Disembowelled, then torn apart: The price of daring to teach girls
The gunmen came at night to drag Mohammed Halim away from his home, in front of his crying children and his wife begging for mercy.
The 46-year-old schoolteacher tried to reassure his family that he would return safely. But his life was over, he was part-disembowelled and then torn apart with his arms and legs tied to motorbikes, the remains put on display as a warning to others against defying Taliban orders to stop educating girls.
Because he taught girls.
There can be no reasoning with the Taliban mentality. No negotiating. No terms. No "Hey, we used to tear guys apart for treating women like humans, but we're okay now; let's sign a peace treaty and form a coalition government."
There is clear good and evil here, and only a moral cripple could fail to know which side is which. One side elects a woman to Speaker of the House, the other side disembowels men alive for teaching girls to read.
That is what hangs in the balance in Afghanistan right now.