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.

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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.