The imminent danger for Afghanistan’s women and minorities

August 19, 2021

In an article published earlier this week in The Hill, Farahnaz Ispahani, RFI senior fellow and former member of the Pakistani Parliament, describes the dire situation unfolding in Afghanistan, especially for religious minorities there. In the article titled, “The imminent danger for Afghanistan’s women and minorities” Ispahani writes:

The scenes of chaos unfolding at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, as thousands of Afghans try to escape their country, illustrates the fear gripping the country after the Taliban took over the country. Women and religious minorities that bore the brunt of the Taliban’s brutality during the 1990s, when the Taliban were last in power, feel particularly vulnerable.

Evidence of concern began to emerge prior to the Taliban’s swift and aggressive advance in recent weeks to overthrow the government and retake control of Afghanistan. Ispahani continues:

Over the last year, we have witnessed dangerous signs that bode ill for Afghanistan’s small and varied religious faiths numbering Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and Shia Muslim Hazara among them.

As troubling as these “dangerous signs” have been for “Afghanistan’s small religious minorities and the Shia Hazaras,” Ispahani observes, “Taliban rule will be a disaster for [them].”

Ispahani concludes the article in the starkest of terms:

The scramble to leave Kabul symbolizes the foreboding felt by the Afghan people. But most Afghans, and especially those belonging to minority faith groups, do not have the luxury of flying out of the country. They will have to survive in a hostile and brutal regime, or fight it.

Read the full article: The imminent danger for Afghanistan’s women and minorities.

More RFI commentary on the crisis in Afghanistan: