A story from today’s New York Times describes a riot and savage beating of a 17 year old Afghan teenage male, who had the infernal gall to fall in love with and attempt to run off with another 17 year old. With one person already dead from the ensuing riot, both lovers are now imprisoned while the authorities try to figure out what to do next.
Bear in mind that this particular tragedy is playing out in the western Afghan city of Herat, far away from the Taliban-dominated areas in the east and south of the country.
So for the non-Taliban followers of a supposed religion of peace and moderation, it’s funny that these Muslims almost always seem to have hair-trigger tendencies to rage, riot, and demand murder. From “Afghans Rage at Young Lovers; A Father Says Kill Them Both”, by Jack Healy, The New York Times, July 30th 2011:
HERAT, Afghanistan “” The two teenagers met inside an ice cream factory through darting glances before roll call, murmured hellos as supervisors
looked away and, finally, a phone number folded up and tossed discreetly onto the workroom floor.
It was the beginning of an Afghan love story that flouted dominant traditions of arranged marriages and close family scrutiny, a romance between two teenagers of different ethnicities that tested a village”s
tolerance for more modern whims of the heart. The results were delivered
with brutal speed.
This month, a group of men spotted the couple riding together in a car, yanked them into the road and began to interrogate the boy and girl. Why were they together? What right had they? An angry crowd of 300 surged around them, calling them adulterers and demanding that they be stoned
to death or hanged.
When security forces swooped in and rescued the couple, the mob”s anger exploded. They overwhelmed the local police, set fire to cars and stormed a police station six miles from the center of Herat, raising questions about the strength of law in a corner of western Afghanistan
and in one of the first cities that has made the formal transition to Afghan-led security.
The riot, which lasted for hours, ended with one man dead, a police station charred and the two teenagers, Halima Mohammedi and her
boyfriend, Rafi Mohammed, confined to juvenile prison. Officially, their fates lie in the hands of an unsteady legal system. But they face harsher judgments of family and community.
An ‘unsteady legal system’, which is in fact based on Shariah, and was installed and is maintained at enormous sacrifice of blood and treasure by non Muslim foreigners, in particular Americans.
Ms. Mohammedi”s uncle visited her in jail to say she had shamed the family, and promised that they would kill her once she was released. Her father, an illiterate laborer who works in Iran, sorrowfully concurred. He cried during two visits to the jail, saying almost nothing to his daughter. Blood, he said, was perhaps the only way out.
“What we would ask is that the government should kill both of them,” said the father, Kher Mohammed.
Why would the father of the girl want to kill not just the male teenager lover, but his own daughter as well? For the same reason honor killings are endemic to virtually all Muslim countries — Islam and sharia sanctify male domination (if not outright ownership) of women. As this fact leads straight back to the Quran, you can be rest assured that the New York Times is not going to cover that angle of the story. And in hewing with The Grey Lady’s well-known progressive leanings, the word ‘Islam’ appears not once in Jack Healy’s article.
Knowing the vast incompetence and corruption that are hallmarks of the typically Islamic ‘government’ of Afghanistan, the enraged father mentioned in this story is quite likely to receive his wish. Or he shall find a way to carry out the deed personally.
The case has resonated in Herat, in part because it stirred memories of a brutal stoning ordered by the Taliban last summer in northern Afghanistan.
A young couple in Kunduz was stoned to death by scores of people “” including family members “” after they eloped. The stoning marked a brutal application of Shariah law, captured on a video recording released online months later. Afghan officials promised to investigate after an international outcry, but no one has faced criminal charges.
Why would an investigation be necessary? From the Muslim point of view, the punishment in Kunduz fit the ‘crime’ and was in strict accordance with Islamic law. As brutalities like this one play out time and time again in the lands of Islam, lands ruled by that barbarism known as Sharia, no one should be surprised. That is, unless you’re a reader of the New York Times.