Comparative Study of Stoning Punishment in the Religions of Islam and Judaism Sanaz Alasti* Volume 4 – No. 1 –Spring 2007 * Sanaz Alasti Is Currently a Ca S.J.D. (Scientiae Juridicae Doctor) Candidate, Golden Gate

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Comparative Study of Stoning Punishment in the Religions of Islam and Judaism

Sanaz Alasti*

Volume 4 – No. 1 –Spring 2007

* Sanaz Alasti is currently a CA S.J.D. (Scientiae Juridicae Doctor) Candidate, Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco, CA; LL.M, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran (2003); LL.B (Honors), Allameh Tabatabae University, Tehran, Iran (2001).

Abstract This Article under takes a comparative study of stoning in Islam and Judaism. In Islam stoning (rajm), which is one of the punishments originally, came from Hodoud (Hodoud are punishments that the kind, the quantity and the quality of them are determined in shariah) is the penalty of adultery. But in Judaism stoning was only one of the four kinds of penalties used in cases like adultery; sodomy, idolatry and the ways in which this punishment is executed are quite different in Islam and Judaism. By comparing the size of the stones and the way it is done, one can say that in Islam the aim of this punishment is to be more painful. In Islam, there are no clear instructions about stoning in Quran, but there are some implications in Hadiths (saying and stories about Prophet Mohammad’s behaviors told by his close followers), but it has been mentioned in Torah. Stoning is a kind of punishment that no matter for what reasons or charges is executed; it contradicts the International human right agreements such as Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention against torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. In Muslim world statistics shows, they still execute stoning as a punishment (sometimes in public), but in Judaism we can find just some implications in history. Therefore, considering the contemporary standards of societies we can deliberate various evidentiary, procedural, and barriers to imposition of the stoning.

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About the Author Sanaz Alasti is currently a CA S.J.D. (Scientiae Juridicae Doctor) Candidate, Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco, CA; LL.M, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran (2003); LL.B (Honors), Allameh Tabatabae University, Tehran, Iran (2001). Research interest is on penology, history of criminal justice, comparative criminal justice systems. Contact Information: Golden Gate University, School of law, Advanced International legal studies program, San Francisco, CA, E-mail: alasti_law@yahoo.com.

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Comparative Study of Stoning Punishment in the Religions of Islam and Judaism Introduction This essay is an attempt for a comparative study of stoning punishment in the religious context of Islam and Judaism. Since there has not been an exclusive essay or thesis on this matter, its review seems to be a necessity. Especially the many and constant problems made by the execution of this kind of punishment. In some Muslim countries, governed by shari’ah law, stoning is still practiced. These countries include Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates. At the beginning of 2002, four stoning verdicts against women in Islamic states were announced: two in Nigeria, one in Sudan and one in Pakistan. All of these were charged with adultery. Stoning punishments were issued recently in Nigeria for the crimes of adultery and sodomy. In Iran stoning is not practiced currently and even before 2002, stoning was rare in Iran, (Although hanging is a common punishment for serious offenses, such as drugsmuggling and murder). Because the Iranian Penal Code provides the most complete legal formulae for stoning, among the Islamic countries, it is the code that will most often be cited in this paper. While the human rights argument is an important one, this paper argues that the only means of affecting permanent change in Islamic adultery laws is through vigorous Islamic dialogue over the proper interpretation and application...
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