Killed for expressing happiness

You know what is a major problem with most religions? They are killjoys. The thought that people are engaging in enjoyable acts somehow bothers them, hence the prohibitions against ordinary pleasurable activities like eating, drinking, singing, dancing, films, sex, and contraception (because it allows people to have more sex). Most of the time these prohibitions stay is the realm of the laughable and absurd but sometimes become deadly.

Via Jonathan Turley I hear of a ghastly story of religious intolerance in Pakistan. According to the news report:

Two teenage sisters in Pakistan have been shot dead in a suspected ‘honour killing’ after a video clip emerged of them dancing in the rain.

Five unidentified men in the Chillas town in the Northern areas of Pakistan shot and killed Noor Basra, 16, and Noor Sheza, 15, and their mother, News24online reported.

Local police have detained Khutore, 22, the sisters’ step brother, for allegedly planning the attack.

“It seems that the two girls have been murdered after they were accused of tarnishing their family’s name by making a video of themselves dancing in the rain,” a police officer told News24online.

“The girls were seen running around in traditional dress with two other younger children outside their bungalow in the town of Chillas, in the northern region of Gilgit,” relative Momina Bashir said.

Human rights activists Atiya Jehan says the video of the sisters breaking into dance and flashing a smile at the camera became “a big issue in Chillas area”.

I will never ever understand the mentality of people who could do such a terrible thing. And the murderers undoubtedly think that their god will reward them for protecting the ‘honor’ of the family and their religion.


  1. timberwoof says

    By killing his step-sisters and their mother, Khutore and the five unidentified men have smeared the honor of the surviving Noor family in pigshit and vinegar. I throw my shoes at them, spit on them, and step left foot first into their house while wearing shit-smeared combat boots … and utterly fail to do anything about the murders themselves. Maybe those man-children can defend their family honor in prison. They sound young enough to need protectors.

  2. MNb says

    I’m far from sure if religion is the cause or just stupid male pig chauvinism. The latter doesn’t speak for this brand of religion anyhow, as it clearly fails to correct that chauvinism. Every single legal system worth its name condemns not intervening as well.

  3. steffp says

    Those killings in the name of namus are indeed a shame, and the murderers lost the honor that they claim to have defended. But, aside of the strange local interpretation of the qur’anic ideal of female modesty, what enrages me most is the underlying concept of total worthlessness of human life.
    A girl smiles into a camera, she’s dead. Boy talks to a virgin, he’s raped and killed. Mini buses in Pakistan don’t have segregation grilles, so sometimes the drivers will allow women to ride up front beneath them. Results in all insurance companies refusing to insure their lives: too risky. Contact over gender-borders often results in death & mutilations. Battery acid.
    A human life is nothing. That’s the core concept of all Abrahamic cults. Uppity children: stone them. Cheating wives: stone them. Guys collecting wood on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday: stone them. Using the words Yahweh, Allah, God in “inappropriate ways” – kill them. Being a male Canaanite, an idolater, an unbeliever defending his country – kill him. Painting a portrait of Mohammed, translating the Qur’an, yes, again, kill him, kill them all.
    It is as if there were an endless supply of indistinguishable people, so they can be slaughtered all the time, with no societal loss. How many potential Einsteins, Plancks, Curies, Pasteurs, Picassos, Beethovens have been slaughtered for a careless smile at a burkhaed rural beauty? For not wearing yellow robes to indicate they’re Hindu? For switching from one sort of irrational comforting belief to another one?
    “Never mind, Heretics must be burned”. And, of course, it’s always the other heretics that are killed. The guys who shot girls for possessing a smartphone used them themselves to coordinate their action…

  4. One Day Soon I Shall Invent A Funny Login says

    .. most religions… are killjoys. The thought that people are engaging in enjoyable acts somehow bothers them, hence the prohibitions against ordinary pleasurable activities…It seems to me there are two basic reasons for this: the need for control, enabled by jealousy.
    A religion has a fundamental organizational need to control the lives of its adherents. It does this by setting and enforcing rules. But what rules, or rules about what? So much of life is common sense, so much of a person’s daily activities are identical to any other person’s, where can religion weigh in without being either stupidly pointless (“You must eat”) or counterproductive (“You must cut off a finger”)? Well, it can institute rules that don’t cost much to obey and yet make the adherent (a) feel different from non-adherents for obeying them and (b) feel special, “blessed” for obeying them. So you get relatively trivial rules that modify activities of daily living in small ways, cheap and easy to obey yet distinctive: like special forms of food preparation, cutting off nonessential parts of children’s bodies, special items of clothing.
    And rules about pleasures because these are things that can be cheaply given up, and willing abstinence from them can usually be lauded as good, or frugal, behavior.
    Restrictions on pleasures are especially easy to enforce because of jealousy. People do not like to see other people enjoying themselves when they, the observers, can’t participate. It’s basic psychology: “I ain’t gettin’ any, so it’s painful for me to think about you getting’ some.” This common (but usually tacit and concealed) emotion enables the religious restrictions. It makes it easy to recruit social enforcement of the rules.
    I think motives of both control (over female lives) and jealousy (of female pleasure not focused on and directed to oneself) were at work in this story. Control over enjoyment is crucial: women mustn’t enjoy themselves in ways not permitted, managed, directly supplied by a man; they might decide that men are irrelevant. And the thought that a woman is smiling, laughing, enjoying herself but not looking at him is painful to the frustrated young male.

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