Source: United News of India
NEW DELHI, INDIA, May 21, 2001: Once wealthy merchant families numbering around 50,000 who lived an honorable life contributing to their society for thousands of years, the plight of Hindus has been reduced to a slum-like existence in Afghanistan. After the Taliban hard-liner regime took over power in the country, they imposed a fundamentalist approach in their interpretation of the Koran upon their Muslim citizens. Now, they have targeted the minority Hindu population by threatening prosecution upon households where Hindus and Muslims might live together and forcing the Hindus of the home to leave within three days. To add insult upon insult, Hindus are not allowed to build any new temples, Hindu men cannot wear turbans, Hindu women must cover their body with a yellow chadder (Muslim women wear this garment) with two small holes for the eyes, and Hindu women are being forced to wear an iron necklace when shopping in the marketplace. This helpless minority has watched while their homes, businesses, and temples have been destroyed. Escaping to India, the U.S. and Germany at the beginning of this reign of terror, these Hindus were the fortunate ones. Those remaining can now only make a difficult escape via Pakistan.