A lesson

This is horrifying. Nushin Arbabzadah says religious violence has become normalized in Afghanistan.

The brutal lynching of Farkhunda, has revealed a number of significant issues regarding the state of Islam in Afghanistan.

The most crucial is that a fanatic strand of Islamic has become normalized, and accepted by a mainstream audience. The imam who incited the violence, the mob who lynched Farkhunda, the bystanders who filmed it — they were not the disenfranchised. They were ordinary Afghans, members of the middle class, including shop keepers. The initial public reaction was approval, expressed by public figures representing the spheres of culture and education.

They included a female deputy culture minister, who said, in reference to the murder, that nothing can stand in the way of the pure faith of the people. Rahel Musavi, a presenter on Tamadon TV, provided another public message of support saying, “She deserved to burn in the fire of the people’s anger.” And then there was the sermon of the imam, Ayaz Niazi, whose message can be summed up as follows: The people who killed Farkhunda were correct and the police have no right to arrest them. If they do, the people have the right to stage an uprising.


That kind of thing makes me absolutely despair of human beings. Educated people think deference to religion matters more than not setting a woman on fire.

A key characteristic of this version of Islam is that is encourages lawlessness. Niazi told the mosque audience, that their religious sensitivity is the supreme source of legitimacy, overriding the legitimacy of the state and law enforcement. But to what extent? According to the sermon, it would seem that the believer is entitled to kill first and ask questions later. Even if it turns out that the believer was wrong, the supremacy of his religious emotions are such that police has no right to arrest him. In other words, religious sentiment, not religion, is the supreme force and the prime source of legitimacy in Afghanistan. This was what Niazi was endorsing.

And she adds that he’s considered a moderate Muslim.

Many Afghans continue to believe that the supreme law is their own religious emotions. This belief is not natural, it’s carefully cultivated and sustained through collective effort. Some comply out of fear, others out of populist motivation, others because they are ignorant. Afghan activists are some of the few who have opposed the message. In return, they have received threats. The nature of these threats is summed up by the following statement that a TV personality working for a religious channel said that Farkhunda’s burning will be a lesson to the other whores.

Yes, it’s definitely a lesson to us whores.


  1. grumpyoldfart says

    Religion attracts control freaks and when control freaks get a taste of power they will use it every opportunity. The Christians murdered their enemies for nearly 1400 years during the pagan-killing Dark Ages, Muslim-killing Crusades, and heretic-killing Inquisitions. Now the Muslims are taking their turn. If they are as slow and methodical as the Christians, they will probably keep up the murderous campaign until about the year 3400.

  2. Omar Puhleez says

    Fascism is a totalitarian mass movement and a cult of leadership. Where Nazism and Mussolini’s Italian movement each hero-worshipped a leader marketed as larger-than-life, Islam as a fascist movement has one ready-made in the legendary Mohammed.
    Though some point to colonialism as being ultimately responsible for 9/11 and other Islamic outrages, including no doubt the latest murderous mob violence in Afghanistan, imams such as Ayaz Niazi are ready-made leaders, who can be as fascist as they choose to be
    For example, http://www.turkeyagenda.com/a-discourse-on-the-colonized-muslim-subject-1706.html
    and this:

    Clearly related to this is the basic division of mankind as perceived in Islam. Most, probably all, human societies have a way of distinguishing between themselves and others: insider and outsider, in-group and out-group, kinsman or neighbor and foreigner. These definitions not only define the outsider but also, and perhaps more particularly, help to define and illustrate our perception of ourselves.
    In the classical Islamic view, to which many Muslims are beginning to return, the world and all mankind are divided into two: the House of Islam, where the Muslim law and faith prevail, and the rest, known as the House of Unbelief or the House of War, which it is the duty of Muslims ultimately to bring to Islam. But the greater part of the world is still outside Islam, and even inside the Islamic lands, according to the view of the Muslim radicals, the faith of Islam has been undermined and the law of Islam has been abrogated. The obligation of holy war therefore begins at home and continues abroad, against the same infidel enemy.

    Which you will find at http://www.eretzyisroel.org/~jkatz/rage.html

    Although there is no gender equality in the Middle East (including in Israel), the phenomena of sexism and misogyny are global—not peculiar to Islam, or to the Middle East.
    The status of women varies widely in the Middle East, and one should not project the norms in Saudi Arabia—one of the most sexist and oppressive states in the region—onto the larger Muslim world.
    Many of the causes for the inferior status of Middle Eastern women are indigenous, but the West—especially the U.S.—has exacerbated this oppression.

    Which you will find at http://www.irfi.org/articles/articles_401_450/women_in_the_middle_east.htm
    So conclude what you will.

  3. johnthedrunkard says

    Isn’t this a manifestation of the whole ‘takfir’ concept? I.e.: that any ‘correct’ Muslim is justified making HIMself the judge/jury/executioner of any other Muslim HE considered deficient or wrong.

    This goes far beyond the crusade/jihad relativizing we see in previous notes here.

    I have a vague sense that takfir was a Wahhabi notion. If so, how has it spread and become normal practice through Pakistan and Afghanistan? I suspect that following the money would lead straight to Saudi Arabia.

  4. k_machine says

    Mandatory reminder that this is all America’s fault for supporting acid-throwing fundies since 1979.

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