Sakineh Ashitani has been sentenced to death by stoning in Iran. The image of the miserable woman being led to her death, the hurling of the stones, the saliva dripping from the beards, and the madness in the eyes of the people around her cannot be dismissed as some natural anomaly.
The Iranian adulteress will be finding herself in the same situation faced by previous “sinners” in Iran. We can assume that some Westerners will take a few minutes to click their tongues with unease. Yet we know that the day after we shall wake up to find no commotion whatsoever. We’ll wake up to silence.
After all, everyone understands that there are more important people than another stoned woman in Iran. There’s Israel, and the occupation, and the debate over sanctions and commercial ties with Tehran; and so, the bodies in Iran keep piling up, while the people who on other occasions know how to ask tough questions suddenly grow silent.
The paradox is that Iranian brutality in fact provides a clear reflection of all the silent states that don’t care at all about human life, but rather, only concern themselves with future profits.
Just try to examine the real attitude of this world’s main institutions to Iran, a state where you can be stoned over espionage, violating religious laws, protesting against the government, homosexuality, or just for spiting Ahmadinejad or the Ayatollahs.
Where is Obama?A few weeks ago, Iran became an official member of the UN’s Women’s Rights Commission, a group established after World War II in order to turn this world into a better place. Now let’s not pretend that UN voters did now know that Iran, the latest senior member of the commission, is not exactly a women’s rights fan.
So while officials in Tehran engage in debates on whether a woman has the right to end her life under a barrage of small stones while she’s buried chest-high, or maybe she has the right to ask for larger stones to be hurled at her, the very same Iran is tasked with protecting global women’s rights in New York.
And will our just world, that is, the Western states whose tax funds sponsor the meetings of the women’s rights commission, do anything about it? Will these states veto Iran’s membership in the commission? And will the US, headed by the most pro-human rights president in its history, embark on a loud campaign against the injustice and immediately cut its funding to the commission? We can assume that the answer is “no.”
After all, these days there is so much work to be accomplished in respect to the Iranian flotilla to Israel; who has time for yet another stoned adulteress? Or as the Persians say, one woman here, one woman there, who cares, as long as law and order is maintained. Otherwise we would just be a bunch of barbarians.