Nigerian Court Rules Against Sharia Law

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You don't hear this story very often. In fact, it's so unusual that we here in the caring and sensitive news business call these kinds of stories, "man bites dog."

Here's the story. It's in Nigeria (search) — the part of that country which is Muslim and is governed by Sharia Law.

When you hear news stories about Sharia Law (search), you hear some pretty startling stuff... like adulterers being stoned death.

So here was this case of rape. A 54-year-old man raped a 12-year-old girl. Predictably, he was sentenced to death by stoning. He was to be buried up to his neck while standing upright. Then the villagers were going to throw rocks at his head until they bashed in his brains and he was dead.

Hey... it was a 12-year-old girl. I know plenty of places in this country where the friends of the victim would want to do exactly the same thing. But here — call it a miracle if you want -- when the Nigerian appellate court, the Sharia Law appeals judges — got the case, they changed the sentence and sent the convicted man to a psychiatric hospital.

The judges said, "He's obviously mentally ill."

With Islamists trying to take entire populations back to the 10th century, this decision seems good news.

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