I have read this news headlines with the usual irritation of impartial reporting when it comes to Muslims, Palestinians, etc… however, this time, I decided to respond to this article and point out the inconsistencies found in such a piece of news. The response is divide into the following.
1. The authenticity of such news
2. The message behind such reporting
Why is this reporting flawed?
Check out the following statements: “A man grabbed the saw and he cut Adam’s leg” or “They kept John away from his family for ever”. These two statements are very similar to the title of the article except for the follows: the first man is a doctor who cut Adam’s leg to save his life and John is a murderer who was put in jail for life because of his actions. Technically, none of the first statements are incorrect. Just out of context. Very dangerous.
Why? This is the first question that should be answered. Why was this lady stoned? Whether or not you agree with the crime and the punishment, you should mention the crime for which she deserved the punishment. The reader will be deeply involved in the punishment and the description of the punishment and the Amnesty report way before they realize the crime. The report does not give the reader a chance to be logical.
In impartial reporting, two views are to be given equal chance to be presented. However, the writer has already made his/her mind that what was done is inhumane illustrated by the shouting and the screaming (making the report seem like a short story). By the third sentence, the reader has already made his mind that the courts of Somalia are ruthless individuals and that Sharia is insensitive. The writer is making your mind for you!
The best demonstration of such hidden agenda is the title itself. The title uses “Mercy” to show how unmerciful these individuals are. They forget to mention that this is one of the safest cities in Somalia and that this same people who allegedly stoned the woman have spread peace in a place where peace is a rare commodity. The woman have confessed to her crime. But let us get back to the news. Other words of note are :”victim” even though she was sentenced to be a criminal according to their law (you do not have to agree with the crime or the punishment to get to this).
The authenticity of such news:
The court said that the twenty three old woman have testified that she has committed adultery (meaning that she was married). Under Islamic ruling, it’s very hard to prove such a crime. To prove adultery in the Islamic court of law, you need 4 witnesses who are known to be good Muslims with sound minds and known to be trustworthy (no history of deceit) with no chance of them agreeing to false testimony. Those 4 witnesses must have seen the act fully and without a doubt identified the two criminals. The second way of proving adultery is for a woman of a man to confess clearly to the crime without being forced or manipulated.
If any of those two conditions occur, the stoning takes place. The BBC report have concluded that the Courts are wrong while the Amnesty is correct in this specific case.
I really do not know ‘what the Amnesty learnt’ or the ‘unknown anonymous witnesses’. Somehow the western media has made its mind that the court is lying and that the anonymous witnesses are saying the truth.
These people do not know Islam or Muslims. these are facts. If one Muslim kills another intentionally, hellfire will be his dwelling. Lying to say that this person is an adulterer is also one of the major sins.
Such a piece of news portrays and implies the following:
1. The courts in Somalia are a group of ruthless humans who have no regard for humans
2. The courts in Somalia are evil and it’s ok to fight them (infact, it’s justice to fight those evil Islamists)
What the truth which lies behind is: The Islamic courts of Somalia have restored order back to Somalia which has been for the longest time governed by war lords and drug lords. Then Ehtopians came and conquered the country and the chaos is back to that land.
The Islamic courts of Somalia have done a lot of good to that country. But none of that is reported. However, the bad is highly portrayed to become one the most read and e-mailed piece of news on BBC.
According to RAND, one of the main ways to build so-called moderate Muslims is to highlight the errors of such Islamic governments and hide all good that it has done. So far so good. The general reader will know this and only this about Somalia.
I tried to edit the reort to carry the same information without a hiddent agenda. To illustrate some of the above you can see the original and the edited report here