Monday, August 16, 2010
Taliban in Afghanistan Exhibit Extraordinary Display of Rampant Stupidity
Taliban Order Stoning Deaths of Young Couple Seeking to Elope
Original By ROD NORDLAND
Current Version By the Editors of BizarreStuff
August 16, 2010
KABUL, Afghanistan — The Taliban on Sunday ordered their first public executions by stoning since their fall from power nine years ago, killing a young couple who had eloped, according to Afghan officials and a witness.
The punishment was carried out by hundreds of the victims’ neighbors in a village in northern Kunduz Province, according to Nadir Khan, 40, a local farmer and Taliban sympathizer, who was interviewed by telephone. Even family members were involved, both in the stoning and in tricking the couple into returning after they had fled.
The entire village was outraged by the idea that two of its citizens could obtain happiness together by getting the hell out of Dodge or, in this case, out of Kunduz Province. The "stoners," many of whom were actually stoned in this land that is one of the world's principal suppliers of the poppies used to make cocaine, were insanely jealous of the young couple when compared to their own miserable, loveless, barren and wasted lives, under the absolute authority of a gang of thugs, thieves, murderers, and sexual predators, posing as religious leaders.
With neighbors, family and friends such as these the young couple did not need any enemies.
Mr. Khan said that as a Taliban mullah prepared to read the judgment of a religious court, the lovers, a 25-year-old man named Khayyam and a 19-year-old woman named Siddiqa, defiantly confessed in public to their relationship. “They said, ‘We love each other no matter what happens,’ ” Mr. Khan said. That statement sealed their death sentence because no self-respecting mullah (mule)could ever accept that two people could be in love in spite of Allah's plans for their unhappiness.
The executions were the latest in a series of cases where the Taliban have imposed their harsh version of Shariah law for social crimes, reminiscent of their behavior during their decade of ruling the country. In recent years, Taliban officials have sought to play down their bloody punishments of the past, as they concentrated on building up popular support, after which they could return to their former lawless and brutal actions.
“We see it as a sign of a new confidence on the part of the Taliban in the application of their rules, like they did in the ’90s,” said Nader Nadery, a senior commissioner on the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. “We do see it as a trend. They’re showing more strength in recent months, not just in attacks, but including their own way of implementing laws, arbitrary and extrajudicial killings.”
The stoning deaths, along with similarly brazen attacks in northern Afghanistan, were also a sign of growing Taliban strength in parts of the country where, until recently, they had been weak or absent. In their home regions in southern Afghanistan, Mr. Nadery said, the Taliban have already been cracking down.
“We’ve seen a big increase in intimidation of women and more strict rules on women,” he said. Afghan women are virtual prisoners in their own homes, afraid of being denounced by a jealous neighbor, an angry husband or even a teenaged son or daughter, upset because they were not permitted to get a new I-phone like their friends.
Perhaps most worrisome were signs of support for the action from mainstream religious authorities in Afghanistan. The head of the Ulema Council in Kunduz Province, Mawlawi Abdul Yaqub, a convicted pedophile and rapist of more than 30 young Afghan women, interviewed by telephone, said Monday that stoning to death was the appropriate punishment for an illegal sexual relationship, although he declined to give his view on this particular case. An Ulema Council is a body of Islamic clerics with religious authority in a region. Only the most ruthless, narrow minded, obsessed sexual perverts are eligible to serve on these Councils.
And less than a week earlier, the national Ulema Council brought together 350 religious bigots, pedophiles, child abusers and wife beaters in a meeting with government religious officials, to issue a joint statement on Aug. 10 calling for more and even harsher punishment under Shariah law, apparently referring to stoning, amputations, lashings, drawing and quartering, being disemboweled with a pitch fork, and stretching on a rack designed to inflict the most unspeakable pain and destroy all bone joints in the body, rendering its victims the equivalent of an oyster.
Failure to carry out such “Islamic provisions,” the council statement said, was hindering the peace process and encouraging crime. "There can never be lasting peace until enough people have been executed to prevent fornication altogether," said an especially dim witted mullah, or mule.
