You may remember the prayer, often said at Benediction, that spoke of those who were trapped ‘in the darkness of idolatry and Islam’.
Now I don’t want to get into a discussion about Islam per se; it is a monotheist religion in which, as in Judaism, it is not unrealistic to consider that they worship – albeit through a diminished and imperfect revelation – Almighty God; and I certainly know many Moslems whose conduct and whose humanity is at least as meritorious as that of the average Christian.
However, there is one unarguable point, which is that there can be no claim to true religion in any so-called religion which actively promotes injustice and bloodshed in the name of that religion.
Iran, today, is a place of injustice, fear, and oppression . . . and all in the name of Islam. The ‘Supreme Leader’ announced after the travesty of last year’s presidential elections that questioning the results was not only illegal, but also sinful; and authorized the use of appalling violence to prevent any challenge to the legitimacy of the re-elected president. I personally know one young woman who, having supported the opposition candidate in the election, was forced to flee Iran to protect herself and her baby son. Her sister has been jailed for six years, and received sixty lashes; and yet the British Government say that this young woman is not at risk, and should return to Iran.
She is lucky, though; she at least managed to get out of Iran, and may still hope to persuade the Government that she truly is unsafe and deserves protection. For others, there is no such hope : they are still in Iran, and in the power of its devilish regime.
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is an Iranian woman who has been in jail in Iran since being found guilty of adultery – for which she has already received 99 lashes – and has now been sentenced to be stoned to death : a punishment which is, under the Sharia law of Iran, entirely legitimate.
It may be legitimate under the Sharia law of Iran : it is not legitimate under the law of God, and it is still possible that something may be done to prevent this abomination taking place.
I invite you to visit the website which has been set up to inform the world of this disgrace to Islam’s claims to be a religion of humanity, and to give this poor woman – and those who may be at risk of a similar fate – such support as you feel you can.
The Iranian Government has now announced, in response to international protest, that Sakineh will not be executed by stoning. What it has NOT said is whether or not she will be reprieved, or simply executed by hanging or in some other way.
Ultimately, this is still a barbaric regime applying an evil law . . . so let us continue to pray that God will bring His peace and justice to the poor people who suffer from it.