The Islamic Emirate (Afghan Taliban) have condemned the killing and burning of a young woman, Farkhunda in Kabul, Afghanistan who suffered an horrific ordeal at the hands of a mob after being wrongly accused of desecrating the Quran. Articles were forwarded to the Taliban requesting they join with me to condemn this terrible act of mindless brutality.
It is understood that following the assault, witnesses came forward to give evidence that Farkhunda had challenged a local mullah in Kabul for selling charms to impoverished women wishing to become pregnant requesting he stop. This simple act was turned against her by those falsely stating she had set alight to a copy of the Quran and whipping up a crowd of men into making a frenzied attack, beating her to death then burning her body by a river.
Some of those involved photographed and made videos of the lynching which circulated on social media shocking many in Afghanistan and around the world who took to the streets demanding “justice for Farkhunda”.
Hundreds of people turned out to protest the killing. Women mourners were so insensed at her treatment they insisted on breaking with tradition by carrying the body of Farkhunda themselves to the burial site, guarded by males within the community. Following the killing, 18 people have now been arrested and 13 police officers suspended.
Abduqahar Balkhi who runs a twitter account in English affiliated to the Islamic Emirate, tweeted the Taliban response, lending an important voice in speaking against the violation and murder of a woman who was known to love Islam. He said,
“Statement regarding Farkhunda by Z.Mujahid | killing was personal, pretext of burning Quran baseless, condemns act of killing/burning”
“However warns, defense of Islamic sanctities in case of abuse is the legitimate right of every Muslim Afghan”
The country’s top criminal investigator, General Mohammed Zahir was reported in the Independent as stating, the authorities have been “unable to find any single iota of evidence to support claims that she had burned a Koran” and declared, “she is completely innocent”.
Sweeta from the Afghan Women’s Writing Project wrote poignantly,
“she was a hafiza Qur’an. She had memorized and knew every single verse of the holy book. She was a graduate of the Islamic Institute of Aisha Durrani. Would a girl with that much knowledge about her religion be doing such an immoral act? No way!”
“Farkhunda and Lahore killings acts of violent sexual perversion by ‘out of control’ men”
“Farkhunda respected in death as the brave female warriors of Kabul carry her body”
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad . She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.