Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Death By Stoning, A Description

I first read this account in 1968, while in East Africa. It has stayed in my mind ever since. when I read about adultery or stoning in the Bible I remember this description by James A. Mitchener. He watched such an event in 1948 and wrote about it in 1963.

As we wait for the Mullahs and other men of Iran to demonstrate a similar blood lust on a woman taken in adultery, I think it is only proper that we understand what that actually means.

If you are squeamish or sensitive do not continue to read this. Mitchener recorded it all.

An Execution in Ghazni: Stoned for Adultery

"When the soldiers reached the stake, they inexpertly drove several nails into it -- and lashed the prisoner's hands to these nails, at the same time securing her ankles to the bottom of the stake. When they stepped back, the dirty white chaderi fell completely over the bare feet and the prisoner was wholly masked. She was still free, however, to look out upon the world of hate-filled faces. I turned to watch the mullahs and did not see what happened next, but I heard a thudding sound and a gasp. I looked around quickly...to see that a rather large stone had struck the woman and fallen at her feet. The gasp must have come from her. Now the men at my right, the ones who had eaten with me and brought me to the scene, knelt to find stones...they began throwing at the shrouded figure. From all sides stones whizzed toward the stake, and most struck, and it was obvious that punishment for adultery in Afghanistan was severe.

The Woman refused to cryout, but a cheer soon rose from the crowd. One powerful man had found an especially good stone, large and jagged, and he threw this with force,aiming carefully at her body, and it struck so violently in her abdomen that soon the first blood of the afternoon showed through the chaderi. It was this that brought the cheer...another stone of equal size struck the woman's shoulder. It brought both blood and cheers...A large man with unerring aim pitched a jagged rock of some size and caught the woman in the breast, blood spurted through the torn chaderi and at last the woman uttered a piercing scream... men from all sides gathered fresh ammunition.

The sagging body was struck eight or nine times in the next fusillade, but mercifully the woman could not have know. Now a burly man shouted that he had found the perfect rock and the others must stand aside. The crowd obeyed and watched breathlessly as he took careful aim, whirled his arm, and launch his missile with ugly force. It flashed across the fifteen yards separating the men from their target and sped accurately as intended, striking the unconscious woman in the face. Quick blood marked the spot and the crowd cheered.

The blow was so terrible that it wrenched the prisoner's hands from the nails and allowed her to collapse in a heap about the stake. As she did so, the crowd broke loose and rushed to the fallen body smashing it with boulders which no man, however powerful, could have thrown from a distance. Again and again they dropped the huge rocks on the fallen body until they crushed it completely, continuing the wild sport until they had build a small mound of stones over the scene..."

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