(JPPS speaking on the NSS platform)
Stoning – the true horror
- The size of the stone is specified (with accompanying pictures) so that it will not be too small, or too big. Suffering is important.
- A man is buried to his waist and a woman to her chest. If he/she can get out of the hole, they can escape the punishment; so must make sure women cannot get out.
- If the stoning is based on confession, the judge will throw the first stone. If based on witness testimony, the witness will throw the first stone.
- Every 20 minutes or so, the stoning will stop to see if the condemned has yet died. If not, stoning continues (this is Article 23 by the way).
- It is not all bad news though: Article 16 states that the punishment should not "inflict torture, torment or mutilation of the condemned" and the stoning will be carried out "with ultimate calmness and without exercising violence". I'm not sure what dictionary the Iranian regime reads but they've got a rather strange understanding of the words "torture" and "violence" - but then words mean whatever you want them to mean when you talk about Islam.
- There must be four witnesses so really this is just a deterrent. Is this good enough? We don't object to a society where our sex lives are governed by the threat of a horrific punishment? Sorry, I don't want the threat of stoning any more than I want stoning, and to be fair, threatening to stone someone to death for having sex could hardly be described as moderate.
- "But it's in the Bible as well". Yes it is in the Bible, but it's not being carried out in the name of the Bible (not any more at least). So the difference is between it happening and not happening. A rather significant difference you might say.
- "This is the extreme fringe of Islam, it is a misinterpretation" – it seems that all Islamic states have misunderstood this, but so have many of Britain's mainstream and high-profile Islamists, including it seems, the moderate Muslim Council of Britain.