Hard Times for Religious Minorities in Taliban-Occupied Afghanistan

Minorities in Taliban-occupied Afghanistan are tolerating and experiencing the worst era of their time ever in the history of the country.

Religious minorities in Afghanistan have been under pressure, threats and violent attacks for many years. The Jewish minority of Afghanistan has migrated from this land since the beginning of the war and jihad, except for a handful, and now there are no traces of them. The followers of Sikhism and Hinduism; despite, tolerating sever brutal attacks on their community and humiliation, but have not left their ancestors’ land. The community members have witnessed terrible oppression and injustice during the course of history, no matter what regime has ruled the country, but they have been paying the price with their lives.  Other religious minorities, such as Ahmadis, Christians, and Baha’is, could not even speak out and practice their religion openly due to fear of death.

In Afghanistan, the efforts to accept each other as a country mate and respect the rights of every citizen on the basis of humanity has long last its path and values. Cruelty against the minorities (Ethnic and Religious) and removal strategies by the dominant rulers have long been implemented on the basis of Muslim and infidel enmity, jihadist and communist enmity, traditional and modern enmity, Shiite and Sunni enmity, Sufi and Salafi enmity. In addition to enmity between various party, ethnic factions, regional and linguistic enemies that usually starts with linguistic words and goes onward to the war with many manifestations of rationality, modernity and development are the blocks that have locked Afghanistan in a hatred cage.

The attacks on the temples of our Hindu and Sikh compatriots are the tip of the iceberg with a pyramid rule embedded in a long-standing social culture. This catastrophic trend, based on the experience of other crisis-stricken countries, will link sectarian wars, religious tensions and animosities to blood streams; unless, radical change strategy in method of thinking is not adapted and addressed. The radical transformation of this situation begins with a change in the curriculum, by removing all the contents of the religious hatred educator and replacing them with themes of kindness, tolerance, and mutual acceptance.

There is also a need for a fundamental and critical rethinking of the work of mosques and pulpits so that they should turn into messengers of love and brotherhood, not enmity and hatred, and a rethinking of the whole social role of religion to the string, not the agent of the chapter. The audio-visual media can also engage in cultural dredging alongside civic institutions to organize social norms based on ethical standards. The love, brotherhood and acceptance awareness programs through various channels should be designed in such a way that they should complement each other. This approach will for sure lead to the desired result to heal the complications of repression, deprivation and wounded social psyche.

After a huge investment for the last 20 years by the international community and Afghan themselves, we are moving backward to the opposite direction. The country has  fallen into the control of a group that has not read the alphabet of compassion and tolerance, but the opposite. The only language that the illegitimate rulers understand is the hated and violence. With the continuation of the totalitarian rule of this group; neither religious minorities will experience peace and happiness nor society will be free from religious tensions, and without the prosperity of minorities, no human society will prosper.