The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication, flog each of them with 100 stripes: Let no compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. (Koran 24:2)
Jill at Feministe disputes Ali use of the verse to attack Islamic ‘moderates’, pointing out that most Muslims do not take this verse literally:
Selecting one section from a centuries-old religious text and then drawing the conclusion that most followers of that religion follow that text to the word is ridiculous.
But she is summarily contradicted by commenter Nora:
Most Muslims agree that the punishment for pre-marital sex is flogging; the punishment for marital infidelity is death by stoning. Pretty atrocious when you hear it put that way, right?
Yes. You’re a psychic.
But I do look forward to your rationalisation of this barbaric practice:
How different would you feel if I bring in the part a lot of fundamentalists love to ignore: in order for any individual to be flogged/killed, FOUR adults must have witnessed the actual act of sexual intercourse.
Not very. You’ll make everyone feel better though, if you stop defending corporal punishment for pre-marital sex and capital punishment for infidelity. It doesn’t matter how many witnesses the Koran requires or whether you put the number in CAPS.
But ultimately, such reasoning exposes again, the futility of arguing from your opponent’s religious principles. It doesn’t matter whether the Koran punishes pre-marital sex with floggings or not. It doesn’t matter whether the passage is read literally or contextually.
We can safely skip the theological argument just as we do in cases of genital mutilation and blasphemy. Whether your religion supports it or not, corporal punishment or the death penalty for consensual sex is always wrong.