Farkhunda Malikzada: A Casualty In Radical Islam’s War On Women And Girls (VIDEO)
What happened to Farkhunda Malikzada?
Farkhunda Malikzada was a 27-year-old Muslim woman falsely accused of burning a copy of the Quran in Kabul, Afghanistan. The accusations led to her brutal death at the hands of rioters and an angry crowd overcome by religious fervor and toxic sexist attitudes towards women. The New York Times reports:
The tormented final hours of Farkhunda Malikzada, a 27-year-old aspiring student of Islam who was accused of burning a Quran in a Muslim shrine shocked Afghans across the country […] For Farkhunda had not burned a Quran. Instead, an investigation found, she had confronted men who were themselves dishonoring the shrine by trafficking in amulets and, more clandestinely, Viagra and condoms.
And how did her horrific death come to light? Because of all the men in the crowd who captured videos and photos of Farkhunda Malikzada’s beating, bloodied face, and gruesome death and posted them on social media, while doing nothing to help her. The New York Times grimly adds that her tormentors got off with a slap on the wrist.
At first, the trials and convictions that followed seemed a victory in the long struggle to give Afghan women their due in a court of law. But a deeper look suggests otherwise. The fortuneteller who several investigators believe set the events in motion was found not guilty on appeal. The shrine’s custodian, who concocted the false charge of Quran burning and incited the mob, had his death sentence commuted. Police officers who failed to send help and others who stood by received slaps on the wrist, at most.
Wielding power over women is a driving force for radical Islam. Suicide bombers are often lured with promises of virgins in the afterlife even though the Quran itself dissuades individuals from committing suicide under any circumstances.
DAESH (aka ISIS or ISIL) first emerged in Afghanistan in 2014. In November, DAESH linked fighters beheaded three women in Southern Afghanistan. The PBS Frontline documentary, ISIS in Afghanistan, highlights the rise of DAESH in Afghanistan, and the increasingly violent conflicts between Afghan government forces, DAESH, and remaining Taliban forces.
Men who join DAESH are offered use of female slaves taken from enemy villages as a reward for their service, and they kill the women who refuse to marry their militants.The group enslaves or kills any women it captures.
In an op-ed for CNN, the United Nations Special Representative of the secretary general on sexual violence in conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, wrote,
“I came to the terrible conclusion that this is in essence a war on women and girls, a group that finds itself under assault every day, and every step of the way, whether it be in areas of active conflict, those under control of armed actors, or at checkpoints and border crossings.”
Bangura concluded that, in order to defeat DAESH and their violent ideology towards women, other countries need to accept the refugee women and children fleeing DAESH-controlled territories .
Warning: The video below contains very graphic violence:
Featured images: screenshots via New York Times video.