Somali Islamists meted out barbaric punishment this week against a woman accused of adultery. According to press reports, stones were thrown at the head of a 23-year-old woman who had been buried up to her neck:
"Relatives of the woman executed in Kismayu, whom they named as Asha Ibrahim Dhuhulow, were furious.
‘The stoning was totally irreligious and illogical,' said her sister, who asked not to be named. ‘Islam does not execute a woman for adultery unless four witnesses and the man with whom she committed sex are brought forward publicly.'"
It's stunning to see the victim's sister take issue with the procedure and not the stoning itself. But her words sounded eerily familiar to the explanation offered by someone who, at the time, was among the most prominent spokesmen for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). In discussing his perceived flaws of the documentary "Islam v. Islamists," Ahmed Bedier told a Tampa television station last year that stoning is a rarity and "definitely not government sanctioned. That, he explained, was due in part to the requirement that four witnesses step forward to prove an adultery accusation.
"So you have to be like a porn star to get convicted," Bedier said. He since has left CAIR.
Here is a chance for CAIR and similar national organizations to show they can stand up to the horrific extremism of some Islamists. Condemn this death unequivocally; condemn stoning as a modern means of punishment, even in nations governed by Islamic law.
Bedier wouldn't do it. Neither would Tariq Ramadan, grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan Al-Banna and someone lauded as one of the world's leading intellectuals. In an infamous 2003 debate with now-French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Ramadan advocated a moratorium.
To do so would be to challenge some Quranic texts. And that's a line they seem unwilling to cross.