Shocking and disturbing video has surfaced of a Taliban-controlled village in Afghanistan stoning a man and woman for allegedly eloping while the man was still married.
According to ABC News, "about 200 people listen to a Taliban mullah describe why a man and woman deserve to be killed. A few dozen spectators -- people from the local community -- start throwing rocks at the woman, who had already been placed in a 4-foot-deep hole. They throw with relish and yell, 'Allah akbar.'"
When the stones don't kill her, a man picks up an AK-47 rifle and shoots the woman. The same sequence occurs with the man, who is blindfolded with his own tunic and cries as he is killed by even larger rocks:
[WARNING: Although edited, the video may be disturbing to some]
"When a married woman commits adultery, she will be struck by stones -- this is called sangsar in Arabic," the Taliban mullah says before the murders, according to ABC. "The women you see here today committed adultery with this man. She has admitted this herself not once, but many times… Islamic law will be enforced here in Kunduz, by the grace of God. They will both be punished, these two people."
London's Daily Mail reports the stonings happened last August in the district of Dashte Archi, in Kunduz. It says the woman, a 19-year old named Siddqa, fled an arranged marriage where she was sold to a man for $9,000 against her will. She ran away to be with another man, a 25-year-old named Khayyam, who was already married and had two children. The pair eloped to Pakistan.
After running away, the couple was told they would not be harmed if they returned. That was a lie:
[WARNING: Contains graphic content]
Disgustingly, a Taliban spokesman defended the stonings to the BBC. "Anyone who knows about Islam knows that stoning is in the Koran, and that it is Islamic law," Zabiullah Mujahid said.
But Fauzia Kofi, a female member of parliament from northern Afghanistan, told ABC News the Taliban is misunderstanding the Koran.
"That understanding of Islam that Taliban has is a … lack of the proper understanding of Islam and Islamic values," Kofi said. "The Islam that I represent actually saved women from being buried alive 1,400 years back. I don't know what kind of Islam they represent, that they can kill so easily."
Still, the Taliban's view of Islam is echoed in other parts of the Muslim world. For example, the ongoing saga of Iranian Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani continues to worry some, after she was sentenced to death by stoning for allegedly cheating on and murdering her husband. That sentence was later stayed, but she could still face the death penalty.
And just last week, the International Committee Against Stoning reported two gay Iranian men faced the same sentence for engaging in homosexual acts.
As many readers have pointed out, an Iraqi immigrant is currently on trial in Arizona for an alleged "honor killing." Prosecutors say Faleh Hassan Almalek ran over his daughter, Noor, with his car because she was becoming "too westernized."
In Britain, the Muslim brother of 22-year-old Harry Potter actress Afshan Azad was jailed after he pleaded guilty to beating the young woman for dating a Hindu man.