‘A human life is worth more than a book’

‘A human life is worth more than a book’

Last week a mob in Afghanistan attacked and killed a 27-year-old woman, named only as Farkhunda, for allegedly burning a copy of the Koran. In protest against this horrific killing, Reza Mohebbii, above, burned a Koran and posted a video of the book going up in flames on YouTube, saying that ‘humanity is beyond an ordinary book’.

Shortly after Reza posted his video, Afghanistan’s top criminal investigator – Gen Mohammad Zahir  – said that Farkhunda, who was beaten with sticks and set on fire by a crowd of men in central Kabul on Thursday, had been wrongly accused.

Said Zahir:

Last night I went through all documents and evidence once again, but I couldn’t find any evidence to say Farkhunda burnt the holy Qur’an. Farkhunda was totally innocent.


Mobile phone footage circulating on social media shows police at the scene did nothing save the woman.

Zahir promised to punish all those involved and said 13 people, including eight police officers, had already been arrested.

The killing was condemned by the Afghan president and other officials, but also drew praise from some quarters, including from a prominent cleric who asserted the men had a right to defend their Muslim beliefs at all costs.

Farkhunda was a teacher of Islamic studies, according to her brother, who denied media reports that she had been mentally ill. He said this was a made-up defence by their father, who wanted to protect the family after police told them to leave the city for their own safety.

Said Najibullah, who is changing his second name to Farkhunda in memory of his sister.

My father was frightened and made the false statement to calm people down.

Hundreds of people attended her funeral, chanting “we want justice”. Her coffin was carried by women’s rights campaigners.

What do we know about the young man who posted the video below?

Only that he lives in Sweden and believes that Islam is responsible for all the problems in Afghanistan, the country of his birth.

It’s no surprise that his protest has not gone down well with Muslim commenters. One of the less hysterical reactions came from Habib Abdolhossein, who said:

I as a Muslim, am really shocked and ashamed of what an ignorant mob did in Kabul. But I think you could have expressed solidarity with Farkhondeh in a much better and decent way, without desecrating a book seen as sacred by over one billion people.

She has fallen victim to the ignorance of a group of people who have no understanding of Islam. I’m sorry to say that there is no difference between what you did and the crime those uncivilized people committed. You can burn the ‘ordinary’ book but not the absolute truth of the Quran which has been speaking for more than 1400 years.

Hat tip: Trevor Blake.

26 responses to “‘A human life is worth more than a book’”

  1. barfly says:

    why is it when some muslim does something like this some one says they have no understanding of islam. I as been speaking truth for 1500 years, part of that truth is that burning a book is on the same level as murder, Its at times like this I just want to find a nice quite island and not leave

  2. L.Long says:

    I don’t care what book it is, I don’t care if EVERYONE on earth believes in its contents, There is NOTHING in it that is worth a human’s life for burning it!!! But this act like so many have shown a bright light on the mental, moral and emotional abilities of muslin males—they have NONE!!! And when a product made from a butchered tree is more important than the life of a woman, don’t try to convince anyone you honor women….YOU DON’T!!!!

  3. CharlyO says:

    But, Muslim reverence of their Holy Book makes them no longer monotheists.
    They have at least two gods, Allah and Qur’an.
    I’m not sure if their Satan counts as a god, maybe.
    (of course the Christians outdo them by a few hundred)

  4. Angela_K says:

    But…but….it was a woman so she has to be guilty according Islam and muslims like nothing more than killing people.
    “…the absolute truth of the Quran …” These people are too stupid to know they are stupid, just like the loony Christians who maintain every word of their disgusting book is true.

  5. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    A brave man. It’s a book, paper with ink printed on it, nothing more. He’s not inciting violence, he’s not encouraging anyone to riot, if anyone takes that course it is down to them, not him.

    As for saying that burning a book is on a par with murdering another human being, words fail me.

  6. Trevor Blake says:

    When Muslims kill en mass, with bombs or hijacked planes or by other means, you can be sure as the buildings erupt into flames that there was a Quran inside. Not at any time do they wail and bleat when they burn a Quran while killing people. They save that indignation for when a non-Muslim burns a Quran in peaceful protest. And if there’s no Quran burning they pretend otherwise to make an excuse to kill again.

    Not all Muslims. The majority of Muslims have perhaps never killed anybody. Nor do they use their numbers, money, time or power to stop or even chide the killers. What good are they?

  7. Vanity Unfair says:

    Is it only burning that is prohibited? What about shredding, composting, pulping, papier mache? Is the holiness passed on to any new product of the recycled pages?
    What is to be the fate of the Islamic iconoclasts who have been destroying Qurans in Timbuktu?
    Does the ruling affect only written versions? There are online versions that I use to check quotations. Do I destroy a Quran each time I close down the site or delete the passages I have saved?
    If I memorise a section and then forget it, have I unwittingly destroyed it?
    As a lifelong coward I should like to know answers to these questions: real answers, not opinions, from responsible, qualified experts, preferably backed with testable evidence. It’s not much to ask, is it?

  8. barriejohn says:

    But, Muslim reverence of their Holy Book makes them no longer monotheists.
    They have at least two gods, Allah and Qur’an.

    The Presbyterians used to carry a copy of the Bible aloft through the congregation and place it on the lectern before their services began as a sign of their submission to the absolute authority of the written “Word of God”. The Roman Catholics used to accuse them of “idolatry”, which is a bit rich coming from those who parade statues of the BVM and assorted “saints”, to which they pray and which they claim in many cases weep and bleed!

