Crime Justice

Afghan 'mullah' on the run after sex tapes surface on social media

Salaam Times and AFP


Protesters shout slogans during a rally in front of the Supreme Court in Kabul on March 24, 2015, held to protest the killing of Farkhunda, 27. A mob killed the Kabul woman after she denounced the superstitious practices of a local mullah. [SHAH MARAI/AFP]

MAZAR-E-SHARIF -- A self-proclaimed mullah in Afghanistan, who allegedly filmed himself sexually assaulting women, is on the run after the videos went viral on social media, prompting local religious leaders to order his death by stoning.

Mullah Rasool, a traditional healer from Pashtun Kot District, Faryab Province, wrote incantations for clients in a village in Faryab Province. He is accused of sexually exploiting and raping several women who had gone to him to seek help.

The videos, featuring one man with a long beard and white robes and three different women, have been viewed tens of thousands of times.

Rasool, whose nickname is Landai -- "Shorty" in Pashtu -- allegedly used the tapes to blackmail the women. The videos began circulating on social media in recent weeks, but it is unclear when they were made or if they were filmed in Rasool's village of Chinar.

On the run

Rasool shot the videos three years ago, said Naqibullah Faiq, governor of Faryab Province.

"He forced women to have sex with him and threatened to publish the videos if they denounced him," Faiq told France 24. "Someone got ahold of his telephone two years ago and blackmailed him for months, extorting considerable money. Landai eventually fled to Turkey about 18 months ago. That was when the videos started circulating from phone to phone."

Rasool is rumoured to have returned to Afghanistan, said Faiq, adding, "We are trying to track him down."

Faiq has offered his own car as a reward to anyone with information leading to Rasool's arrest, AFP reported.

"He will be arrested. He has no place abroad," Faiq recently told a gathering.

Top religious leaders in Faryab have sentenced Rasool to death by stoning.

Fear for women's safety

While the most of identities of the women are not yet known, their faces are noticeable in the videos, raising fears for their physical safety.

Afghan police arrested a married woman who allegedly appeared in one of the videos, an official said Thursday (September 27). She faces charges under the moral crimes section of Afghan law, which prohibits adultery.

The woman, a police officer in the northwestern province of Faryab, was detained after she was identified by her colleagues from the videos that have been widely shared on social media, attorney general spokesman Jamshid Rasooli told AFP.

The mullah "tricked" the local women, said Sharifa Azimi, chief of the provincial women's affairs department. She urged local religious leaders to tell their worshippers that the women in Rasool's videos are "innocent victims".

"We are very worried that they will be murdered," Azimi told AFP.

Local authorities found the body of a woman dumped in a ditch near Chinar village several days ago, but it has not yet been identified, according to Azimi.

"We predict there will be honour killings," Faryab provincial governor's spokesperson Jawed Bidar told AFP.

These fears are not unfounded, nor is such violence unprecedented.

In January 2017, a 17-year-old girl identified as "Palwasha" was reportedly raped by another self-proclaimed mullah in Kandahar, France 24 reported. In 2016, media reported the multiple rapes of a 15-year-old in Jawzjan Province under similar circumstances.

In 2015, an angry mob murdered a 27-year-old woman named Farkhunda in Kabul.

It was initially reported that she had burned a Koran, inciting the mob violence, but witnesses said she was killed for speaking out against a local mullah who sold charms to women outside a shrine in central Kabul, the Daily Mail reported.

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OK sir


Yes, the only prescription for solving such cases is Islamic law.


This so-called Mullah should be brought to justice.


Yes, if Islamic law is implemented, such cases can be prevented.


Are you sure? We have implemented enough of Islamic law. Time to implement some secular law, unbiased, neutral and progressive methods. The fact that you are telling us believe the religion can be a means to solve such problems is troubling. We need a secular state, where the religious people aren’t elitists, where rule of law prevails, and where everyone have equal rights. Don’t tell us believe in your BS!


Rasool and the women should be stoned to death because the affair is done in shared consent. We are proud of Farkhunda - a Muslim, faithful, respectful and Mujahid girl - may she go to paradise. Rasool and people similar to Rasool relate to this same government.


If the crime's aspects are looked at, many people such as husband, may be considered involved in these cases. So, in my opinion, women's illiteracy has caused them to be misused.


If the government cannot arrest Mullah Rasool, then how can they arrest Mullah Hebatullah and others. Here, everything is limited to chanting slogans and messages of condolence and that is all.


If the government really wants, they will find this Mullah very soon. They [government] should give his photos to the Interpol so that he would not remain safe even abroad. He should be punished severely because the women's life is also in danger because of him.


I also condemn this shameful act and I ask authorities to arrest these shameless thugs and give them women's rights, and not to disgrace them further. Sahibzada Ahmadi


The Mullah and women both have to be stoned to death.


Whoever lets his wife to go out spontaneously, he will face such a situation.


That is right the women are equally at fault the should be punished first I think.


Unfortunately, there are many of these difficulties in our country as our poor nation does not know about it that much. It is the duty of the government to prevent Mullahs who make talisman, write incantations and do other fake treatments. They are only so called Mullahs who in fact do not know about Quran and Sunnah. They do not know about it at all. The important thing is that this nation has to wake up and not go to such people, and not let others go to them. Besides, the public's minds need to be made and they should get informed that these people are corrupt and they are looting money. Everyone has his honor and losing it make them disappointed. The government should punish such criminals with harsh punishment so that it becomes a lesson for others to not repeat such a work in the future. Allah is the best helper Thanks a lot


The central government should not give time to such Mullahs, and it [government] has to arrest them wherever they are. They should be brought to justice and women should not trust such Mullah as well.