When a few nuts kill a person on merely the accusation of burning their favorite book, then you can claim that they’re just shitbags.
But when the Supreme Court lets them off the hook, then it’s religion making people and entire societies indistinguishable from psychotics:
One defendant was the custodian of a holy shrine who trafficked in Viagra, condoms and pagan amulets, and who, when exposed, falsely accused a young woman named Farkhunda of burning a Quran. Another was an employee from an optician’s shop who joined a growing mob at the shrine and pummeled Farkhunda with a rock the size of a watermelon.
Another was an Afghan intelligence agent who bragged on Facebook that he had the honor of striking the fatal blow against her. Another man drove his car over her, twice.
Those men were sentenced to death last year in what briefly looked like a rare moment of justice for Afghan women, and other convictions seemed imminent. But in the months afterward, as detailed last year in an investigation by The New York Times, failures at every stage of the justice process surfaced. Clear leads did not turn into arrests, and tough sentences were drastically reduced — including for those four men identified at the center of the violence, who had their death sentences turned into as little as 10 years in prison.
Now, Afghanistan’s Supreme Court has confirmed the decision to vacate those four death sentences, and nine other defendants also had their sentences reduced. Word of that decision came late Monday in a restrained announcement by the attorney general, and all day Tuesday it became the inescapable backdrop for International Women’s Day observations in Kabul.
Apart from religion, how else do you get a human being to the point where they believe murder is a lesser crime (or not even a crime, but something to be proud of!) than burning a book? It’s clear how you get to charity, kindness, etc. without religion, but I’ve yet to see any other force in existence manage something like this.