I saw the scene on my TV; some woman in Swat, lying face-down while being gagged and pinned to the ground by two burly men with beards as a third bearded behemoth went about lashing her - in full view of a crowd. Is this permissible under the tenets of Islam to inflict such a punishment to women in public? -MOBEEN AFZAL, Lahore, via e-mail, April 3.