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Taliban forcing Afghan Sikhs to convert to Islam or leave the country

Persecution of the Sikh population, a centuries-old community in Afghanistan, has been on the rise since the Taliban's seizure of power. Their campaign of terror has especially escalated in recent weeks, culminating in an attack on the Karte Parwang gurdwara (Sikh temple) in Kabul, where Taliban gunmen overwhelmed the temple's guards and destroyed one of the city's most significant places of worship. This follows the kidnapping of an Afghan Sikh leader, whose whereabouts are still unknown, and the mass shooting of dozens of Sikh worshippers in the midst of prayer last year, also in Kabul. The Taliban has made it clear that conversion to Islam is the community's only recourse for any semblance of safety.

The interior of the Karte Parwang gurdwara prior to its destruction

The National Resistance Front condemns the ethnic cleansing of Afghanistan being perpetrated as the world watches. The Taliban's clear intention is to turn Afghanistan into a mono-religious state through violence, killing Hazaras and Sikhs and forcing the survivors to flee or convert to their extremist branch of Islam. And yet, it is written in the Quran that "It is not for any soul to believe save by the leave of God; and He lays abomination upon those who have no understanding of this... Let there be no compulsion in religion."

In plainer terms, the Quran says that only God's will can make someone believe in Islam, and nobody should attempt to compel that belief in another person. This contradiction between the Taliban's practices and the very words of the Quran illustrates their deeply flawed understanding of Islam. It is on account of the Taliban's mischaracterisations and abuses of religion that the National Resistance Front fights to revive rational Islam in Afghanistan, one of our five central aims:

  1. Establish social justice, equality, and political and cultural pluralism

  2. Provide freedom for all Afghans

  3. Uphold women's rights and human rights

  4. Revive rational Islam in Afghanistan

  5. Preserve democracy in Afghanistan

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