Although the example is but one of innumerable examples of the dumbed-down ruthlessness of the latest 'majority,' still the mob-murder of Farkhunda, 27, in Afghanistan has poignancy:
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan woman who was beaten to death by a mob was buried in Kabul on Sunday, her coffin carried aloft by women's rights activists.Like a lot of others, perhaps, I would give a good deal to undo the death of Farkhuna, whatever her crimes, whatever her innocence. But that's just my sentiment. Farkhunda is dead and a grisly death it was ... enraged, expressing a majority sentiment of the moment, and insane. The mob was convinced it was "right" even as the news story asks the reader to put that mob in the "wrong."
Hundreds of people gathered in northern Kabul for the funeral of 27-year-old Farkhunda, who like many Afghans is known by only one name....
Some Afghan officials and religious leaders sought to justify Farkhunda's killing, alleging that she had burned a Quran.
But at her graveside, the head of the Interior Ministry's criminal investigation directorate, Gen. Mohammad Zahir, said no evidence had been found to support those allegations.
"We have reviewed all the evidence and have been unable to find any single iota of evidence to support claims that she had burned a Quran," Zahir said. "She is completely innocent."
And from the comfortable distances at which I and others sit, it is easy to be right -- to criticize a mob mentality and then ... and then ... and then take one more step into the realm where -- like exceptionalist philosophies everywhere -- there is a right for which an individual might wish to create another mob ... a critical mass ... a world of "we've got it right where the heathen hordes got it wrong." They are backwards and barbaric and, really, I am not like that ... and if you don't concede my point, I will gladly make war on your neck of the philosophical woods.
I admit to thinking of Dick Cheney and other neocons in my own United States. Exceptionalism, whether democratic or Islamic State -- is still exceptionalism and its outcome is littered throughout history like confetti on Broadway after a World Series win.
Group-think can have some good results, but its bad results are palpable. I don't think there is much that can be done about it except, perhaps, to acknowledge and scale back the inner tendency to promote a personal exceptionalism that can seek like Genghis Khan to dominate the nearest world ... and collateral damage like Farkhunda ... well hell, if my righteous way rises to its rightful pinnacle, the collateral damage is worth it. But please notice that the one judging the fitness of the sacrifice is not the one who is sacrificed.
Sometimes I get sick to death of exceptionalism ... especially my own.
It may be impossible to be "completely innocent," but I think it's worth a try.