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Changing Times: Afghani Female Coffin Bearers

Changing Times: Afghani Female Coffin Bearers

Changing Times: Afghani Female Coffin Bearers

When 28 year old Farkhunda was wrongly accused of burning the Koran, by worshippers at the Shah-Do Shamshira shrine in downtown Kabul she was beaten to death in an act of violence that shamed Afghanistan. Farkhunda was beaten with sticks, run over by a car and burned to death by a group of men.

The mob killing ,that included more than 500 young men was captured on video, shocked Afghanistan and created an international scandal for Ashraf Ghani, the country's president who was in Washington, USA at the time.

At her funeral she was laid to rest by women in an extraordinary funeral that drew hundreds onto the streets of Kabul. At her graveside, General Mohammed Zahir, the head of the interior ministry’s investigations department, said Farkhunda had been entirely blameless.

We have reviewed all the evidence and have been unable to find any single iota of evidence to support claims that she had burned a Koran, she is completely innocent.”

Investigators have said now that she was burning a charm.

Ramin Anwari, an activist, said that the funeral itself was the making of history. Farkhunda’s father gave permission for women to carry her coffin. Traditionally it is men who carry the coffin and in some families women do not attend burials at all.

The mourners who escorted the coffin from the family home to the cemetery were demanding that Afghan society change and that everyone who had supported the killing had to be held accountable. Ramin stated that for the first time he could see visible anger at mullahs whose “twisting of Islamic law have caused so much suffering in Afghanistan”. The mourners focused their anger on Mohammad Ayaz Niazi, the mullah of the Wazir Akbar Khan mosque, who, at his sermon called for the release of the nine men who had been arrested in connection with the killing so far. When he arrived at the funeral he was driven out by angry mourners.


Although this tragedy happened it good to see that there is recognition within the culture for change and that the people are actively seeking it.


Nina is in her Honours year at The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow studying History. She loves keeping fit and healthy at the gym and singing to her hearts content. Because of Nina's love of all things history related, she has a passion for reading, writing and researching. Nina is the Editor-in-Chief for an online magazine for female students at Strathclyde called Her Campus Strath and wants to continue her passion for writing after graduation.


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