affecting trade and therefore prosperity-the perpetrator of said crime, still alive to earn a living, pay taxes and to atone for any sins committed against another.

    On the world's stage, Iran -in terms of government-is not popular at the moment, this case is an ideal opportunity for change. I would call upon the Iranian government to exercise clememcy towards Mrs Ashtiani and therby change the world's opinion of a country that is currently seen as both abusive and backward

    July 8, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  9. Reason

    Is there a way we could trade her for Debbie Schluessel?

    July 8, 2010 at 9:18 am |
  10. Reality

    With respect to stoning in Islam:

    Sahi Muslim No. 4206:
    “A woman came to the prophet and asked for purification by seeking punishment. He told her to go away and seek God’s forgiveness. She persisted four times and admitted she was pregnant. He told her to wait until she had given birth. Then he said that the Muslim community should wait until she had weaned her child. When the day arrived for the child to take solid food, Muhammad handed the child over to the community. And when he had given command over her and she was put in a hole up to her breast, he ordered the people to stone her. Khalid b. al-Walid came forward with a stone which he threw at her head, and when the blood spurted on her face he cursed her.”

    July 8, 2010 at 7:55 am |
    • Nemo Crets

      And historians call the person who did this the greatest person in history?

      July 8, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
    • Dorothy Brockel

      Where are all the women in this world? We need to stand up to this unspeakable act along with countless other atrocities that are now and continue to be leveled against women. It takes two to commit the act that is given as a religious reason to kill this woman; where is the man?

      July 9, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
    • hennah11

      Actually there's no mentioning of the woman getting stoned to death at the prophet's time..she was asked why she got pregnant and answered that a man tried to blackmail her so she had no choice..yes, she was to ask for forgiveness and was pardoned..i'm muslim myself and i personally think stoning someone to death is really cruel...most of the so called islamic rules people come up with are made up by men..where's the proof??.

      July 10, 2010 at 6:43 am |
    • Reality

      Henneh, As a Muslim hopefully you take out some time to review the foundations of Islam. Said foundations rely solely on the revelations of a mythical angel named Gabriel to a warmongering, womanizing (11 wives) Arab named Mohammed. It is the number one con job pulled on the human race. The number two con job is that pulled by Paul et al in their mythical and embellished story of one Jesus of Nazareth, a simple, Jewish, preacher man who lived in first century Palestine.

      July 10, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
  11. John R D Kidd

    From the agonising viewpoint of the victim, there is little difference between being stoned to death, as in Iran, or being crushed to death by a bulldozer, as in Israel.
    They are both political acts intended to suppress dissent.
    This week's 'talks' between Netanyahu, AIPAC and Obama are merely another political act intended to reinforce the status quo. They have no meaning whatsoever other than to reinforce who calls the shots in this increasingly corrupted playlet depicting disproportionate power and influence in both Tel Aviv and Washington.

    July 8, 2010 at 4:26 am |
  12. slash22

    would it be that much worse if they just nuked adulteresses instead?

    July 8, 2010 at 12:26 am |
  13. TheRationale

    Why the heck is this article preceded by "Opinion"?

    That's a seriously bad choice of word.

    July 7, 2010 at 10:57 pm |
    • brooke h

      how is that not an opinion?

      July 8, 2010 at 12:03 am |
  14. josiah

    does anyone with a computer disagree with this guy?

    July 7, 2010 at 9:55 pm |
    • Saved 1980

      Well, I'll wade into this, cautiously. First off, as a Baptist I don't know that I believe in this practice; even Moses didn't like it when he first had to use it, and was truly sorry. But, it is their country, and whether we agree with their ways or not, it's their justice system. It's nobody else's place or right to tell us how to administer our laws (especially the UN), and the same rule has to apply here, whether we like it or not. Sorry, ridicule me if you want, but yes, I'm one of those who believes in nationality and nations rights, and I don't believe in the UN.

      She did admit to the crime, knowing full well what the punishment was. So best we can do is pray for her that her soul is prepared and ready if they decide to carry it out. It's none of our business; that's what it really means to be open-minded and tolerant of others beliefs.

      October 26, 2010 at 12:08 am |
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.