In Afghanistan on Thursday, a woman was swarmed by a mob that proceeded to beat and stone her to death before setting her ablaze and dumping her in a river for the crime of hurting god's feelings.
The 32-year-old woman, named Farkhunda, had allegedly burned copies of the Quran, and was inside the Shah-Do Shamshira shrine in Kabul when an angry crowd overwhelmed police and stormed the building. According to NBC News,
"The crowd then attacked the woman with sticks and stones, with some men stomping on her body, and she was dragged down the street, according to eyewitnesses and horrific images shared widely on social media. Haroon added that several cars drove over the woman's body while she was in the street before she was thrown in onto the riverbed and set on fire."
After the attack, Farkhunda's family told authorities that she had been suffering from mental illness for many years.
Let me repeat that: A woman was beaten to death and set on fire by a mob for allegedly burning the Quran, and she is the one said to have suffered from mental illness.
One witness said the number of people in the mob "was in the thousands" in what is just the latest outburst of insanity by the devotees of the all powerful yet notoriously sensitive Allah. Taking their cues from the Ten Commandments of Judeo-Christian tradition, these pious pawns of god decided that he will not be mocked or disrespected without exacting blood from the offender.
The Los Angeles Time does note that a good portion of Afghanistan's population may suffer from psychological disorders after decades of conflict. This may well be the case, but it doesn't explain similar incidents that have occurred elsewhere.
Such stories garner little if any comment from Islam's staunchest defenders because they fail to meet the criteria by which they can blame the United States or the West for these dastardly deeds. Whenever there is a terror attack, such as the slaughter at Charlie Hebdo, these craven apologists fall all over each other in a race to blame anyone or anything but the perpetrators: the Iraq war, Abu Ghraib prison, colonialism, imperialism, oppression, etc.
Unfortunately for these people and their narrative, Farkhunda had no foreign policy, no history of colonial oppression, no history of violence of any kind as far as we can tell. What she did have, apparently, was the temerity to desecrate some pieces of paper bound together in a book. And for that, she is now dead.
Not all hope is lost for Afghanistan, however. One witness, Abdul Wahed, was bold enough to condemn the killing to the Los Angeles Times, albeit with a qualification:
“Before you can take action you have to know what happened,” the 30-year-old said. “Did she have psychological issues? Only when you know that can you take action.
“You have to abide by both sets of laws. She should have been subject to the laws of the state and of God.”
Indeed. It's important to have all of the information because that's the only way to be sure the human being you're immolating is truly worthy of Allah's wrath.