Horror Show Sunday: On Fire in Pakistan

Well, I guess I’m back.  For those who don’t know, I really hate doing these stories.  I take no pleasure in reporting on the death, pain and destruction caused by religion, not because it doesn’t need to be pointed out, but I don’t like reveling in human misery.  That’s why, when I write these things, I tend to do it all in one sitting so I can get it out of the way and don’t have to deal with it for a while.  That’s why I usually have months and months of surplus horror show stories built up.  I put it off for as long as I can, then I force myself to do a bunch so I can put it off again.

But as the new year dawns, I guess that’s as good a time as any to get back into the grind.  So here we go.  This time, we get a young girl named Ambreen in Pakistan, who was dragged from her home, injected with sedatives, tied up in a van and then burned alive.  Why?  Because she helped her childhood friend elope with her boyfriend.  Of course, the local religious council didn’t like this, so Ambreen was murdered and more than a dozen people, including Ambreen’s mother, were arrested for conspiracy to kill her.

Ambreen was 15.

Now I’ve spoken out before about the religious practice of honor killing and how reprehensible it is, they don’t have to keep proving it though.  This happened after Ambreen helped her neighbor, Saima, elope with her boyfriend.  The local tribal council decided Ambreen should die for her “crime” and members of the community, including some of Saima’s family, helped carry out the deed.  Ambreen’s mother was arrested for being complicit in the murder, but her father asserts her innocence.  “My wife is innocent, too. What is this barbarism? How could they do this to my innocent child? I don’t know what to say.” Well, you belong to a stupid religion that promotes this kind of barbarism, what do you expect?  And how do I know that this is a religious crime?  Because Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had to issue a statement that said, “Such a barbaric act is not only un-Islamic but also inhuman.”  If religion isn’t to blame, why even bring up that point?

So there you go, yet another crime against humanity in the name of religion.  Of course, you can look forward to seeing more of these religious horrors in coming weeks as I delve back into the evil that is religious belief.  At last count, I had 72 stories still in the pipeline, with more being added every day. Horror Show Sunday isn’t just a name, it’s a reality that we all have to work hard to stop.

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