What may be the most disturbing video to come out of Afghanistan in some time — and that’s saying something — a Muslim mob brutally attacked Farkhunda Malikzada, a 27-year-old student of Islam accused of burning a Quran.
The video is extremely violent and will disturb some viewers. Discretion is strongly advised.
“A heated argument erupts at a shrine in central Kabul,” the video began. And that was a wild understatement.
“Why did you burn it?” demanded a man.
“It was thrown in the garbage,” exclaimed a woman.
“Bring her out and beat her with sticks. Kill her!” The men of the square were enraged before anyone knew the full story.
“The Americans sent her,” a random man stated matter-of-factly.
The video below, in its entirety, was created from cellphone clips taken at the scene of this travesty.
When Malikzada fell for the first time, she screamed “Allahu Akbar!” She was then beaten savagely by pilgrim and beggar alike. The police fired warning shots into the air and momentarily quelled the mob. Somehow, she remained conscious, although horribly bloodied.
“Let us take her, please!” a man cried to a police officer, stroking his beard in fraternal appeal.
A female police officer in plainclothes stood guard over her as dozens grew to hundreds, rumors flying that Malikzada was a American sympathizing Quran burner. The mob stormed the shrine beside which Farkhunda sought refuge. At this point, even the police officers began to fear for her life.
The officers hoisted her up onto an adjoining shed, hoping to lead her to escape. She was pelted with rocks by the Muslim mob until she fell. She was beaten again.
The mob yelled: “Defend Islam! Don’t be an infidel!”
The police, wildly outnumbered by the enraged mob, then gave up on her. They watch from the shed rooftop. Some direct traffic around the mob.
And it got worse.
Farkhunda’s body was placed in the path of a car. She was run over and dragged for a hundred yards.
The police then left the scene completely and the men deliberated what to do with Malikzada’s body.
“Throw her in the river so the dogs will eat her,” said one.
“Damn you! Damn you!” shouted another in incoherent rage.
They threw her body into the river bed, where they threw large stones and small boulders onto her repeatedly.
The Muslim mob then set her on fire, using their scarves for fuel, because her body was so blood-drenched it would not stay alight.
Only then did the police reappear — not to dispense justice, but to disperse the crowd.
Two days after the killing, the Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs declared Farkhunda Malikzada innocent. She had not burned a Quran as she had been accused of doing.
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