Afghan cleric and others defend lynching of woman in Kabul

KABUL (Reuters) – An Afghan cleric and a police official on Friday defended the lynching of a woman in central Kabul after a mob was filmed stamping on the woman and smashing a brick on her head after she was accused of burning a Koran, Islam’s holy book.

The woman’s body was set on fire and thrown onto the banks of Kabul’s main river on Thursday.

It was unclear whether she had actually burned a Koran, but during Friday prayers at a mosque in a smart area of Kabul, a cleric’s sermon broadcast by loudspeaker told devotees that the crowd had a right to defend their Muslim beliefs at all costs.

“I am warning the government not to arrest those who did this, because it will mean an uprising,” said the cleric at the Wazir Akbar Khan mosque.

Another Afghan man boasted on Facebook of participating in the lynching, saying that “pious people of Kabul, including myself, killed her and then burnt her. Her place is in hell.”

A spokesman in the Kabul police chief’s office also appeared to justify the killing, saying the woman had deliberately insulted Islam…

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