Afghan Woman Beheads Daughter-in-Law Who Refuses to Be a Prostitute

An Afghan woman was beheaded last week after she refused her mother-in-law’s demand that she have sex with another man.

Care2 has reported numerous incidents of violence against women and girls in Afghanistan, but the murder of this young woman is gruesome and atrocious. What kind of mother-in-law insists that her son’s wife prostitutes herself, and then proceed to murder that wife when she refuses?

Mah Gul, just 20 years old, lived in Herat province in southwestern Afghanistan along the Iranian border.á According to authorities, this was not the first time the mother-in-law had tried to force her into sex with other men.

She had been married for four months to her baker husband. áWhen he left home for work, his mother and her cousin tried to force the young wife into sex with the cousin.

From The Daily Telegraph:

The suspect, Najibullah, was paraded by police at a press conference where he said the mother-in-law lured him into killing Gul by telling him that she was a prostitute.

“It was around 2am when Gul’s husband left for his bakery. I came down and with the help of her mother-in-law killed her with a knife,” he said.

In a statement released yesterday, Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International USA, said:

ôThe tragic fate of Mah Gul is one more incident that highlights the violent atmosphere that women and girls face in Afghanistan and the region. They are raped, killed, forced into marriage in childhood, prevented from obtaining an education and denied their sexual and reproductive rights. Until basic human rights are guaranteed to women and girls in the region, these horrible abuses will continue to be committed.

Gul’s murder comes on the heels of the shooting by Taliban Islamists of a 14-year-old Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafzai, who had become a voice against the suppression of women’s rights.

There is some good news, however, as Yousufzai, who has been flown to the UK for treatment, was able to stand with the aid of nurses on Friday for the first time since her shooting and is also able to write coherent sentences. At this point she cannot speak because she has a tracheotomy tube inserted to protect her airway.

Doctors at the hospital in Birmingham are hopeful that the girl shot after she defied the Taliban by insisting on the right of girls to go to school could make a good recovery.

But in Afghanistan, oppression and violence against women are commonplace.

You may remember that last year Afghan police rescued a teenage girl, Sahar Gul, who was beaten and locked up in a lavatory for five months after she defied her in-laws who tried to force her into prostitution.

The abuse of girls and women in Afghanistan flourished under Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001, when women were banned from classrooms, politics or employment. Women had to be escorted by a male relative every time they left home, and they were forced to wear burqas.

Much of this has changed, and many girls are receiving an education now, even though schools are frequent targets of attacks.

But as we can see in the tragic story of Mah Gul’s short life, women and girls are still extremely vulnerable in Afghanistan. We need to stay vigilant, and make sure the stories of these women are told around the world.

There are, however, some glimmers of hope in Afghanistan, as seen in this skateboarding program that also educates young boys and girls.

Related Care2 Coverage

Female Afghan Politician Targeted And Killed By Car Bomb

150 Afghan Girls Poisoned For Attending School

Taliban Publicly Executes Woman Accused Of Adultery



Photo Credit: thinkstock


Eleonora Oldani
Eleonora Oldani4 years ago

To Lynne – “I defend their religion and understand that it is ignorance and radicals distorting their religion that are causing the harm.”

I think it is nice that you defend a religion – I usually do the same IF there’s something to defend. But in this case like in the other Afghani cases religion does NOT require any of the heinous attacks committed against Afghani girls and women. It’s at best a flimsy fig leave behind which the urge for dominance and human greed is hiding. I wouldn’t go as far as calling it misogyny – what is going on in Afghanistan is basically the shameless exploitation of women and children (both male and female) in a war torn country with an immense poverty and lack of opportunities for sustenance. You may want to visit RAWA’s website.

But as horrible and despicable as these event are we should stop being mono-focal and look at the overall picture of this hotly contested piece of land in Asia. A look at its history might be of interest:

There you read such info as: (In 1978) “Men were obliged to cut their beards, women could not wear a chador, and mosques were placed off limits. The PDPA made a number of reforms on women's rights, banning forced marriages, giving state recognition of women's right to vote, and introducing women to political life.”


Eleonora Oldani
Eleonora Oldani4 years ago

“A prominent example was Anahita Ratebzad, who was a major Marxist leader and a member of the Revolutionary Council. Ratebzad wrote the famous New Kabul Times editorial (May 28, 1978) which declared: "Privileges which women, by right, must have are equal education, job security, health services, and free time to rear a healthy generation for building the future of the country ... Educating and enlightening women is now the subject of close government attention." The PDPA also carried out socialist land reforms and moved to promote state atheism.”

Afghanistan in recent history served as a buffer for Russia hoping to fight off US influence on its borders and has since decades paid a heavy price for it. We call it today backwards and barbaric and forget that the US is the one who supported the Mujahideen with some 40Bio US$– the very same Islamic extremists which later consolidated into the “Taliban” and their cruel, inhumane regime which banned women from public and from education. Maybe one should highlight the fact that their interpretation of the Muslim faith was/is is not recognized by any Islamic Authority anywhere else in the world."

Nota Bene a regime which always had the full support of the US – no matter what they did domestically - until they refused in 1998 the shabby deal re the oil pipeline. Ever since the Taliban’s refusal they fell out of grace.


Eleonora Oldani
Eleonora Oldani4 years ago

Did you ever wonder why? Did you ever question why the US actively helped to create Al Qaida – only to invade Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11and under the pretext of fighting Al Qaida? You might find an answer here: “U.S. Identifies Vast Mineral Riches in Afghanistan”
This is known since the Russian occupation but its importance surfaced only over the last decade or so with the further advance of technology.

Do you ever question why the very same US is supporting actively (financing, arming, training) the Al Qaida linked Muslim Brotherhood in Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Syria?

Do you ever question why education is just a lip service and has never been and will never be an important item to severely pursue on any list? Uneducated people are the most gullible and easiest to (divide and) rule as the examples mentioned above prove.

But squarely and solely putting it down on a religion enables us to continue with our cozy slumber …

Lynne Willey
Lynne Willey4 years ago

it is very hard for me to read stories like this and not think these people are f--king nuts. I defend their religion and understand that it is ignorance and radicals distorting their religion that are causing the harm. And there doesn't seem to be a way of educating the people who are satisfied with knowing nothing.

It reminds me of how the bush administration turned so many of its supporters against "those college educated experts". We may not be able to convince the people in Afghanistan to come into the modern day world. But I can't help but think that if we don't get fact back into our schools, we are going to follow the way of other uneducated peoples.

I also remember how the Tea Party-types cheered as if it was a good thing to be ignorant.

Linda F.
.4 years ago

is there nothing that can be done to stop the abuse, mutilation and death of these poor children forced into marriages and prostitution

Phillipa W.
Phillipa W4 years ago

sadly, women's biggest threats are often other women. And all too often those other women are mother-in-laws who treat them as property and nothing more.

Robyn Clark
Robyn Clark4 years ago

wowo what an article to read

Sid N.
angela m4 years ago


Angel Campbell
Angel Campbell4 years ago

Horrifying and disgusting...

Renee H.
Renee H4 years ago

Why are women committing atrocities against women? This is shameful. This woman needs to be seen and not heard. I hate to have to say that but her shameful behavior is the reason women in afghan get the pooh end of the stick there.