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Newlywed woman beheaded for -- chastity

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
October 19th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A young Afghan woman has been beheaded for refusing to prostitute herself. According to officials in Afghanistan's Herat province, the woman's mother-in-law and mother-in-law's cousin tried to force the woman into prostitution. When she refused, the family recruited a cousin to behead her. 

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (Catholic Online) - For most people, the beheading of the 20-year-old victim, Mah Gul, is unthinkable, particularly for refusing to engage in prostitution in a place such as Afghanistan. However, such treatment of women, even by other women, is startlingly common in the country. 

Afghanistan has a terrible record on human rights, especially when it comes to women. Women are not only second-class citizens, they are frequently abused and the authorities do little or nothing about it. 

In this case, Gul's husband works in a bakery. When he left for work, the mother-in-law and her cousin tried to force Gul into prostitution. This was not the first time the mother-in-law had attempted to push Gul into prostitution. 

Angry at her refusal, the mother-in-law, banded together with three other family members including Gul's father-in-law, Gul's husband, and her cousin, a man named Najibullah, who actually performed the beheading. Najibullah was convinced to help because he believed Gul was a prostitute. 

Najibullah has already confessed to the crime, saying he performed the beheading in the early morning hours after Gul's husband left for work. He was assisted during the deed by Gul's mother-in-law. 

Violence against women is commonplace in Afghanistan, as was brutally illustrated earlier this month with the shooting of 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai, a young blogger who frequently commented on the plight of women in the country. 

Much of the nation practices an ultra-conservative form of Islam that is both aggressive and demeaning to women. It was in this environment that the Taliban took power and Osama bin Laden was able to maintain bases for recruiting and training Al Qaeda fighters. 

Despite U.S. and allied insistence, the country has made few advances for women. There is now a growing international call for reform in the country, but it is unlikely to be heeded anytime soon as the international community seeks to draw down, rather than increase its presence there. 


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