The question of why stoning (or lapidation) persists today continues to pose a puzzle.  It is not a puzzle that has gone unanswered.  Rejali looks at three common explanations for the origin and persistence of stoning: legal, religious, and cultural arguments. He concludes that all three ways of explaining lapidation involve precisely the same problematic understanding of the nature of practice.

Radio Farda, an American-based Persian-language radio program, interviewed the Grand Ayatollah Montazeri on his opinions about the practice of stoning, and specifically whether the sentence of stoning can be vacated and replaced by another punishment. He responded as follows:

Quraishi gives a very interesting lecture describing the methods by which Muslim scholars derive fiqh and shariah and implement them. She uses stoning to illustrate the various pathways this method could take, particularly focusing on what constitutes authority when issuing these laws and opinions, where differences stem from, and how one could make an argument against stoning using a religious framework.

This book is a report on the prevalence of female circumcision and female genital mutilation (FC/FGM) and on the use of law and policy to address these practices. This work places FC/FGM firmly within a human rights and legal framework, although it does recognise and address the challenges inherent to this discourse. The authors look at the history of FC/FGM; its consequences for women’s health; the reasons used to justify it – i.e. culture, control over women’s sexuality, tradition, interpretation of religious directives; and the history of movement’s working to combat it.

This book argues that all organisations involved in development should challenge violence against women, and work to end it. It does not, however, set out to offer a blueprint for this work. Rather it considers different views of why violence against women exists, and the various types of response to such violence that are open to development organisations.

In Part (c) Corporal punishment, point 40, the document states with regards to stoning: “Between 2004 and 2007 the Special Rapporteur sent 13 joint communicationsconcerning 21 women sentenced to death by stoning and 2 sentenced to flogging under sharialaw.

In this article, the author argues that it is mostly societal traditions and customs that drive people to resort to ‘crimes of honour’ – which she describes as “shameful, irreligious acts”. She states that in Islam it is a sin to take people's lives in one's own hands. Crimes of honor are therefore social in the full sense of the word. Perpetrators see it as 'social cleansing of shame', and seeking the community's approval. The author uses the example of Jordan, one of the countries that has the highest rate of such crimes, to argue her point.

The Muslim Women’s League argues that the notion of ‘honour killing’ is justified by a distorted and erroneous interpretation of religion, especially Islam. They state that theproblem of ‘honour killings’ is not a problem of morality or of ensuring that women maintain their own personal virtue; rather, it is a problem of domination, power and hatred of women who, in these instances, are viewed as nothing more than servants to the family, both physically and symbolically.

The Muslim Women’s League argues that the circumcision of girls, in any form, predated Islam by many centuries. It was practiced in some parts of Arabia at the time of the Prophet Muhammad and was evidently a custom of the time that may have been a practice of some but not all of the local tribes. As a pre-established tradition, therefore, female circumcision was not introduced by the Prophet to the early Muslim community.

This brief paper is an effort to expose how patriarchal and distorted interpretations of Sharia have been used to subjugate women and rob them of their fundamental rights, in direct opposition to the central teachings of Islam. In this paper, the Muslim Public Affairs Council presents three case studies involving abuses of Muslim women worldwide in the name of Islam. These cases have been widely reported and have been used as precedence for exploitative laws against women throughout the Muslim world.

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