The videotaped execution of an Afghan woman suspected of adultery has gone viral in Europe, and you can see an edited version of the atrocity at The Guardian, which reports, “When the unnamed woman, most of her body tightly wrapped in a shawl, fell sideways after being shot several times in the head, the spectators chanted: ‘Long live the Afghan mujahideen!’ (Islamist fighters) a name the Taliban use for themselves.”
The three-minute video, obtained by Reuters, is a dramatic and striking example of Sharia law enforcement by the non-government Taliban’s disputed resolution methods.
My friend in London compares the execution, which took place in the village of Qimchok in Shinwari district of Parwan province, to what she had previously taken to be “over-the-top” plotting from a novel by Khaled Hosseini.
Coincidentally, I happened to watch another foreign film about adultery this weekend. In a Canadian production called ‘Take This Waltz’ by director Sarah Polley, the marriage of a happy Toronto couple — played by Michelle Williams and Seth Rogan — is endangered when she becomes powerfully attracted to another man. In one scene about which much has been written, six women of various generations — all completely naked in a swimming pool locker room — discuss life’s difficult choices when the “new gets old.”
As the conflicted wife wavers, her sister-in-law, played by Sarah Silverman, in another standout performance scolds, “Life has a gap in it. It just does.”
Considering that matrimony is voluntary in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, I’m surprised how many first marriages stay intact. In these Western countries, it can take several false starts before one finds bliss, and close to half of marriages are legally dissolved.
And far worse than the painful lessons of missed chances and broken hearts is the tragic and often fatal treatment of “unchaste” women.
Bonnie Goldstein is on Twitter @KickedByAnAngel