In The Guardian, Nushin Arbabzadah highlights Talibani intolerance of an often forgotten Afghan religious minority, the Sikhs:
Few people outside Afghanistan are aware of the Afghan Sikh community: a little-known, inconspicuous religious minority whose mass exodus from Afghanistan began with the coming to power of the mujahideen in 1992. The decision to leave Afghanistan at that particular juncture made sense. After all, the new rulers had an established reputation for religious intolerance.
The collapse of the Soviet-backed regime had left Afghan Sikhs in a vulnerable position. With their black dastar headgear and their neat but untrimmed beards, they stood out from the Muslim crowd, and became an easily identifiable target for crime and harassment. A community of traders with business contacts stretching from Afghan cities to India, Japan and Korea, the Sikhs were perceived as wealthy and this perception, in turn, made them a key target for kidnapping gangs.
Read the entire article here.