Najiba: Murdered amidst cheers of ‘God is Great’

Published: July 11, 2012
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The girl was shot amidst rampant cheers by 150 spectators who can be heard saying ‘God is Great,’ in the released video. PHOTO: SCREEN SHOT

The girl was shot amidst rampant cheers by 150 spectators who can be heard saying ‘God is Great,’ in the released video. PHOTO: SCREEN SHOT The girl was shot amidst rampant cheers by 150 spectators who can be heard saying ‘God is Great,’ in the released video. PHOTO: SCREEN SHOT

In 2001, when President Bush said it was ‘time for war,’ he ignored what Winston  Churchill observed over a century ago during the British struggles in the Northwest Frontier. He had said:

‘time in this area is measured in decades, not months or years. It’s a concept that doesn’t always come easy to Westerners.’

While Americans are growing fed up with the seemingly endless expense and carnage, Taliban youth are living an ideal life with a motorbike, long hair, an AK 47, and a holy cause to fight for. They are actively imposing a reign of terror in Afghanistan.

US “surge forces” are set to come home later this year after the summer fighting season. Their ranks will decrease from some 90,000 now to roughly 68,000 by the end of 2012.

Should the Afghans now expect justice, women education and freedom?

Is this an end to brutal jirga practices? 

I doubt it.

Recently, the government of Afghanistan declared the public execution of a woman as inhuman and unislamic. She was shot six times in front of a crowd of men in Qol village.

Najiba was married to a hardline Taliban commander. She was accused of adultery with another Taliban commander. According  to Roshna Khalid, Parwan provincial spokesmen, the verdict was announced within one hour. The girl was shot amidst rampant cheers by 150 spectators who can be heard saying ‘God is Great,’ in the released video.

This incident did not happen many many years ago. It happened earlier this week – in the 21st century.

Both the Taliban commanders were later killed by a third commander, if this is any consolation to anyone.

“We cannot forgive her, God tells us to finish her. Juma Khan, her husband, has the right to kill her.”

This was the last sentence she heard. Najiba was only 22-years-old.

Another point of view about the incident is that the woman was murdered because her Taliban lover commander had passed on classified information to the government. Afghan officials have given varying conflicting accounts of the situation. According to some sources, “the poor girl paid the price of being property of a man who decided to get rid of her to assuage their own honour in the name of revenge and retribution. The two men were in dispute over what to do about her, so they accused her of adultery and killed to save their honor.”

According to a 2010 report, 2300  Afghan women or girls attempted suicide mainly because of poverty, mental illness and domestic violence. When Islamic fundamentalism came into power in 1992, women were exempted from government offices. All girl schools were closed down, women were ordered to stay in their houses, and employers feared dire consequences in case they hired women. No women could venture out of the house alone and unaccompanied by a prescribed family member. Seeing a male doctor, family planning and women recreational activities were outlawed. You might also remember a mind boggling honour killing incident when a woman was beheaded along with her two children.

Najiba’s killing just seems to be a brutal repetition of history.

My question then is, what kind of Afghanistan will the Americans leave in 2014? Is this not the same Afghanistan they entered in 2001?

My guess is that we will be seeing many more of such headline-grabbing incidents in the future.

It’s sad, but true.

Read more by Sahn here.

Shan Nasir

Shan Nasir

Is an IBA graduate having interned at Sanofi Aventis, Engro Foods and The Citizens Foundation. He strongly believes that individuality and free thinking should not be penalised in the land of the pure. He tweets @shannasir

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.