“During their brief control of key towns in the vast north, jihadist groups imposed a version of Sharia law which forced women to wear veils and set whipping, stoning and mutilation as punishment for transgressions.”
There is no version of Sharia law that does not require women to wear veils and doesn’t prescribe whipping, stoning and mutilation as punishment for transgressions. There are Muslim countries that don’t implement Sharia punishments or enforce Sharia restrictions upon women. But those countries are not operating according to some “moderate” form of Sharia. There is no such form of Sharia, except in the fantasies of Western non-Muslims.
The punishment this couple received is based on Islamic law, as codified from several ahadith. The caliph Umar, one of Muhammad’s closest companions, maintained that the punishment of death for adultery was originally in the Qur’an:
‘Umar said, “I am afraid that after a long time has passed, people may say, “We do not find the Verses of the Rajam (stoning to death) in the Holy Book,” and consequently they may go astray by leaving an obligation that Allah has revealed. Lo! I confirm that the penalty of Rajam be inflicted on him who commits illegal sexual intercourse, if he is already married and the crime is proved by witnesses or pregnancy or confession.” Sufyan added, “I have memorized this narration in this way.” ‘Umar added, “Surely Allah’s Apostle carried out the penalty of Rajam, and so did we after him.” (Bukhari, vol. 8, bk. 82, no. 816)
“Allah’s Apostle” is, of course, Muhammad, who did indeed carry out stonings. Here is the hadith in which he challenges the rabbis about stoning, and in which there is amidst the barbarism and brutality a final act of love and compassion:
The Jews came to Allah’s Apostle and told him that a man and a woman from amongst them had committed illegal sexual intercourse. Allah’s Apostle said to them, “What do you find in the Torah (old Testament) about the legal punishment of Ar-Rajm (stoning)?” They replied, (But) we announce their crime and lash them.” Abdullah bin Salam said, “You are telling a lie; Torah contains the order of Rajm.” They brought and opened the Torah and one of them solaced his hand on the Verse of Rajm and read the verses preceding and following it. Abdullah bin Salam said to him, “Lift your hand.” When he lifted his hand, the Verse of Rajm was written there. They said, “Muhammad has told the truth; the Torah has the Verse of Rajm. The Prophet then gave the order that both of them should be stoned to death. (‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar said, “I saw the man leaning over the woman to shelter her from the stones.” (Bukhari, vol. 4, bk. 56, no. 829)
Even the monkeys practiced stoning, according to another hadith:
During the pre-lslamic period of ignorance I saw a she-monkey surrounded by a number of monkeys. They were all stoning it, because it had committed illegal sexual intercourse. I too, stoned it along with them. (Bukhari, vol. 5, bk. 58, no. 188)
Muhammad’s example is, of course, normative for Islamic behavior, since “truly in the messenger of Allah you have an excellent example for him who looks to Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much” (Qur’an 33:21).
“Unmarried Mali couple stoned to death for violating ‘Islamic law,’” Agence France-Presse, May 18, 2017:
An unmarried couple were stoned to death in public in northeast Mali by “Islamists”, local officials revealed, the first such incident since jihadist groups were driven out of the region.
Jihadists seized key northern cities in March 2012, and though they were driven out by a French-led military intervention in 2013, Islamist groups continue to make their presence felt with frequent attacks on domestic and foreign forces.
“The Islamists dug two holes where they put the man and the woman who lived maritally without being married,” said a local official. “They were stoned to death.”
The stoning happened in Taghlit on Tuesday, close to Aguelhok in the Kidal region, and the same source told AFP that members of the public were invited to take part.
“Four people threw stones at them until they died,” they said.
Another local official said the Islamists had accused the unmarried couple of violating “Islamic law”, which requires punishment by stoning.
During their brief control of key towns in the vast north, jihadist groups imposed a version of Sharia law which forced women to wear veils and set whipping, stoning and mutilation as punishment for transgressions….