I once shocked a friend in a discussion by saying quite casually that of course some cultures were better or worse than others -- he felt, I think, that that was like saying some races were better than others. But it's not, of course, since cultures are not only changeable, both on an individual and social level, but, more importantly, they manifest values and practices that have real moral dimensions about them. This was brought home with great force from another item today, stemming from just one of the many sources of radical Islam in the world -- it shows in a sickening way the extreme cultural evil of today's global enemy, and makes clear why it's important to see that evil for the slime that it is, and to say its name. This is a report on CNN (via Ann Althouse):
Sakineh Mohammadie Ashtiani, a mother of two, is waiting to die in Iran by a method of execution described by her lawyer as "barbaric" -- stoning.
She will be buried up to her chest, deeper than a man would be, and the stones that will be hurled at her will be large enough to cause pain but not so large as to kill her immediately, according to an Amnesty International report that cited the Iranian penal code.
Ashtiani was forced to confess after being subjected to 99 lashes, Mostafaei said Thursday in a telephone interview from Tehran.
She later retracted that confession and has denied wrongdoing.Lest you think this is some isolated, backwater village practice, the report goes on:
The circumstances of Ashtiani's case make it not an exception but the rule in Iran, according to Amnesty International, which tracks death penalty cases around the world.
"The majority of those sentenced to death by stoning are women, who suffer disproportionately from such punishment," the human rights group said in a 2008 report.Now, Amnesty International isn't always reliable, and if this report is wrong in a significant way I'll certainly correct this post. But AI tends to go wrong particularly when trying to ingratiate itself with the relativist left, and this is in line with too many other reports for that to be likely. In any case, here's part of Krauthammer's summation:
There's a final reason the administration's cowardice about identifying those trying to kill us cannot be allowed to pass. It is demoralizing. It trivializes the war between jihadi barbarism and Western decency, and diminishes the memory of those (including thousands of brave Muslims -- Iraqi, Pakistani, Afghan and Western) who have died fighting it.