Last week we covered the horrifying murder of a young woman, Farkhuna, killed on the streets of Kabul after she was accused of “blasphemy”, supposedly for burning a copy of the Koran. (This is a common false, malicious accusation, used as a spark for “blasphemy” violence.)
This act of violence cuts viscerally into many more issues besides “blasphemy” alone, of course: deep misogyny, gross injustice, the mentality and the horror of mob violence. The Daily Beast has a fascinating and in-depth look at the response from local women and other mourners.
“A band of 30 Afghan women carried the body of murdered student Farkhunda through the streets of Kabul yesterday, defying the girl’s murderers in order to give her a proper burial.
… “Maa Hama farkhunda yem,” the women chanted at her gravesite. “We are all Farkhunda.”
“Maa edalat mikhohim!” they added. “We want justice!”
The symbolic assertion of power and strength by the women, defying a puritanical ban against women at cemeteries, is a hopeful expression for women—and men—in traditional Muslim communities, rejecting antiquated interpretations of Islam that subordinate women, denying them fundamental human rights, such as the right to simply grieve at a gravesite. From Mumbai, India, to Hayward, Calif., mullahs, or religious clerics, ban women from burials, citing an interpretation of Islam, largely exported by the Saudi expression of Taliban Islam that denies women the right to drive cars, vote or run for political office.
… “This was a crime against humanity,” said Zahra Sultani, an Afghan college student near Toronto where she is running a Facebook activism page. “If you aren’t able to protect a citizen from other citizens, how in the hell are you going to deal with bigger challenge like ISIS and the Taliban?””
Read the full article at the Daily Beast.