Hinduism in Afghanistan

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Ekamukhalinga (Shiva linga with one face), Afghanistan

Hinduism in Afghanistan is practiced by a tiny minority of Afghans, believed to be about 1,000 individuals who live mostly in Kabul and other major cities of the country.


  • We are deeply troubled by the Taliban’s continual repression of its people. Particularly painful, with its unavoidable connections to history, is the order requiring all Hindus in Afghanistan to wear an identity label ontheir clothing. This is an extension of the Taliban’s policy of religious intolerance and a stark reminder of the exclusionary tactics employed by the Nazis as a precursor to genocide. The Taliban rulers in Afghanistan have adopted a policy that more than 60 years ago spelled the beginning of the end for six million Jews. The Holocaust began with the ostracizing of the Jewish people and their forced separation from society, which can be the only purpose of labeling "others" as outsiders. In Nazi-occupied Europe, the badge of shame was the yellow Star of David worn as a patch. In Afghanistan, the Taliban rulers today are ordering Hindus to wear a similar label to enable Muslims to identify them. This is a clearly a policy founded on intolerance, mistrust and religious hatred. One would hope that we have learned from history. Following the recent desecration ofstatutes in Afghanistan, it has now progressed to marking people. We cannot help but ask, "What comes next?" We call on the international community and all religious leaders to immediately speak out against this practice.
    • Abraham Foxman, ADL Calls on Word Leaders to Condemn Afghanistan’s Policy of religious Labelling, 22 May 2001, [1] [2]
  • Like the Nazis before them the Taliban are systematically destroying religious and cultural foundations of minority culture, and then publicly stigmatizing that population.
    • Mark Schickman, Holocaust survivors sympathize with Afghani Hindus, from Jerusalem Post, 25 May 2001
  • Those who think that the Nazi lexicon is embraced only by the extremist Moslems in Afghanistan are not aware of the extreme talk of the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Jordan and Syria where there is a Goebbels-style systematic propaganda campaign against the Jewish People.....The suffering of the Hindus in Afghanistan is a matter of concern for all Jews and all citizens of the world.
    • Michael Kleiner,Herut MK Michael Kleiner demands an urgent Knesset discussion in the wake of Taliban decrees against the Hindus in Afghanistan , IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis, 22 May 2001
  • The Taliban's wilful targeting of Afghans who practice the Hindu religion, first by destroying treasured Buddhas, and now by forcing Hindus to distinguish themselves with discriminatory badges, is extremely painful for Jews.
    • Shulamit Bahat,. AJC, Taliban Treatment of Hindus Harkens Back to Nazi Germany, 23 May 2001
  • After the Islamic conquest of Kabul in April 1992, 50,000 Hindus had to flee Afghanistan (with the Indian government unwilling to extend help, and Inder Kumar Gujral denying that the expulsion of Indians had a communal motive).
    • Elst, Koenraad. Negationism in India: concealing the record of Islam. 1992
  • Under Taliban rule, the remaining hundreds of Hindus in Kandahar, who had taken to inconspicuous dress in order not to stand out among their Muslim neighbours, were forced to wear a yellow strip to make themselves recognizable.
    • Koenraad Elst: Religious Cleansing of Hindus, 2004, in: Elst, K. The Problem with Secularism (2007)
  • Afghanistan was a full part of the Hindu cradle up till the year 1000, and in political unity with India until Nadir Shah separated it in the 18th century.
    • Koenraad Elst, Ayodhya and after: Issues before Hindu society (1991)

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