2009-01-26 00:00

It was reported in this newspaper last week that a woman in Iran sentenced to death by stoning for adultery has had her sentence commuted to 100 lashes. She has already served eight years in jail for being an accessory to the murder of her husband and has spent a further five years in prison awaiting the stoning. The murderer himself has spent 10 years in jail and been set free.

Based on ancient religious texts, stonings and severe whippings for adultery, particularly of women, are deeply repugnant to most in the modern world, including religious people.

In South Africa, both capital and corporal punishment have been outlawed. It is to be hoped that the harshness of punishments being meted out in Iran today is completely unacceptable to all, not least the broad spectrum of the Muslim community.

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