Horrific punishments show the wrong Islam

Most of the time when a husband cheats on his wife, he might get kicked to the curb and served divorce papers. That would have been a fortunate outcome for Abas Hussein Abdirahman, a 33-year-old Somali man who was publicly stoned to death this week for adultery. His pregnant girlfriend will be stoned also once her child is born, and the child will be given to relatives, according to USA Today.

Somalia is under the majority rule of Islamists, who have stoned three people in the past year for committing the same offense. The Islamist group al-Shabab shames Islam, according to President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. He said that this group and its horrific punishments are making the country and the faith look bad. The country does not have a functional national government, and the al-Shabab group has said that Ahmed’s rules, if implemented, would be “too lenient,” according to the BBC.

It’s pretty bad when stoning people seems like an acceptable punishment. Are these people using the tenants of their religion to dole out what they think is not only acceptable but morally correct punishments? Do they think that witnessing the stoning of an adulterer will stop future cheaters in their tracks? That seems unclear, but it does seem apparent that the group is acting based on religious beliefs.

Some might say they live in a different culture and what we deem right might not be right for their society. However, murder never has a true justification that I can see.

Islam is often misunderstood and can be taken out of context and misused. It seems like that has happened a lot with religion, even in America. It’s always easy to criticize what you don’t know or understand. I attended a Muslim service as part of a TCU religion class, and Muslims were some of the nicest, friendliest people I have ever met. The service was wonderful and peaceful. I can’t imagine any of those people being violent, but some of them did tell me how misunderstood their religion was, and they wish people would be more open-minded. I was saddened when they related stories of fear when they came to worship or when people find out they are Muslim.

According to religioustolerance.org, stoning for adultery is an outdated practice that most predominantly Islamic countries have long abandoned. If you commit adultery, you must repent and be genuinely remorseful for your act, according to Islamonline.net. This Web site states that stoning and flogging are “extreme” punishments that should rarely, if ever, be used. You should also try to do as many good things as you can to make up for your transgressions. This sounds pretty universal to me, and I wish the same justice had been given to these young Somali people. I also hope that people don’t judge Islam based on these sad acts. In this day and age, everyone has a right to their beliefs, as well as their basic right to survive.

Christi Aldridge is a senior strategic communications major from Hillsboro.