  9. Marky Mark says:

    These people are fu*ken nuts!
    I recently seen a video on the Internet (I could not watch the whole thing) where a young afgan girl was being stoned to death by a crowd of older males.
    They were also kicking her in the head as she was crying, and it was disgusting…I now wonder if this is the same poor girl.

    It is things like this that would make me want to go out and harm the cleric who incited this terrible act of violence…kick him to death and see how he likes it!
    I grew up with four sisters and if anyone tried to harm them my wrath was upon them within hours…guess it is just the “brother” in me that takes such harm to women so personally, I just can’t understand why the families of these women do not help, or seek revenge.

  10. Marky Mark says:

    I found this:
    “Farkhunda was attacked following a dispute with men who sold amulets at Shah-Do Shamshira shrine. The men made false accusations that she had burned a Qur’an”


    So if one does not like someone, just simply accuse them of burning the holy book of rubbish and the brain-washed followers will take over and solve the problem for you.

  11. […] UK website The Freethinker reports that at least one heartening thing that came from this tragedy. Reza Mohebbii, an Afghani living […]

  12. Marky Mark says:

    Here is a picture of the friggen mob as this young girl burns:

    text from picture:
    (Afghan men gathering around Farkhunda’s body as she is set on fire after being thrown from a roof and run over with a car. Her body was then thrown into the river)

  13. Marky Mark says:

    Off topic but found this while noodling around this story:

    Now that is one good looking British Soldier…get her number for me barriejohn!

  14. carlynot says:

    How about an international ” burn your favorite holy book Day”? Normally I would be against burning any book, but these hate filled rags serve no purpose except to inflame fanatical lunatics. We could make it like christmas. Give a gift of a holy book to be burnt.

  15. Broga says:

    We have a current example, in “rational” UK, of the ease with which people can be persuaded to believe the most bizarre notions. I am referring to the “Ceremony of the Old Bones” which may, or equally may not ,be those of Richard 111. Thousands, after very heavy hype and assorted pushing of fantasies, have been persuaded to line up and gaze in reverence as a box, said to contain the bones, is escorted through the throng.

    Religion is at the core of the ceremony with the most peculiar comments being made by a bishop about Richard 111 being laid to rest in peace at last. I read that more than two million pounds is being spent to provided an adequate resting place for the old bones. There must be so many better uses for the money.

    If modern, educated and supposedly enlightened people can be so easily persuaded to enthuse over this nonsense there is no knowing how far they might go. Would they stone or burn someone who spurned the old bones? I wouldn’t bet against that.

  16. Har Davids says:

    What I don’t understand is that any woman embraces a religion that allows men to treat her like shit. These ‘men’ don’t have any sense of decency and maim or kill you at the drop of a hat, or whatever the call their headgear.

  17. AgentCormac says:

    Ever since the horrifying acts of 9/11 when the world of Islam set itself squarely on a collision course with the West, it seems that the willingness of this religion’s barbaric followers to scrape the barrel of cruelty and inhumanity gets cranked up another sickening notch every single week. Check out the photograph which Marky Mark linked to above. A young woman being burnt to death is like a fucking spectator sport – not for terrorists and extremists, but for everyday muslim men.

    This is a religion that knows no pity. That knows no humanity. It’s every act seems designed to shock and sicken. So quite frankly I couldn’t care less that over a billion people on this planet are stupid enough to follow its immoral 12th-century tenets, it needs stopping before it stops everything.

  18. Brummie says:

    A brave person indeed who will arrange a garden bonfire to burn copies of the Torah, bible and Koran, then invite the press…
    A safer and perhaps more productive reaction to these evil tomes would be to simply delve in to the wonderful Annotated Version of the Koran, Bible etc including the publications of L.Ron Hubbard on the net, then quote the most horrendous examples verbatim on billboards and adverts.
    Who could complain?

  19. M AChohan says:

    Onc e a paper has been adorned by Quranic verses or Hadith it acquires a Super Holy. If there is need to dispose of it, due to any reason, like becoming old, crumpled, torn then it has to disposed off put permanently. The only way to do this is 1. Throw in flowing water, like a river and 2. to burn the paper and bury the ashes.
    It is now preferred to burn the person, who is probably following the correct way of disposal. To burn a living being, a human being, and be a on looker maybe a participant is sickening. And in this 21 century only a mindset imbued with divinity could do this.
    The usual explanation is this is not Islam, I agree no religion should allow such atrocity and the caveat is very bad what happened but Paper has been adorned by Holy Script, that’s it then it has more soul than a human being.
    Forgetting that one can always reproduce thousands more BUT the burnt being cannot be brought back

  20. Maggie says:

    Ah, the poverty of mind that religion creates…

  21. Marky Mark says:

    …I can’t believe how much this story has upset me. I’m guessing it is an accumulation of this sort of thing.

  22. Jobrag says:

    By raising the book to the point of making it an icon aren’t these people committing the sin of idolatry, plenty of fires in hell to burn copies of the Koran. Andy Hamilton please bring back Old Harry’s Game.

  23. Newspaniard says:

    I don’t know where I read it but statistically, it has been said that over 60% of the koran explains who to kill and how to do it and that only 20% actually covers the religious bit.

    The only good muslim is an ex-muslim.

  24. […] UK website The Freethinker reports that at least one heartening thing that came from this tragedy. Reza Mohebbii, an Afghan living […]