Afghanistan: Hintergrund

Why Haza­ra are in Dan­ger // War­um Haza­ra in Gefahr sind

Hier doku­men­tie­ren wir eine Rede, die auf der Info­ver­an­stal­tung zum Lan­des­auf­nah­me­pro­gamm Bremen am 20.9.2023 von einer jun­gen Afgha­nin gehal­ten wur­de:

It was a day in a May 2020 when I was at save rooms for 6 hours wit­hout any move­ment and hope to sur­vi­ve. An atta­cker took the life of 24 mothers and a child. I wit­nessed mothers who, despi­te the Saul were not in their body, but still had their child in their arms. This is a cor­ner of the dai­ly life of Hazara’s mino­ri­ty in Afgha­ni­stan. Befo­re, to talk about the cur­rent situa­ti­on of mino­ri­ties in Afgha­ni­stan spe­ci­fi­cal­ly Haza­ras and the risk that they are curr­ent­ly expe­ri­en­cing, let me to talk about this peo­p­le and who they are? Haza­ras are one of the lar­gest eth­nic and reli­gious mino­ri­ty in Afgha­ni­stan. Accor­ding to the artic­les that were published in the Geor­ge Washing­ton uni­ver­si­ty web­site in march 2022, their popu­la­ti­on esti­ma­ted 20% from the who­le popu­la­ti­on of Afgha­ni­stan. they have Shii­te faith and have a spe­ci­fic eth­ni­ci­ty, cul­tu­re and lan­guage. They speak with Haza­ra­gi accent and are a very hard­wor­king peo­p­le.

Now , why an urgent action is nee­ded for Hazara’s mino­ri­ty in Afgha­ni­stan? Due to their eth­nic and reli­gious iden­ti­ty, the Haza­ra peo­p­le have long been oppres­sed, dis­cri­mi­na­ted against, and per­se­cu­ted. The Haza­ra peo­p­le have expe­ri­en­ced pre­ju­di­ce, repres­si­on, and vio­lence throug­hout Afghanistan’s histo­ry. They have endu­red hor­rors like the 19th-cen­tu­ry Haza­ra mas­sa­cres under Abdur Rah­man Khan’s aut­ho­ri­ty, which cau­sed a sizable sec­tion of their popu­la­ti­on to peri­sh. The Haza­ras were deli­bera­te­ly atta­cked under the Taliban’s pre­vious regime, which las­ted from 1996 to 2001. The Haza­ra com­mu­ni­ty in Afgha­ni­stan saw an oppor­tu­ni­ty in the last two deca­des of for­eign inter­ven­ti­on and repu­bli­can govern­ment, with at least the 2004 con­sti­tu­ti­on reco­gni­zing them as equal citi­zens. Despi­te the pre­sence of pro­mi­nent poli­ti­ci­ans, the com­mu­ni­ty faced dis­cri­mi­na­ti­on and lack of poli­ti­cal par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on. The Haza­ras play­ed a cen­tral role in demo­cra­tiza­ti­on and insti­tu­ti­on-buil­ding, with high voter turn­out and acti­ve par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on from women. The Tali­ban insur­gen­cy then fre­quent­ly tar­ge­ted Haza­ras as a result of their sup­port for demo­cra­cy, their eth­ni­ci­ty and faith in Afgha­ni­stan. Haza­ras in Afgha­ni­stan now face direct dan­gers and per­va­si­ve dis­cri­mi­na­ti­on as a result of the Taliban’s return to power. A sub­stan­ti­al num­ber of dif­fi­cul­ties and risks faces the Haza­ras, for a num­ber of reasons:

First of all, in a nati­on whe­re Sun­ni Islam is prac­ti­ced by the majo­ri­ty of the popu­la­ti­on, the Haza­ras are most­ly Shia Mus­lims. Due to their dif­fe­ring theo­lo­gi­cal views, they have beco­me a tar­get for the Tali­ban and other radi­cal Sun­ni groups that fol­low a rigo­rous inter­pre­ta­ti­on of Sun­ni Islam. Haza­ras were trea­ted bru­t­ally by the Tali­ban, who fol­low a very strict form of Sun­ni Islam, inclu­ding mass exe­cu­ti­ons, forced relo­ca­ti­on, and forced con­ver­si­ons.

