She was accused

In Kabul last week:

An Afghan woman who was lynched after being falsely accused of burning the Koran was killed for tackling superstitious practices, witnesses say.

Farkhunda, who was beaten to death by a Kabul mob last week, had been arguing with a mullah about his practice of selling charms to women at a shrine.

In the course of the argument she was accused of burning the Koran and a crowd overheard and beat her to death.

Some people murdered a woman over a single copy of a particular book. She wouldn’t have burned “the Koran,” by the way, even if she’d done it, which she didn’t. She would at most have burned a Koran. It’s not a scarce book.

Farkhunda, 28, was beaten, hit by bats, stamped on, driven over, and her body dragged by a car before being set on fire.

A policeman who witnessed the incident on Thursday told AP news agency that Farkhunda was arguing with a local mullah. Her father said she had complained about women being encouraged to waste money on the amulets peddled by the mullahs at the shrine.

“Based on their lies, people decided Farkhunda was not a Muslim and beat her to death,” Mohammed Nadir told AP.

That’s not a reason to beat someone to death. That’s not even a reason to rebuke someone, let alone commit any kind of violence against her.

Shukria, a woman visiting the shrine on Monday, told the BBC that the attack was “not just an attack on Farkhunda, but on all Afghan women. They have killed us all”.

Demonstrators have called for justice and planted a commemorative tree.

The New York Times said she was mentally ill in its March 20 story, but the BBC says

Initial claims that the woman was mentally ill have been contradicted by both a relative and a neighbour, who said she was training to be a teacher.

So that’s one more teacher Afghanistan doesn’t have.


  1. says

    She argued with a mullah? Oh well, that’s okay, then. Presumably, she has learned her lesson. She won’t be doing that again.

    No, but seriously, this story stinks on so many levels. It appears that the mullah may have been using the crowd as an instrument to murder someone who was critical of his profiting from the sale of trinkets.

  2. lorn says

    I found this particularly troubling. The news of hundreds killed are distressing. But I find the idea of an individual at the hands of a violent, irrational mob, while the authorities either stand aside or participate, to be even more horrific and viscerally gripping. This sort of collective rage is the antithesis of civilization and reason. It is something out of the Lord of the Flies.

    In the south they call them lynchings.

    Another day for the religion of mercy and peace.

    Another brutally murdered over a piece of paper.

  3. =8)-DX says

    @lorn #2

    while the authorities either stand aside or participate

    Often in these cases the “authorities” don’t have the (wo)manpower, equipment or even authority to step in. That’s why you hear of Afghani/Pakistani blasphemy cases where the alleged blasphemers are held in custody for a time for their own protection from the mob.

  4. akdflskj says

    Islam is the only religion that hasn’t been perverted by self proclaimed authorities, don’t you know!

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