The controversy could have implications for efforts by Afghan officials to reconcile with Taliban leaders and draw them into power-sharing talks. The Taliban only want to talk if they first are permitted to physically have all government officials by the balls.
Afghan officials, supported by Western countries, have insisted that Taliban leaders would have to accept the Afghan Constitution, which guarantees women’s rights, and not expect a return to Shariah law.
The stoning deaths were confirmed by Afghan officials in the area on Monday. Mahbubullah Sayedi, a spokesman for the Kunduz governor’s office, condemned the executions, and said there was ample provision in Afghan law for prosecuting someone if they were accused of adultery or other social crimes.
“We have courts here, and we can solve such cases through our judicial organizations,” he said. “This act is against human rights and against our national Constitution.” He was immediately targeted for execution by the Taliban.
The couple eloped when the man was unable to persuade family members to allow him to marry the young woman. She was engaged to marry a relative of her lover, who was a fat, slovenly, greedy pig, but she was unwilling to do so, according to Mr. Khan.
Mohammed Ayub, the governor of nearby Imam Sahib district, also confirmed the stoning deaths, which took place in the local bazaar in Mullah Quli village, in Archi district, a remote corner of Kunduz Province close to Tajikistan. He said the stonings were like a big, village party, with everyone except those being stoned having a good time and smoking hashish. He said there were no movie theaters, ice skating rinks, football stadia, coffee houses or brothels available for entertainment so public stonings provided free entertainment for the entire family, including infants in their mothers' arms.
The couple eloped to Kunar Province, in eastern Afghanistan, staying with distant relatives, but family members persuaded them to return to their village, promising to allow them to marry, which was all a big fat lie. (Afghan men are legally allowed to marry up to four wives). Once back in Kunduz they were seized by the Taliban, who convened local mullahs from surrounding villages for a religious court.
After the Taliban proclaimed the sentence, Siddiqa, dressed in the head-to-toe Afghan burqa, and Khayyam, who had a wife and two young children, were encircled by the male-only crowd in the bazaar. Taliban activists began stoning them first, then villagers joined in until they killed first Siddiqa and then Khayyam, Mr. Khan said. No women were allowed to attend, he said, but young males above the age of 5 were permitted to cast stones.
Mr. Khan estimated that about 200 villagers participated in the executions, including Khayyam’s father and brother, and Siddiqa’s brother, as well as other relatives, with a larger crowd of onlookers who did not take part but applauded and whistled whenever an especially well aimed stone struck one of the lovers in a vulnerable body part or the face.
“People were very happy seeing this,” Mr. Khan maintained, saying the crowd was festive and cheered during the stoning. The couple, he said, “did a bad thing. You do the crime, you pay the fine."
A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabiullah Mujahid, praised the action. “We have heard about this report,” he said, when interviewed by cellphone. “But let me tell you that according to Shariah law, if someone commits a crime like that, we have our courts and we deal with such crimes based on Islamic law, which," he added, "is fair and just.”
Mr. Nadery, from the human rights commission, pointed to a string of recent such cases of summary justice by the Taliban. In northwestern Badghis Province on Aug. 8, a 41-year-old widow, who was made pregnant by a man she said promised to marry her, was convicted of fornication by a Taliban court. She was given 200 lashes with a whip and then shot to death, according to Col. Abdul Jabar, a provincial police official, who said the killing was ordered by the local Taliban commander, Mullah Yousef, in Qadis district.
President Hamid Karzai’s spokesman, Waheed Omer, said: ““President Karzai was deeply saddened and grieved when he heard that news. Nine years ago and we still see the Taliban doing events like that in Badghis.”
Time magazine focused widespread indignation on Afghanistan recently by putting on its cover a picture of an 18-year-old woman from Oruzgan Province whose nose and ears were cut off by her Taliban husband after she had fled her child marriage to him.
Amnesty International condemned the latest stonings, calling them the first such executions since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. “The Taliban and other insurgent groups are growing increasingly brutal in their abuses against Afghans,” said Sam Zarifi, an Amnesty International official.
Sharifullah Sahak contributed reporting.