Religious Freedom After the Collapse of Afghanistan
08/16/2021 Afghanistan (International Christian Concern) – Over the last few days, the world has watched Afghanistan’s collapse. With the recent troop withdrawal, America saw its longest war come to an unsuccessful, scrambled close. Hundreds of people fled to the airport for refuge, some in hopes of gaining safe passage out of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
What small hope there was for religious freedom in the former government has now all but dissipated. Religious diversity in a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan is not possible. Prior to 2001, the Taliban’s brief rule was marked by extremism, violence, and discrimination against religious minorities. All activity deemed against Islam was monitored and banned by the Taliban regime and the oppression of women hit all-time highs with the Taliban’s strict enforcement of their version of Islamic shariah law.
The Taliban recently stated that they would form an “inclusive” Islamic government, but it is yet to be seen what shape the new government will take. The Taliban’s existing track record of inclusivity is horrendous, so many human rights advocates are quite skeptical of this promise.
The US-backed government has fled the country and the Afghan security forces have all but collapsed.
The international community must track human rights developments in Afghanistan, attempt to keep the Taliban in check through multilateral engagement, and work to safeguard at-risk individuals like Christians and other religious minorities.
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