Afghan Cleric, Police Spokesman Defend Mob Murder of Innocent Woman

| by Michael Allen

A woman identified only as "Farkhunda" was recently killed by an angry mob in Kabul, Afghanistan, for allegedly burning a copy of the Quran.

A group of men reportedly kicked and beat the 27-year-old woman, and set her on fire on March 19 while police officers stood by and watched.

A cell phone video that appears to show the killing made the rounds on social media, drawing outrage and condemnation from world officials and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who also warned people not to disrespect the Quran.

Gen. Mohammad Zahir, the country's lead criminal investigator, told the media on March 22: “Last night I went through all documents and evidence once again, but I couldn’t find any evidence to say Farkhunda burnt the holy Quran. Farkhunda was totally innocent,” reported The Guardian.

Zahir claimed that 13 people, including eight police officers, had been arrested.

One Afghan cleric and a police spokesman defended the mob murder.

"I am warning the government not to arrest those who did this, because it will mean an uprising," an unidentified cleric preached over a loudspeaker at the Wazir Akbar Khan Mosque on March 20, reports Reuters.

Hashmat Stanekzai, a spokesman with the Kabul police, reportedly wrote on his Facebook page: "This (person) thought, like several other unbelievers, that this kind of action and insult will get them U.S. or European citizenship. But before reaching their target, lost their life."

U.S. taxpayers have spent billions of dollars to bring order to Afghanistan and protect it from the Taliban since 2001. According to, the Obama administration recently committed $4 billion more to pay for Afghanistan's military through 2017.

Sources: The Guardian, Reuters,
Image Credit: Petty Officer 1st Class Mark O’Donald (U.S. Armed Forces)