Imam Rauf should be jetting to Khartoum any minute now, to explain to Sudanese officials how they are misunderstanding Sharia, which is utterly benign and compatible with Western notions of human rights.
"Young woman sentenced to death by stoning in Sudan," by Alexander Dziadosz for Reuters, May 31 (thanks to Wimpy):
(Reuters) - A Sudanese woman, believed to be around 20, has been sentenced to be stoned to death for adultery, and is being held near Khartoum, shackled in prison with her baby son, rights groups and lawyers said on Thursday.
Campaigners condemned the ruling, saying it violated international standards and raised concerns that Sudan might start applying sharia, or Islamic law, more strictly following the secession of mostly non-Muslim South Sudan last year.
The woman, Intisar Sharif Abdalla, was sentenced by the Ombada criminal court on April 22, court documents seen by Reuters showed.
Two lawyers assigned to her case, who declined to be named, said they were launching an appeal adding Abdalla appeared to be under severe psychological strain.
"She's in dire need of a psychiatrist because she appears to be in a state of shock from the social and family pressures she's under," one lawyer said.
Abdalla was illiterate and did not have a lawyer or interpreter in the courtroom, although Arabic is not her native language, the lawyers and activists added.
Arabic is the main language in the overwhelmingly Muslim nation, though a wide range of smaller languages are also spoken, particularly in tribal areas. It was unclear where Abdalla came from.
Officials in Sudan's justice and information ministries said they could not immediately comment on the case when Reuters contacted them by phone.
Abdalla's exact age has not been confirmed, but activists said she was believed to be around 20, although some reports indicated she could be younger....
In 2010, the case of Lubna Hussein, a Sudanese U.N. official, sparked international furor when she was sentenced to flogging for wearing trousers.
Fahima Hashim, a women's rights activist following Abdalla's case, said sentences were often inconsistent in Sudan because the legal system gave authority to judges to decide punishments. Previous stoning sentences had not been carried out, she said.
Hashim called for the reform of articles in Sudan's criminal code which she said harm women's rights, including one used in Abdalla's case.
As long as this articles remained unchanged, execution by stoning would not be out of the question, she said. "It's a threat. It could happen."