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Love the sinner, hate the sin. It's not the whole society that's flawed, but this type of action is definitely rooted in the distant past. Don't forget that it's less than 300 years since people in England were hung, drawn and quartered, and in the U.S. in this century people are jailed for years and then executed. Iran is just moving towards civilization more slowly. Perhaps world opinion will speed them up.
Boy are you philosophical about this! While you are right about the history & maybe that I've asked too broad a question, still this remains barbaric in the 21st century. The society in question has had the same amount of time to 'modernize'. Why haven't they? Even the Hasidim who live in the past don't inflict this kind of pain or torture on those who may stray from their religious laws.