One of the most famous quotes in history states “The World will not end with a bang but with a wimper”. That can also be used to describe the exit by the United States from Afghanistan over the last week.
A myriad of events led us to what took place over the last week. The American public were both shocked and outrage over the images that shown from the airport in Kabul. Desperate people falling off of aircraft is never a good look.
So now the Taliban have resumed power in Afghanistan for the first time since there were driven out by the American led invasion back in 2001. So for that brief period of time there was a glimmer of freedom that was enjoyed by the Afghan People.
Already the West has issued statements of concerns regarding the rights of Women in the country that appear to have taken a step backwards. Statements have been given that the Rights of Women will be protected under what is promised under Sharia Law. This sounds promising but history tells us not to believe this. There are reports from districts outside of Kabul where the Taliban have demanded Teenage Girls as “rewards” for their victorious fighters.
While there will be a focus on Women’s Rights which will be justified, There are other concerns which are not being addressed at this time that are also showing signs that they are areas of concern.
During their previous reign as the Government of Afghanistan Religious Minorities suffered as well. Relics sacred to Buddhists were destroyed, Hindus and other faiths were persecuted. However reports are emerging that these dark days are returning to Afghanistan.
There have also been reports that the Taliban have started to search for the Churches in the Country. The Christian Community in the Country is small and mostly worship in homes. Even though the eyes of the International Community is watching events in Kabul, Reports of atrocities are trickling in from other areas.
We have also heard that Hindus and Sikhs have been told that their rights will be respected by the Taliban. Reports of any actions taken against them have not emerged yet. The last remaining Jew in the Country has stated that he has no intention to leave the country.
The actions by those who fled to Kabul in an effort to flee the country also suggest that the religious minorites had more faith in the International Forces to protect them than in the recently ousted Government. That story itself which has not been widely reported could itself galvanize others to advocate for the rights of others.
It is astonishing to see events literally come full circle in Afghanistan on this scale. The Taliban has made promises but will they actually follow through when the cameras leave? That is a question that does not bring any positive thoughts.