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Afghanistan Mob Lynches Woman Over Quran

Afghanistan Mob Lynches Woman Over Quran

The Afghan woman is dragged onto a roof and hit with a stick, as a horde of angry, screaming men swarm around her.

At one point, video shows her standing with her face covered in blood. She is pushed and falls over, and her beating continues with feet, with rocks, with boards. Then, in the last part of the video, her body is engulfed in flames — though it’s not known whether, by that point, she was already dead.

This horrific scene played out in Kabul on Thursday. It’s already had ripple effects, including a United Nations statement on Friday condemning what it called “the brutal killing and burning of a 27-year-old mentally ill woman.”

That corresponds with what the woman’s parents told CNN affiliate Tolo News, saying their daughter suffered from mental health problems for the last 16 years.

It’s not known whether her attackers knew this, or that it would have mattered.

What motivated the mob, according to witnesses, was a belief that the targeted woman had burned the Quran. CNN hasn’t seen any proof that she set a copy ablaze. Afghanistan’s Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs has found no such evidence, either, according to Tolo.

Mark Bowden, acting head of the U.N. Afghanistan mission, said that burning the Quran hurts efforts to promote “understanding and mutual respect between cultures and religions.”

“However, the brutal murder of this woman is an unspeakably horrendous act,” Bowden said, “that should result in those responsible being prosecuted, to the fullest extent possible, under Afghan law.”

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