Afghan woman Farkhunda
A picture of Farkhunda, an Afghan woman who was beaten to death and set alight on fire on Thursday, is seen during her funeral ceremony in Kabul March 22, 2015.Reuters

Farkhunda, the 27-year-old Afghan woman who was savagely lynched in Kabul last week by a group of men who accused her of burning a Quran, was a teacher of Islamic studies, and is said to have met a brutal end for standing up to those who duped people in the name of religion.

While Farkhunda's father had claimed earlier that she was mentally ill, her brother Najibullah dismissed the claim, telling the media that their father had taken the step to protect the family after the savage attack.

In fact, local media reported that Farkhunda was actually speaking out against a mullah of the Shah-e-Do Shamshera Mosque, who was allegedly duping locals by giving out false 'tawiz', a paper containing Quranic verses that Afghans wear as a good luck charm and to ward off evil.

According to TOLOnews, the mullah was agitated by Farkhunda's allegations against him, and to save himself and his job, he wrongly accused her of burning the Quran.

It was a matter of minutes before a crowd swooped down on her, despite policemen around, and stamped, kicked and beat her to death before burning her body and dumping it in the river.

Sayed Habid Shah, a policeman who witnessed the incident, even remembers Farkhunda telling the crowd that "I am a Muslim and Muslims do not burn the Quran".

The Associated Press had reported that a dispute between Farkhunda and some amulet sellers near a mosque sparked the blood-hungry attack on her.

Farkhunda had reportedly told the women not to waste their money buying amulets from the men, following which they accused her of burning the Quran and killed her.

Whichever version is true, the incident represents the brutal fate a woman in Afghanistan – even in the capital city of Kabul – can meet if she speaks out against wrongdoings by men in the name of religion.

In a country ruled for several years by the hardline Taliban, which had even banned education for women, a repressive environment for women still persists in several parts.

The disturbing crime even found support in Senator Zulmai Zabuli and deputy minister of information and culture Simin Hasanzada, TOLOnews reported.