Shia Muslims in Afghanistan constitute a significant minority within the predominantly Sunni Muslim population. Shia communities in Afghanistan have historically faced various challenges and forms of discrimination. Under the rule of the Taliban, who adhere to a strict interpretation of Sunni Islam, Shia Muslims have often experienced significant suffering.
The Taliban’s extremist ideology and intolerance towards religious diversity have led to systematic persecution and marginalization of Shia communities. They have been subjected to targeted violence, including deadly attacks on religious gatherings, mosques, and prominent Shia figures. Additionally, Shia places of worship and religious sites have been destroyed, further exacerbating the suffering of the Shia population in Afghanistan.
It is important to note that the situation of Shia Muslims in Afghanistan is complex and has varied over time. While the Taliban’s promised Shia Muslims to be safe during the current regime, the prosecution of Shia was not limited only to activists, scholars, and students. Still, it prevented Shia Muslims from worshiping without Taliban involvement.
During this holy month of Muhramm, 2023 Taliban’s head of the religious committee visited many Shia mosques and Hussainia, especially in the town of Chandawal in Kabul, to order them to limit their programs from 30 mosques to 6.
Shia Muslims have been protecting their programs and often asked the Taliban government to provide them with either security or allow them to have Shia law enforcement protecting Shia worship centers. Still, the Taliban have refused to do so or limited the protection to one person to only control who is entering the program rather than preventing any violence against Shia Muslims.