The Taliban’s imposition of their narrow interpretation of Islam poses a grave threat to religious freedom and all Afghans who don’t subscribe to that interpretation. The Taliban’s harsh enforcement of its religious interpretation violates the freedom of religion or belief of religious minorities, women, members of the LGBTQI+ community, Afghans with different interpretation of Islam, and Afghans who don’t follow any religion.
Despite continued promises to protect all ethnic and religious communities residing in Afghanistan, the Taliban de facto government has been unable to provide safety and security to religious minorities against attacks from Islamic State-Khorasan.
While some religious minority communities face the threat of extinction, others struggle to practice their faith in hiding because of their fear of reprisal.
Despite promises of change and inclusivity, the Taliban currently continues to rule Afghanistan in a similar manner to the way that they ruled the country from 1996 to 2001. Afghanistan’s diverse religious and ethnic groups have been decimated. Religious minority communities indigenous to Afghanistan, including Hindu, Sikh, and Jewish communities, have become nearly extinct, while others such as Ahmadiyya Muslim, Baha’i, and Christian communities practice their faith in private due to fear of reprisal.
The Taliban and ISIS-K consider Afghan Christians, Ahmadis, and Baha’is to be converts from Islam. Consequently, these religious minority communities must remain hidden since Taliban’s strict interpretation of Hanafi jurisprudence deems conversion from Islam to another religion as apostasy and punishable by death.Taliban and their rivals, ISIS-K, have played a significant role in creating, maintaining, and escalating conditions hostile to freedom of religion and belief in Afghanistan.