"KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Hindus will be required to wear an identity label on their clothing in Islamic Afghanistan to distinguish them from Muslims, a Taliban minister said Tuesday. The hardline Taliban regime that controls 95 percent of this poor Central Asian state plans to enforce the edict soon, Mohammed Wali, religious police minister, told The Associated Press. An exact date was not set, he said. The law will also make it mandatory for Hindu women to veil themselves - just like Muslim women of Afghanistan, Wali said.
The edict prompted an angry statement from Hindu-dominated India. “We absolutely deplore such orders which patently discriminate against minorities,” Press Trust of India quoted an unnamed Indian foreign ministry official as saying. “It is further evidence of the backward and unacceptable ideological underpinning of the Taliban.”
The decision could further isolate the orthodox Islamic militia, already under fire from the West for alleged discriminatory policies toward ethnic and religious minorities, human rights abuses and poor treatment of women. But Wali said the decision is in line with Islam. “Religious minorities living in an Islamic state must be identified,” he said."
—I know it’s all to easy to refer to any group your don’t like as Nazis (“feminazis,” “anti-smoking Nazis”); but in this casew the comparison fairly whacks you over the head with a rubber chicken.
So how long before the Taliban start their own version of the Final Solution to the Hindu Question? Are we going to see another Rwanda and stand idle again? We’ve seen bloody war between Hindus and Muslims before during the Partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. Given the Taliban’s track record of barbarism, I don’t see it to be too far a leap from regarding the Hindus as infidels who must be labeled to being infidels who must be destroyed.
Having watched “Anne Frank” on ABC last night, this news depresses me beyond words. Don’t people ever freakin’ learn?
Armenia, Auschwitz, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda–persecuting and killing people who are different from you seems to be a depressingly universal trait.
Are you all smoking crack? Go to war in the mountains of Afghanistan? Oh this is bound to be successful. No one is going to intervene in Afghanistan. Perhaps some extra aid to the Tadjik and other minorities fighting in the extreme north, but nothing more than that.
Hey, don’t worry, people! The Taliban have nothing but the best of intentions here. They just want to protect the Hindus from . . . well, fuck, I don’t know what the Hindus need protection from, other than the Taliban. But this is an really act of mercy:
The last time anybody tried to invade Afganistan, it was rather a disaster.
In the 80’s, the Soviet Union, arguably at the height of its military power, tried to invade Afganistan, a country just on its southern border, and failed, miserably. It can be credibly argued that the Afganistan war was a major factor in the decline and eventual collapse of the Soviet Union.
Meanwhile, the reverberations of that war (and the U.S. efforts to arm the Afganis against the Soviet invaders) permitted the rise of the Taliban government.
I don’t really know my history on this, but didn’t the British get their butts whipped in the area in the 1800’s as well.
Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that the U.S. or any coalition of world powers would have the ability to invade and occupy Afganistan, no matter the atrocities atrocities committed by the government there.
There can’t be much doubt that the Taliban is a reprehensible outfit, xenophobic, narrow minded, authoritarian and all the rest. The fact remains that no outside power is likely to do much about it except run off at the mouth, because:
1. There isn't much going on in Afghanistan that has a significant impact on anyone else. If the Taliban's misrule does not adversely affect another state, no other state is going to be inclined to do anything about it. Iran and India are Afghanistan's neighbors and the states most directly affected by whatever might be going on there. The Iranian gov't. might well think that the Taliban is doing the right and proper thing. India sets its self up as the international protector of Hindus, but that is mostly jaw music for local consumption and is not likely to see the prospective plight of Afghan Hindus as a sufficient basis to intervene beyond the Afghan Hills. Between border wars with China and Pakistan, India has more than enough military adventures to keep busy. India's capacity to do something really goofy, however, should not be underestimated. A nation capable of believing in the Monkey-man of Delhi is capable of almost anything.
2. The prospect of inducing the Taliban to change its ways is pretty remote. There are no social or economic pressures that are painful enough to work. We should restrict Air Taliban's landing rights at O'Hare, maybe, or refuse to send them medical equipment? This leaves a military option. Before you start putting together the march tables for that one, you should consult Alexander the Great, the British Empire, the Mogul Emperors of India and the former USSR.
3. Oh, what the Hell, Hi Opal.
In short, as deplorable as the Taliban’s efforts to make Afghanistan safe for a reactionary sept of Islam and to shove its own warped concept of the faith down the throat of every one who cannot get out of the country, the place is simply too remote and too non-threatening for any one to take effective action to stop them. We have seen this happen countless times and should not be surprised to see it happen again. Until the Taliban threatens the vital interest of some neighbor and the stability of the region, it will be permitted to go on its own merry way.
We may perceive with alarm and point with dismay all we want. Its not going to change anything.