Hazaras in Afghanistan Face Brutal Persecution Under Taliban Rule

Since the Taliban’s resurgence in Afghanistan, the Hazara ethnic minority and Shia Muslim population have faced a devastating campaign of escalated violence, systematic discrimination, and social isolation, the Jurist reported in an article yesterday.

The Taliban’s discriminatory policies have stripped Hazaras and Shias of their fundamental rights and freedoms, the article emphasized.

The Taliban’s early actions included abolishing the Shia Personal Status Law, removing Ja’fari jurisprudence from the education system, and dismissing Shia judges. Their interim government also conspicuously lacks any Hazara or Shia representation, further undermining the Shia population’s status as Afghan citizens.

“The Taliban’s cabinet and supreme court lack Hazara or Shia representation,” the text states, “a decision that parallels the exclusion of women from governance roles.”

The targeting of Hazaras has intensified under Taliban rule, with numerous deadly attacks on schools, mosques, and educational centers. In September 2022, a suicide bombing at a Hazara education center killed 35 students, with no group claiming responsibility. Lord Alton of Liverpool warned of “a serious and escalating risk of genocide against the Hazara.”

The Taliban have also enacted sweeping bans on Shia literature and jurisprudence, stripping these communities of their cultural identity. Taliban officials have even denied the presence of sectarian diversity in Afghanistan, asserting that all Afghans must adhere to the Sunni Hanafi school.

Hazaras and Shias have been systematically excluded from governance, with no representation in ministries, provincial administrations, or the judiciary. “The stark absence of Shia or Hazara leadership within Afghanistan’s governance is conspicuous,” the text states, “Such pervasive discrimination erodes national unity and social fabric.”

The Taliban’s policies directly violate international human rights treaties, as well as core Islamic principles of equality and non-discrimination. The text argues that the Taliban’s actions are “antithetical to the tenets of human rights and core Islamic values.”

As the persecution of Hazaras and Shias continues, the future of Afghanistan remains in peril, with the risk of spiraling ethno-religious conflict looming large.

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