Following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in September, more than 2,800 Hazara Shiites were forcibly evicted from their homes. As an ethnic and religious minority, targeted violence from the Taliban and the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) is not new but is worsening under the Taliban’s rule. The rapid increase in human rights violations against the backdrop of a century-long pattern of systemic oppression has increased the risk of the Hazaras facing imminent ethnic cleansing.
Although the Taliban’s spokesman in Qatar said that the Taliban now has “a policy of not having any kind of discrimination against the Shia people,” the Hazaras have been continually attacked at schools, weddings, and mosques for their support of the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan as well as their involvement with Iran to fight against Sunni Muslim forces in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.
The Iranian-backed Fatemiyoun Brigade recruits Hazara and Shia Afghan refugees, offering them payment, citizenship, and other legal protections in return for serving in the brigade. As persecution and targeting of the Hazaras continues, relations between Tehran and the Taliban regime will sour. In response, the brigade may look to recruit more Hazaras, who may be more willing to fight due to intense political and social isolation.
Read the full article from Global Security Review.
More from CNAS
CommentaryRightsizing in the Middle East
Washington’s large Middle East presence is more than just wasteful....
By Becca Wasser & Elisa Catalano Ewers
ReportsLessons of the Syrian Conflict
Executive Summary In October 2019, The New York Times published a feature story describing how “Russia, Turkey and Bashar al-Assad carved up northern Syria as the Americans re...
By Nicholas Danforth
ReportsThe Future of the Digital Order
Executive Summary Nations that successfully harness the vast economic, political, and societal power of emerging information and communications technologies will shape the fut...
By Jeff Cirillo, Lisa Curtis, Joshua Fitt, Kara Frederick, Coby Goldberg, Ilan Goldenberg, Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Megan Lamberth, Martijn Rasser & Dania Torres
ReportsWhen Less Is More
Executive Summary For the past 20 years, the U.S. military has invested heavily in the Middle East. Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump both attempted to shift assets out...
By Ilan Goldenberg, Becca Wasser, Elisa Catalano Ewers & Lilly Blumenthal