"Stone Pelting - A Perspective"

Stone Pelting - A perspective

Highlights:

Stone pelting is a common provocation by rioters - Situation is escalated to trigger a hard response - Injuries and even deaths are then unavoidable - Soldiers / Security Forces are then blamed - Media used by rioters to exaggerate and escalate the blame - Proper perspective required to present the truth.

Quotations for consideration:

“Pelting stones on the armed Security Personnel is not sanctioned by Islam, as stone pelting was forbidden by Prophet Mohammed and therefore how can we as Muslims declare lawful what our revered Prophet Muhammad has declared unlawful” - Moulana Showkat Ahmad Shah, President of Jamiat-i-Ahlihadith -  Indian Express, Mar 31 2009.

Key Concepts:

  • The reaction of the Security Forces against the ‘Stone Pelters’, who are mostly teenagers and youth, is pro-claimed by those fomenting the trouble, to be out of all proportion to such acts.
  • How harmful can a mere stone, small enough to throw, be? – They say.

On TV stone pelting is shown to seem no more harmful than like throwing pebbles at stray dogs to drive them away. But is that really the case? It is for serious consideration whether stone pelting is as innocuous as it seems. Teenagers and young men pelting Security Force personnel with stones looks a lot less dangerous than it truly is, unless of course you are at the receiving end.

History tells us that stones were the first weapons used by our Ancestors to kill small birds and animals and drive away the larger ones. As the aim improved with practice, bigger and bigger animals were targeted. Many of our Tribals still do so today.

All this was without a sling, which we learn was used by David to aim a pebble at Goliath and kill him.

Even today a stone is a dangerous weapon capable of causing grievous injury or even death, more so if cast or thrown by those with some skill.

  • Consider that even from over 60 feet distance, a Batsman is so worried about an injury that may be caused by a Cricket ball, even though that is bounced off the ground before it reaches him and is often bowled only by a Teenager, that he deems it essential to wear a helmet and face guard and many body pads as protection against grievous and perhaps even fatal injury. Remember Phil Hughes and Bavalan Pathmanathan who died due to such injuries on the cricket fields.
  • Consider that the punishment for Adultery in many Islamic Countries is to be ‘Stoned’ to death. The Stone Pelters here are advised not use larger stones, though even these would have to be small enough to hold and throw single handed, but to select even smaller stones so that the person being stoned does not die too quickly. Clearly this is recognition that even the smaller stones are lethal weapons. The recent Internet video from Pakistan, of a woman being so stoned to death there for such ‘alleged misconduct’, is a
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