Yes, it still happens today. Stoning is one of the world’s oldest forms of execution, and mentioned in the Bible frequently. It has been in use all over the world, and it continues in most Middle Eastern countries today. Stoning is a form of capital punishment, whereby a group throws stones at a person until they are dead. No individual among the group can be identified as the one who kills the subject, yet everyone involved plainly bears some degree of moral culpability. It is not as widely known to most people since it typically occurs in rural cities that continue older traditions. In fact, today, stoning is a punishment that is included in the laws of 7 countries: Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Sudan, Iran, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, and some states in Nigeria. Stoning is primarily enforced by Islamic fundamentalist sharia law, most often for reasons of adultery and homosexuality, but also for other bizarre cases. Stoning is not mentioned in the Qur’an, nor is it mentioned in Islamic law, but the Qur’an specifically labels all sexual intercourse outside the marital bond as being sinful. Below is an example of a modern-day stoning in Somalia that recently occurred on March 15, 2013. The reason for this punishment was solely his homosexuality. He was only 18 years old.
In 2004, 13-year-old Zhila Izadyar was sentenced to death by stoning in Iran for the “crime” of being raped by her older brother. Although the sentence was later overturned due to international outcry, equally horrific stoning sentences are quietly carried out throughout the developing world on a regular basis. Similarly, the stoning of Soraya M. in an Iranian village occurred and was documented by a French-Iranian journalist who let the world know what had happened. With the case of Soraya M., her husband conspired a plot to rid of her so that he could marry another woman even though she was innocent. And because of the limited rights for women in the Middle East, nothing could be done to prove her innocence. If you get the chance, I highly recommend you watch the movie, as it really portrays how women are treated in some parts of the world. Below is the movie trailer:
I bet you’re wondering, why aren’t there activist groups trying to stop this sort of punishment? Yes, there are, and with a quick Google search, you will see many women protesting to stop stoning, and for better rights for women. But on the other hand, there are still supporters of stoning. A survey conducted by a research center found relatively widespread popular support for stoning as a punishment for adultery in several countries including Egypt (82% of respondents in favor of the punishment), Jordan (70% in favor), Indonesia (42% in favor), Pakistan (82% favor) and Nigeria (56% in favor).
Why do you think this is still happening? Is it a way to show that they oppose westernization? Or is it just old-school traditions that stem back to Islamic roots?