Second­ly, the majo­ri­ty of Haza­ras live in the midd­le and wes­tern regi­ons of Afgha­ni­stan, in places like Bami­yan and Dai­kun­di. They are more likely to be in places whe­re secu­ri­ty forces may not be as pre­sent due to their geo­gra­phic con­cen­tra­ti­on, making them more vul­nerable to attacks by dif­fe­rent ter­ro­rist group and they recei­ve zero sup­port from the cen­tral govern­ment and inter­na­tio­nal orga­niza­ti­ons.

Third­ly, After the return of Tali­ban to power in Afgha­ni­stan, the Tali­ban have laun­ched on a radi­cal and quick rever­sal of the poli­ti­cal, social, and civil advan­ces of the last two deca­des, incre­asing the vul­nerabi­li­ty of the eth­nic Haza­ras in the coun­try. Ext­ra­ju­di­cial kil­lings, extor­ti­on, dis­cri­mi­na­to­ry tac­tics, and forced relo­ca­ti­on have all retur­ned. With their poli­ti­cal and civic rights fur­ther curtail­ed by an extre­me Sun­ni inter­pre­ta­ti­on of Islam and the racial hat­red that cha­rac­te­ri­zed the Tali­ban govern­ment, Haza­ras now expe­ri­ence eco­no­mic mar­gi­na­liza­ti­on, limi­t­ed access to edu­ca­ti­on, and cons­trai­ned chan­ces for work and deve­lo­p­ment.

In addi­ti­on, Haza­ras have no real poli­ti­cal inclu­si­on or repre­sen­ta­ti­on in the aut­ho­ri­ta­ri­an Isla­mic Emi­ra­te of Afgha­ni­stan under the Tali­ban. The Tali­ban have enac­ted overt­ly dis­cri­mi­na­to­ry mea­su­res ever sin­ce sei­zing power in Afgha­ni­stan. While some mem­bers of the inter­na­tio­nal world have expres­sed con­cern about the fate of Haza­ras, the Tali­ban have rejec­ted the appeal for inclu­si­vi­ty, clai­ming that anyo­ne who have ser­ved in the last 20 years’ worth of govern­ments will not be allo­wed. Accor­ding to their inter­pre­ta­ti­on, inclu­si­on is rest­ric­ted to Sun­ni reli­gious orga­niza­ti­ons as well as fronts and forces that fought for the Tali­ban and atten­ded reli­gious insti­tu­ti­ons in Paki­stan and par­ti­cu­lar regi­ons of Afgha­ni­stan.

Last but not least, Amidst the world’s worst huma­ni­ta­ri­an cri­sis in Afgha­ni­stan, dis­cri­mi­na­ti­on and secu­ri­ty thre­ats depri­ve Haza­ras of access to huma­ni­ta­ri­an aid and inter­na­tio­nal sup­port.

Accor­ding to a report from UNAMA web­site, A recent exam­p­le shows that twen­ty pri­va­te schools from dis­trict 13 of wes­tern parts of Kabul—home to Haza­ra populations—were eli­gi­ble to recei­ve stu­dent fees from the Asia Foun­da­ti­on, but Haza­ra schools were desel­ec­ted by the aut­ho­ri­ties and the sup­port diver­ted. The­re are many other accounts from locals that reve­al the Taliban’s dis­cri­mi­na­ti­on against the Haza­ras in acces­sing huma­ni­ta­ri­an aid, and which are not repor­ted by inter­na­tio­nal media out­lets. The com­mu­ni­ty is under immense pres­su­re for sur­vi­val with no meaningful sup­port. The Haza­ra dia­spo­ra has lost its “eyes and ears” to report on the community’s pre­ca­rious sta­tus and speak for their pre­di­ca­ment as a result of the prac­ti­cal­ly total col­lap­se of inde­pen­dent media and civil socie­ty. Haza­ra human rights acti­vists have reli­ed on inter­nal civil socie­ty initia­ti­ves, but with the Tali­ban in power, the community’s voice has been lost. For the pur­po­se of iden­ti­fy­ing and pre­ven­ting cri­mes against the com­mu­ni­ty, it will be
cru­cial to address access con­cerns in order to moni­tor the suf­fe­ring of Haza­ras under Tali­ban rule.

To sum up, Given this histo­ry and cur­rent situa­tions, it is not accu­ra­te to say that the Tali­ban has his­to­ri­cal­ly or curr­ent­ly sup­port­ed or pro­tec­ted the Haza­ras. Ins­tead, they have been and are per­se­cu­ted mino­ri­ty under Tali­ban rule and if inter­na­tio­nal orga­niza­ti­ons and count­ries do not take an action to mino­ri­ties dis­cri­mi­na­ti­on in Afgha­ni­stan this will ends with a geno­ci­de.


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