A little backyard justice – thank god it is not my backyard


Parwan province governor Abdul Basir Salangi told CNNthat as both Taliban men ‘had some kind of relationship with the woman’, they instead opted to accuse her of adultery to ‘save face’.

The man continues to fire the AK47 rifle at Najiba's dead body as she lies at the place of execution on the outskirts of a village in the, Parwan province, north of KabulThe man continues to fire the AK47 rifle at Najiba’s dead body as she lies at the place of execution on the outskirts of a village in the Parwan province, north of Kabul
A large crowd of men had gathered in the Qol village to watch the execution of the 22-year-old womanA large crowd of bearded men in traditional clothing had gathered in the Qol village to watch the execution of the 22-year-old woman

There are times when a news story does not seem to be possible, when it feels as if it must have been made up by someone maliciously trying to denigrate someone else.  There is such a story from Afghanistan; two men, one the husband, were having a relationship with a woman.  They decided, rather than face each other, to accuse her of adultery and execute her.  Adultery is punishable by death; no court. trial, jury or judge is necessary – the law is clear.  She must be taken out in the backyard and give society the justice it demands.

I saw the story in the Daily Mail, with these photographs that show the village watching the execution.  But, there are lots of other versions online, Reuters claims to have a 3 minute video of the execution.  The Reuters version of the story says other Afghans are swearing to get revenge; those Afghans are quoted saying this is why they hate the Taliban.  Revenge, revenge kill them!  No society can be this cruel and heartless.  The story cannot be true – can it?   In a completely unrelated report, a group of  countries agreed this weekend to give Afghanistan 16 billion dollars.  I wonder if any of it will go for funeral of the woman executed for adultery.  Or be spent on revenge.

I simply have no mechanism for thinking about events like this – is there no way out of the brutal nature of our species?   Do we not have a compassionate side to our nature – something to balance out our cruelties?  10,000, 100,000 or 1,000,000 years of living together and cooperating for our collective survival does not seem to have quite done the trick yet.

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3 Responses to “A little backyard justice – thank god it is not my backyard”


  1. 1 Suzanne Stormon July 11, 2012 at 7:15 am

    If I prayed, I would pray for us. But as it is, I don’t know what to say. I’m taking a moment to remember her and her sisters who live in fear.

  2. 2 Bill Hanigan July 12, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    This all occurred in an area near Kabul that is supposed to be one of the safest areas. I note the Taliban state they were not responsible. An extreme example of arrogance and ignorance beilg a dangerous combination.

  3. 3 Ken Adams July 13, 2012 at 10:47 am

    The problem for those with God on their side is God is on their side; they believe therefore whatever the do is correct. As Bill points out, the Taliban may not have pulled the trigger, but they have taught the lesson. It is alright to kill a woman who commits adultery or brings shame on her family. There is no arguing with the righteous, quite simply they are right and thus the girl dies while the men watch. Is there no man involved in adultery? Should he not have been executed too? Maybe a woman could do it and the other women could watch – charming value system. Public executions make for great family entertainment.


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