Najiba: Murdered amidst cheers of ‘God is Great’

Published: July 11, 2012

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.

  • Sane

    Yes, correct US will go empty handed.Recommend

  • Imran Con

    Ask the Afghans what kind of Afghanistan it will be. It’s up to them.Recommend

  • obscurantist

    US is never too bothered about the social fiascos and the moralities.they just dwell other side of the story.Recommend

  • ovais khan

    ok if the woman is killed for the adultry then both of men would be hanged to death as they both are equally responsible for such wrong doneRecommend

  • Hasan

    @ hassan : The author did not mock Islam. Even if he had done this and justified it, I would be the first to defend his right to speak his mind ( though I will only “accept” it by making logic and reason my allies). Recommend

  • maria

    “The Taliban denied involvement in the killing in Parwan province, in which an unnamed woman’s head and body were riddled with bullets at close range in punishment for alleged adultery. ”

    This comment by the talibans clearly indicates that this work was infact done by made-in-USA taliban who are trained by US in Afghanistan to carry out suicide attacks and do such illegal killings to defame Islam and the real Talibans. US dont forget Allah is watching and Allah leaves a wicked but not forever. Wait for your turn.Recommend

  • http://Turkey Zalmai

    These barbaric acts are the manifestation of an ill conceived doctrine preached by uneducated fundamentalists in the madrassas of Pakistan and subsequently exported to Afghanistan. This is an alien culture introduced by the benefactors of the mujaheddin in the 80s and brought to Afghanistan by proxies advancing foreign agendas and ideologies.

    The author does not know much about Afghanistan or its people and fails to ask questions about proxies, non state actors and their impact on the social fabric of Afghanistan. The author neglects to mention that this ignorant and obscurantist perversion of Islam was not part of Afghan culture before the advent of jihadi elements in the 1990s and it will never take root among the majority of moderate minded Sufi Muslims of Afghanistan. Recommend

  • Najeeb

    I agree with you Hassan. He did not mock Islam. I read the same story in international magazines, it was more about making fun of religious beliefs. We need such authors. Good article. We should get both the point of views.Recommend

  • Zaid Hamid

    everything was peaceful before US invasionRecommend

  • Parvez

    When the Soviets walked into Afghanistan, the Americans devised a ‘brilliant’ plan to use religion, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to get the Soviets out, which they did. Today in hindsight the plan was not all that brilliant and Afghanistan is destroyed,Pakistan is in a mess the Americans seems to be making up as they go along while the Russians are laughing.
    Moral : Don’t mess with religion it will come back and bite you. Recommend

  • Critical

    @Zaid Hamid:
    everything was peaceful before US invasion

    Yes,before US invasion,Afghanistan was the epicenter of science and technology.They encouraged women to be educated and represent in sports. Adultery was not at all considered as sin…Everyone were lining up in Afghan consulates to get visa and work there

    But Bloody US invaded Afghanistan,forced them to stop thinking,made women wear veils..poisoned girls who went to school,punished adultery with death

    I just hope Taliban will defeat the vile US and bring Afghanistan back to former gloryRecommend

  • malik

    Allahu Akbar is always chanted while killing somebody. It’s a 7th century tradition …Recommend

  • yousaf

    The woman/Girl(she was just 22) shown being shot is said to have been married.Did any one care to find-out that she may have been pregnant when she was shot.In case she had a foetus in her womb what do the Aalims/mullas say in that case,about the unborn yet alive and innocent human being?I am perplexed Recommend

  • Ayesha

    The video was very painful to watch.Recommend

  • manish

    did anyone observe that women in burqas were begging, and those without, were shopping?

    huh, religious restrictions are meant only for poors?Recommend

  • http://Birmingham elementary

    @Parvez: I fully agree with you.
    All this was conceived and sponsored by US. they supported Zia to use religion to groom these Taliban to wage proxy war in afghanistan. After USSR left Pakistan army continued the “good work” to establish Taliban regimen in Kabul in 1996. To me chief culprits are US(the overall mastermind),saudia arabia (for providing fundings for madrassah,s ) ,Zia ul Haq and Pakistan army.Recommend

  • huma

    Beware, Pakistanis, you are not far away from such barbarism either. You already have the “tradition” of throwing acid in a woman’s face. You will soon have such “executions” of women, if you do not rise against such stone-age culture. I wonder what Paki politicians, including the “God-fearing”, self-annointed apostle of peace, Imran Khan, is doing about it. Obviously, no comments from him. He has to, of course, pander to the mullahs, military and the uneducated madrassah graduates who will come out in millions to support him, unaware of his scheming machinations So much for civilized behaviour. Pakistan is headed towards a major crisis that can lead to fragmentation. The nation is already bankrupt. Civilized behaviour will simply vanish. Recommend

  • Dr.A.K.Tewari

    who told you that U.S. is going to leave ,in fact Drone will remain there to manage the power centers in the second phase of the a decade old war.The second phase is going to be a decisive phase .Recommend

  • Yaqub

    No wonder the country is being torn apart by the wrath of Allah !! Someday someone will nuke these people and rid the world of scum. Recommend

  • Dr.A.K.Tewari

    Dear Yaqub , Some things are always remain out of hand so is the situation going to be out of proportion , I fear too .Recommend


    We have all viewed the video with dismay. The cell phone footage shows a woman brutally shot to death by a ruthless Taliban. The woman killed was 22 years old and her name was Najiba. She was allegedly accused of adultery, (I guess it takes two to tango) but where was her male partner in the alleged crime while she was executed? Did they even think about it? When will the ostrich mentality leave us? When will we take our heads out of the sand and see what is going on? The Taliban have been our enemy and we have not trained or supported them in any way. Some elements in the Taliban may have been part of the resistance against the Russian invasion but after that we did not support them in any way. In fact, we have denounced their policies of extremism for as long as they were in power in Afghanistan.

    Conspiracy theorists leave no stone unturned to show the United States in a negative light but they fail to see what the Taliban and their supporters have done to the region. Najiba’s killing is one recent example. And unless we change our thinking and realize who the real enemy is, we will see innocents being executed and cheered by a mindless crowd.

    LTC T.G. Taylor
    DET-United States Central Command