Sexual mores were once the purview of the state and thankfully that has changed. Tell that to ISIS.
MOSUL, IRAQ — Stop me if you have heard this before but I am a HUGE Monty Python fan and have been for decades. I used to watch the original series on PBS growing up in southwestern Ontario and still am convinced that Monty Python and the Holy Grail is the greatest film of all time! I have watched it, oh I dunno, 300 times? I have seen the Broadway version in New York. I can quote it almost verbatim. It has framed my life.
One of the scenes from another Python film is germane to what I wish to put forward today. That movie, which was VERY controversial when it came out in 1979 (was it THAT long ago??), is Monty Python’s Life of Brian. It even features terrorists! (the suicide squad which fails to rescue Brian from crucifixion)
The scene I am referring to is that in which John Cleese plays a rabbi who is trying to get an old man stoned for blasphemy. Each time he tries to read out the charges, however, he is pelted with a rock thrown by the crowd. In the end he is killed when a crowd drops a huge boulder on him. Very, very funny!
ISIS, blasphemy and adultery
In the past religious authorities took it upon themselves to dictate and enforce many aspects of society for which they felt they were the only god- appointed authorities. This included, of course, the charge of blasphemy as Monty Python showed in their typically ridiculous fashion.
Another area that was subject to the whims of the ‘church’ or state (in many cases one and the same) was sexuality. There were a lot of ‘laws’ outlining what was permissible and what was not and one of those was adultery, i.e. having sex with someone to which you are not married. Whatever we feel about sexual infidelity in 2020 it is at least not a ‘crime’, or at least not in most nations.
And then there is ISIS.
This terrorist group was antediluvian in its ‘interpretation’ of Islam and responsible for more atrocities than any other terrorist group I can think of. One of its ‘punishments’ was that of stoning for adulterers. On this day in 2016 ISIS stoned an Iraqi woman to death on charges of committing adultery.
Hundreds of people gathered in front of the Zahraa mosque in eastern Mosul to witness the execution of the woman.
The ISIS-led Islamic Police known as al-Hisba detained a woman in al-Tahrir district in the city of Mosul, and the Sharia Court then decided to stone her to death in public: eyewitnesses reported that ISIS jihadis obliged a number of civilians to participate in stoning the victim.
ISIS may not be gone but nor can it mete out punishment like that levied on this poor woman. As Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau (Pierre, not Justin) famously said “there’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation”.
Are you listening ISIS??