It’s almost March, marking the death anniversary of a 27 year old law graduate and a volunteer teacher going by the name of Farkhunda, who was lynched by a mob in the centre of Kabul on the afternoon of 19 March 2015 for fighting the battle against supersitious practice of an iliterate charlatan mullah wanabe named Zainuldin, a shrine caretaker – who provoked people against her into a false accusation of burning a copy of Koran. She was beaten with sticks, pelted with rocks and ran over with a car, after which her body was tossed and dumped on the banks of the muddy and polluted Kabul river and set alight.
(Picture: Farkhunda holding a copy of Quran)
(Picture: Zainuldin, the shrine caretaker who was running the business of selling charm papers rolled in colorful scraps calling them instant miraculous healers)
This is the man she had been arguing with over practices she deemed superstitious and un-Islamic. Those practices included selling tawiz (puzzled texts told be prayers written on paper and usually worn in a cloth pouch in the belief they will protect the wearer from evil, or bring good fortune), and encouragment of people tasting the soil from the saint’s grave in the shrine for its ‘healing powers,’ seeking the saint’s intercession, kissing his gravestone or other markers and performing (normal Islamic) prayers within the shrine. Farkhunda’s family said that she had, for a while, been visiting the shrine to preach against these practices, which have been common in shrines in Afghanistan and elsewhere for centuries, but are increasingly proscribed by a new generation of mullahs who view them either as un-Islamic per se or as having evolved to contain un-Islamic innovations
(Picture: Farkhunda telling the angry men to back off and doesn’t want to be touched by strangers and begged for a respect toward her dignity)
The very first coward to pull Farkhunda out of the shrine, and removed her scarf acting as one of the begginners of the attackers.
(Picture: Farkhunda helplessly thrown into the pack of angry animals)
They grabbed her, pulled her hair, hit her, spit at her, pushed her to the ground, stomped on her body, kicked her in the head, and ripped the veil from her face. During the attack, which lasted for about half an hour, the police did attempt, at some points, to save Farkhunda, but at other instances they can be seen standing idly as the attackers continue to beat her, which was documented in amateur footage recorded by witnesses.
(Picture: The riverbed where Farkhunda’s body was tossed)
After the brutal and merciless beatings into unconsciousness; the crowd dragged her motionless body into the street and ran over her body with a car, dragging her some 300 feet. They then threw her into the muddy river bed, set her corpse on fire and watched her body burn. They used their own clothing articles (e.g. scarves and hats) to keep the fire alight, because her own clothing and body were so bloodied that they would not catch alight. Her half burned corpse was later transfered to the hospital by firefighter who later went to the scene for the rescue.
(Picture: A picture of Farkhunda plus the videos of the assault on her circulated widely on social media that attracted public attention demanding justice for her)
Her death shocked public for its brutality and spurred calls for authorities to uphold women’s rights to equality and protection from violence. The shootage resonated all over the globe through the social networking sites that raised the voices of people from all around the world.
(Picture: The district police head who ordered her family to take her body and secretly burry it and move silently out of the town for their safety)
Her family was told that Farkhunda had been accused of burning the Koran and was being interrogated. Her brother said:
“The police suggested that we should say Farkhunda had a mental problem to avoid things getting out of hand,” adding “My dad just wanted her released and went along with it.” The family said it was only later that night that they were told Farkhunda had been killed and that they should leave Kabul for their own safety. Since then the family’s life was turned upside down. “None of us go out,” her brother said. “We couldn’t go to work and our children couldn’t go to school.”
He said the family wanted justice.
“If we just let it go, tomorrow another woman could be killed just like Farkhunda,” her said. The police came undee strong criticism of Farkhunda and public for their reckless behavior during the attrocity.
(Picture: justice for Farkhunda ads continued and soon circulated across the country with many activists gathering in protest)
(Pictues: The unprecedented killing was followed by unprecedented protests with a complete break of traditon, women carrying her coffin and performing the burrial)
In the days that followed, thousands protested in Kabul and other cities, demanding justice.
Some demonstrators carried banners bearing a picture of the bloodied face of Farkhunda. Others painted their own faces red. women’s rights activists carried the casket, a complete break with tradition as the role is always performed by men. Cleric Mullah Ayaz was driven out of the ceremony by the women who were angry on his heinous remarks supporting her death mistakenly without knowing the real case following the friday prayers at a public gathering. Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Kabul protesting her brutal death. Protesters marched from where the attack began to where it ended.
(Picture: The campaign and protest continued with even large groups of people growing in numbers asking to bring the attackers into the court of justice and punishment)
Public anger towards the murderers and shrine attendant had also been building up, emboldening civic activists to speak out in the name of a shocked public. Notables who had publicly endorsed the lynching now found themselves at the centre of public abhorrence. The government reacted by dismissing police spokesperson Stanekzai and deputy culture minister Hasanzada from their jobs. Parliament reacted by summoning the ministers for interior, and hajj and religious affairs to answer questions about the failure of police to stop the lynching and to present the government’s plans for better supervision of the country’s mosques and shrines. As the members of the parliament discussed the issue, many burst into tears. The Minister of Interior, Nur-ul-Haq Ulumi, admitted the police’s failure to save Farkhunda and the Minister of Hajj and Religious Affairs, Faiz Muhamamd Osmani, promised to rid shrines of amulet and charm sellers. The Shah-e Du Shamshira shrine was subsequently closed. MPs also asked Osmani to curtail the preaching of extremism in mosques and tighten and expand the state’s control over religious institutions, a call that was repeated during a protest by students and civil society activists across the country.
(Pictures: Criminals identified and brought into the court of law through the help of public identifying them from the video clips circulated in social networking sites)
28 people were arrested and 13 police officers suspended as part of investigations. Hashmat Stanikzai, a cleric who publicly endorsed the murder, was sacked over comments that he made on social media supporting Farkhunda’s killers. The authorities were still looking for more suspects and had offered a reward of £1,130.
(Pictures: people lit candles in the memeory of Farkhunda and placed flowers in the place where she was brutally murdered and around to honor her innocence and make the sense of death she experienced)
There were so much compassion for farkhunda, women and man, young and old, all were out to rememebr farkhunda paying their heartfelt tributes for her. A mother named her child after her in public. Students played her scene in kabul and india in her rememberance. The avenue was named after her and there were reports of the shrine to be named after her as well. The cruelty and horror against Farkhunda will remain alive forever in the heart of the history that should be kept beating until no other woman, no other human being has to suffer from such violence. Her killing gave people a courage no one had imagined before. Rest in peace our dear heroic sister Farkhunda.