In the centre of the open field, the accused woman is buried up to her chest and people circle around her.  Piles of stones large enough to cause death, but not too big to end her life immediately on impact are stacked. It is meant to be an unhurried, agonizing, and calculated death.

The unnamed Sri Lankan woman had confessed!
A Sri Lankan woman is condemned’ stoned to death’ on charges of adultery. In Parliament, a few days ago several Parliamentarians spoke not on how or what action they intended to take to save her from punishment meted out under Sharia Law, but not on finding the root cause of unfortunate occurrence. Their simple solution to the problem was; ‘stop sending them to Mid-East’. Social Empowerment and Welfare Deputy, R. Ramanayake came close when he said ‘the offence has to be confirmed by four eye witnesses who should be holy Muslim men according to the Sharia Law’, but added a comical comment as reported in a state daily on Monday, that; ‘the government is discussing with Saudi to find a solution’.

Vijitha Herath from the JVP blamed the ‘social and economic system in the country that had put the women to such a fate’ and added that the economy has to be developed to avoid such unfortunate incidents.

handHirunika Premachandra who fearlessly battles for women’s rights said the nation should be ashamed of allowing women abroad. Dinesh Gunawardena stated that the punishment is a crime and that the Women and Child Affairs Ministry and the Foreign Ministry should intervene. Minister Fernandopulle in her observations claimed; “… if Sri Lanka failed to get this sentence lifted, the country would have to take a decision on sending women to Saudi’.But who will bridge the consequential huge budget deficit is a billion dollar question. While they talk balderdash, it is imperative we discuss some sensible approach on how best we can prevent a repetition of such brutality in the future.

Zina: punishment or deterrent
The Sharia Law is very clear on proof of adultery.  Four witnesses to come before a Sharia Court and describe that they together witnessed at the same instant, the act of having  penetrative intercourse by the accused.  The four brilliant Muslims should be without any blemishes, has to be good practitioners of Islam—all males who observe daily five times Salat, and had never missed a Salat.

It seems that the law has no loopholes, it is virtually impossible to have four such men coming together at one point and observing the act unless the couple chooses an open area for a public performance. Worse, the Shariah law says, a witness who accuse a man and a woman of illicit sex but not succeed in producing three other eye-witnesses are at fault of bogus allegation and the punishment is 80 lashes, and if the witnesses fail to prove that they speak the truth, they consequently would face 80 lashes. Only a nincompoop will take that risk, rather than mind one’s own business.

It is obvious that Prophet Mohamed never intended to impose such cruelty on humans; it is not punishment, only a deterrent; the order, stone to death would be delivered by Qadis [bench] strictly through a confession by the parties. The poor woman ignorant of the fact would have confessed expecting clemency.  However, in Maliki School, another sect of Sharia considers pregnancy in an unmarried woman as ample evidence of adultery and that she had committed the crime of Zina; deserves stoning to death with no necessity for witnesses. There are some Muslim scholars who believe that the accused person has a right to retract her confession; and if confession is retracted, she is not punishable for Zina

Most of our legislators who are unfit to formulate laws in the political front, to say the least, need to study a little of Sharia Law and make all women who seek employment in Arab world educated in its intricacies.

Those women aspiring to proceed to the desert in search of greener pastures should exercise caution in desires. Abstinence or self-imposed restraint is the best option.