Afghan Sikhs pressured to leave their homeland

(From AP)

Afghanistan’s once-thriving Sikh community is dwindling fast as many choose to leave the country of their birth to escape what they say is growing intolerance and discrimination. Once boasting as many as 100,000 members in the 1990s, Afghanistan’s Sikh population, according to community leaders, has fallen to an estimated 2,500.

….Under the Taliban, Sikhs and Hindus were pressured to convert to Islam and forced to pay a special tax and publicly identify themselves with yellow patches on their clothing. Muslims were encouraged to avoid doing business with them….The overthrow of the Taliban by the 2001 U.S.-led invasion didn’t improve conditions as much as some community members expected. Many who had fled the country found that religious intolerance had become ingrained in their war-weary homeland and that they were still second-class citizens.” Read more



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