Three Pakistani women have been accused of slashing a seminary teacher’s throat after one the accused’s 13-year-old relative dreamt that the young woman had committed blasphemy.
The 21-year-old victim was a female colleague at a seminary in Dera Ismail Khan over a “difference of opinion on religious issues,” The Print, an Indian publication, reported.
She was reportedly found in a pool of her own blood, her throat slashed with sharp objects.
Umra Aman (24), Razia Hanfi (21), and Aisha Nomani (17) have been arrested and a murder weapon seized and the 13-year-old who was reportedly ordered by the prophet Muhammad to “slaughter” the victim is also in police custody.
Although one can be charged by the state over blasphemy against Islam in Pakistan, vigilante enforcement of blasphemy laws is illegal.
The Print notes that the incident received little attention in local media, social media users expressed outrage over this latest incident of extremism in a country where zealous citizens have often take “justice” into their own hands against accused blasphemers.
Last month, a man was stoned to death by a mob after being accused of burning a Quran in a local mosque, while earlier this year, Christian villagers were attacked.
Yet although women have participated in groups targeting accused blasphemers or infidels, it is unusual for three women to act alone in such a manner, as one Pakistani journalist noted.
“Pakistani women jumping on the blasphemy wagon and/or endorsing religiously motivated lynch mobs is not unprecedented. But women committing murder themselves using Islam as an excuse is new,” wrote Mabia Mehmood.
Pakistani women jumping on the blasphemy wagon and/or endorsing religiously motivated lynch mobs is not unprecedented. But women committing murder themselves using Islam as an excuse is new. #Pakistan #DIKhan
— Rabia Mehmood – رابعہ (@Rabail26) March 29, 2022
Other social media users expressed outrage over the shocking incident:
Female Madrassa teachers have slaughtered another female teacher from the same seminary in the street leading to the seminary this morning an official from Dera Ismail Khan has confirmed, the reason they cited has been alleged blasphemy. Two women have been arrested so far.
— Iftikhar Firdous (@IftikharFirdous) March 29, 2022
Wow! So now we're going to go with dreams! Horrified by the sheer audaciousness of these women. https://t.co/HQwW8u27fY
— Meher Bano Qureshi (@MeherBanoQ) March 30, 2022
In Dera Ismail Khan, three women have slaughtered a female seminary teacher after accusing her of blasphemy. According to a police official, the women claim one of their relatives – a 13-year-old girl – was told in a dream last night that the slain teacher committed blasphemy.
— Roohan Ahmed (@Roohan_Ahmed) March 29, 2022
Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, first introduced by the British government in 1860 and inherited by the independent Pakistani government in 1947, have undergone amendments but withstood into contemporary times thanks to the stanch support of a populace that puts pressure on leaders to keep it in place.
When Asia Bibi was acquitted in 2018 after being imprisoned for years and sentenced to death after a group of women accused her of blasphemy over her profession of faith, many Pakistanis protested the high court ruling, demanding the death penalty against her be upheld.
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