I received a disgusting and painful video, forwarded by a young acquaintance. It shows the brutal killing - in public - of a young girl. The clip - showing the girl actually mercilessly beaten to death with fists, kicks, and stones - was impossible to watch in its entirety and I certainly could not bear to keep the sound on. More horrifying was the obvious: Someone had the time, the nerve, and a clear viewing spot from which he could film the entire process. Worse, one could spot some among the murderous mob holding cellphones in their hands and filming the scene while kicking and hitting the girl.
Comments on my Facebook, where I posted my immediate reaction to it, indicate that others were as horrified. But FB is no criterion: After all, those who can
comment on it are more than likely to be birds-of-a-feather (although, admittedly, some of our closest acquaintances are springing surprises on us in this area nowadays).
The girl's crime was not clear - at least from the part of the video that I could bear to see. Conjectures among viewers ranged from charges of adultery to issues like being 'improperly' dressed or even to having ventured out without a mahram
, all of which have been used as grounds for perpetrating violence against women.
That the video was made and distributed by
the perpetrators of this heinous act, is obvious ... for no one in their right minds (and, thus, opposing such a deed) could have survived that crowd. Any outcry or hint of sympathy and the chap would have met similar treatment. So why would
they make such a video? Certainly not for record keeping (although the Nazis did keep detailed records of their atrocities, so one can't completely ignore the possibility). The release of it on the Internet was obviously done to instill fear among the whole society.
I was unable, without sound
- and I was NOT going to turn that on after the first scream that pierced my ears - to ascertain where this video was shot. The sender, too, despite having heard all of the soundtrack, could not identify the language or dialect. But it was widely believed by many that this was most likely an act of Islamic Fundamentalists.Wrong!
Fundamentalism is the new face of all
religions. In this case
the girl was reportedly on the 'wrong side' for her alleged conversion to Islam for love. Her name, Du'a Khalil
- (meaning 'The Prayer of Abraham') - and surname, Aswad
, which brings another stone
to mind - further underscored life's ironies.
Oh .. so now that we know that it wasn't a Muslim mob, shall we heave a sigh of relief, happy at the fact that 'our kind' is not involved … for once? Does this exonerate the Muslim fanatics in any way? Can we not look at this, and
at what is happening at our shrinking border, to extrapolate the danger present
in Pakistan so that something can
be done before it's too late?
I knew that even discussing such matters can earn the wrath of some elements, but I'd always thought that that
would be personal or party anger.
However, soon after seeing the horrible video (it seems to have become hot recently, though the incident is a couple of years old), came RSF's report on Swat which made such discussions almost a sin: Maulana Sufi Muhammad, the founder of TNSM, told Reporters Without Borders that he believed in press freedom. He nonetheless also claimed that the Sharia forbids discussing past events, including the actions of Taliban activists
I urge you to read the 6-page Swat Report here
. (It's a PDF file so you can download it and read at leisure.)
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