The new President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, is conducting his first visit to America. It is our hope that he can turn the page for a nation where much American treasure was sacrificed so his people could have a better future.
However, I wonder if President Obama will even discuss with President Ghani this heinous event that recently occurred in the capital city of Kabul – where I spent time during my two and a half years in Afghanistan. It demonstrates when it comes to Islam, the word tolerance is undefined, but intolerance is readily apparent.
Several days ago, a 27-year-old woman named Farkhunda was viciously beaten by a mob of male attackers before they tossed her body off a bridge, set her body on fire and threw it in the river. Her crime? Supposedly burning pages of the Quran.
As reported by CNN.com, ” Early reports suggested that Farkhunda was mentally ill, but her tearful father, Nadir, told CNN affiliate TOLOnews she was a religious teacher who taught the Quran to children. He said there was no way his daughter would burn pages of the holy book, which has been cited as the motive for the horrific attack. Twenty-six people have been arrested in connection with the brutal killing, Afghanistan’s Interior Minister Noorul Haq Ulumi said Monday in a statement before parliament.”
I want someone to explain to me what type of belief system in these modern times throws a 27-year-old woman from a rooftop, beats her, sets her on fire and throws her from a bridge into a river? What type of belief system reacts so violently over the rumor of someone burning pages?
I remember being in Afghanistan and the case of one Afghan man named Abdul Rahman who had left Afghanistan for the West and converted to Christianity. He returned to Afghanistan as an aid worker and was reported by his family for the ultimate sin of being an apostate — which in Islam is punishable by death. He was asked to rescind his conversion or admit being mentally unstable — he did not. We who were there in Afghanistan at the time asked ourselves, just exactly what we were there fighting for?
Mr. Rahman was eventually released, and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice played an integral part in his repatriation.
But here we are once again, and I’m quite sure those in uniform stationed in Kabul are asking themselves in the chow hall – what’s the point?
You see, this is why we must defeat the Islamist ideology. It is this savage, barbaric and antiquated theocratic-political totalitarian construct that killed Farkhunda. And why don’t we hear more about this real and true “War on Women?”
I am reminded of the case of Meriam Ibrahim — you remember this courageous Christian woman? Funny thing, to my knowledge, Ms. Ibrahim, married to a naturalized American citizen and mother of two American children, has never been invited to the White House. And for that matter, I must ask, did President Obama invite Malala Yousafzai to the White House?
How did this horrific event in Afghanistan come about?
According to CNN, “Farkhunda’s parents said the killing was instigated by a local mullah of the Shah-e-Do Shamshera Mosque in the city’s center, who had been angered by Farkhunda’s accusations that he was distributing false tawiz.”
“Tawiz are pieces of paper containing verses of the Quran which are sometimes worn as pendants to ward off evil and bring the wearer good luck. TOLOnews reported that “in order to save his job and life,” the mullah reportedly began shouting accusations that Farkhunda had burned the Quran. Witnesses said a crowd gathered and hauled Farkhunda into the street. “We were asking the people to stop beating her and let us ask what religion she belongs to,” one witness told TOLOnews. “But the people didn’t listen to us and kept beating her.” Afghanistan’s Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs said it had found no evidence Farkhunda burned the Quran. Meanwhile, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned the killing as “heinous” and ordered a commission to investigate it fully.”
I wonder if Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter or Secretary of State John Kerry brought this up to the attention of the Afghan president? And perhaps I missed it, but I haven’t seen a statement from the Obama White House.
In my time in Afghanistan, the greatest sight I ever saw was watching little girls walk off to school. It was for them a moment of liberty and freedom — the ability to be educated. Of course that is a clear and present danger and threat to the mystic mullahs who prey upon the uneducated to spread their vitriolic message of hatred and subjugation.
How could it be that such a thing could happen in the capitol city of Kabul? How could such a mob gather and this commotion occur without any intervention of police — where is the sense of human rights and dignity and the rule of law?
CNN says, “on Sunday, as they watched Farkhunda’s casket being carried to her grave, the crowd shouted “Kabul police officials should be fired,” according to Afghan human rights activist Ramin Anwari. Government officials, ministers, journalists and civil society members were among the thousands of people who attended her funeral, Anwari said. Many of them are expected to attend a large rally planned for Tuesday outside Afghanistan’s Supreme Court in Kabul to call for justice for Farkhunda, he said. A Facebook page has been created in support of the cause. On Friday, the United Nations issued a statement condemning the killing “in the strongest terms.”
More empty statements and social media campaigns… There is only one thing that will stop this: a reformation of Islam and hard justice brought against those who perpetuate this incessant violence against women in Muslim countries. I have to ask this simple question: would female police officers in Kabul have allowed this to occur?