Another day, another set of nightmares born of religion.

Sufficient adjective do not exist to communicate the horror of this:

Arifa, a mother of two, has been stoned to death on the orders of Panchayat (a tribal court) for possessing a cell phone. She was executed on 11 July in the district of Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab province. The victim was stoned to death by her uncle and relatives on the orders of Panchayat after she was found to have a mobile phone.

According to media reports her uncle, cousins and other relatives threw stones and bricks at her until she died. She was buried without informing anyone. Police registered a First Information Report (FIR) against the Panchayat but no one has been arrested. She was buried in a desert far away from her village and nobody (not even her children) was allowed to participate in the funeral. Her husband is unknown.

Women are often victimized by these illegal judicial systems. This incident is a demonstration of the strong patriarchal society in Pakistan, and women are forced to remain in their clutches. Because of the absence of a proper criminal justice system, the powerful sections of society have complete impunity when they enforce their will.

Nothing more needs to be said.  This is barbaric.

And each and every day I post stories like this, all of them depicting terrors that were motivated by religious belief.  Every day there are many I don’t post – but they’re there every, single, day.  The response will be that people are also good out of religious motivation, as if motivations to be good don’t exist without religion.  Take away religion and you’ll still have people being kind to one another.  Our collective conscience was in place before the first scribblings of the bible or the koran.  What we would lose without religion, among other things, is women being brutally murdered for wanting an education or for owning cell phones.

For those who say we need religion for there to be hope in the world, I can’t help but wonder what they are hoping for.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Richard Seese

    Truly horrible. If we aren’t careful, and if we stop fighting religious legislation, this could soon be America’s fate.

  • Mike Haubrich

    Religion – keeping mankind rooted in antiquity for 10,000 years.

    • BusLoadingOnly

      They need to put that on a t-shirt. I’d wear that thing out

    • Leiningen’s Ants

      Closer to prehistory than antiquity.

    • Alice

      Who needs a time machine when you have Christianity? Limited time offer, order today!

      Disclaimer: This device only travels to the first century and the 1950s, not that you would ever want to go anywhere else.

  • Zinc Avenger

    This could be considered a sign of progress; they first had to entertain the notion of a woman owning anything.

    Snark is my way of coping with situations that leave me unable to properly process my deep disgust and loathing.

    • wombat

      It didn’t say anything about owning, it spoke of ‘possessing’. So we can’t even give them that much credit.

  • Mick

    Religion is all about control – and if you have control over who lives and who dies – well that puts you right up there with god.

    And killing someone for a piddling reason (like owning a telephone) makes the whole exercise that much more exciting. The victim doesn’t deserve to die, but you’re allowed to kill them anyway.

    It’s no wonder that control freaks are attracted to religion.

    And it’s not just Muslims. Think of the Inquisitions.

  • YankeeCynic

    The most disgusting part about stoning somebody is the participants are very careful about what sized rocks they pick. They typically pick ones that are palmed sized. After all, too small and the process will take too long. Too big and the victim will die too quickly. They wanted this poor woman to suffer as much as possible before she died, but not so long that it would interrupt their day too much. Barbaric.

    It reminded me of talking to a medic in Afghanistan. If a woman was shot and wounded in the crossfire, and was out on the street, husbands in Pashtun districts would often object to medics treating those wounds and stabilizing the woman for transport because of the “shame” that would bring on the family. If you moved the victim inside and away from the street, however, it was usually okay to then provide treatment. So this religious fanaticism makes it okay to let a woman and most likely the mother of your children die in pain and shock in the middle of the stream, so long as your family isn’t embarrassed any publicly.

    Makes me sick just thinking about it.