A United Nations expert monitoring religious intolerance worldwide last week strongly criticised what it called the “ever-growing scourge” of religious extremism epitomised by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Abdelfattah Amor, Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights, the case of Afghanistan deserved particular mention.
Using religion as a political tool, he said the Taliban had “taken an entire society hostage”. . The greatest burden had fallen on Afghan women, who were “afflicted by social, economic and cultural exclusion” under Taliban rule. In addition, Taliban extremists were specifically targeting religious minorities and non-Muslim communities “whose religious identity is directly threatened by a policy of forced conversion to Islam.” The climate of religious intolerance fostered by Taliban policy has prompted many members of religious minorities, especially the Sikhs, to flee the country, the report said.
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