Sunday, June 25, 2023

What is the current state of ethnic and religious tensions in Afghanistan?

 The current state of ethnic and religious tensions in Afghanistan is complex and multifaceted. Ethnicity and religion are key to understanding the politics and conflicts of today's Afghanistan

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 Afghanistan has four largest ethnic groups: Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks
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 The largest ethnic group in Afghanistan is the Sunni Muslim Pashtun, estimated at around 45% of the population and mostly concentrated in the south and east of the country
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 The second-largest ethnic group in Afghanistan are the Tajiks, a term that refers to ethnic Tajiks as well as to other Sunni Muslim Persian speakers
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 Hazaras are Afghanistan's third-largest ethnic group, following Pashtuns and Tajiks
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 The Hazaras are predominantly Shia Muslims and have historically faced persecution and discrimination from the Taliban and other Sunni Muslim groups
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 Afghanistan's ethnic groups are, for the most part, separated into four distinct zones of the country
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 Afghanistan has struggled with tensions between its Sunni and Shia populations
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 The Taliban's return to power in Afghanistan in 2021 has been met with international condemnation, and many Western countries have refused to recognize and establish diplomatic ties with the Taliban government, which calls the country the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
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 The Taliban has been responsible for extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests, torture, and unlawful detention of perceived opponents with impunity, creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation
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 The Taliban has also been directly responsible for mass killings of Hazaras that may amount to war crimes
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 Religious minorities in Afghanistan, such as Sikhs, Hindus, Christians, and other non-Muslim minorities, have reported continued persecution, discrimination, and violence
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