On 17 September 2021, less than a month after seizing control of the country, the Taliban effectively banned girls from secondary schools in Afghanistan after they ordered schools to resume classes for boys only.
The move marked a realisation of fears that had been raised ever since the Taliban regained power, and was met with widespread and routine international condemnation from countries and human rights organisations alike. One of the more surprising critics however was Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who told the BBC that preventing women from accessing education would be ‘un-Islamic’.
The reason for such surprise is that while Prime Minister Khan has expressed somewhat mixed feelings regarding the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, he has encouraged the international community, and particularly the United States, to recognise their authority. In addition, his own government has entered into talks with the organisation, and Khan himself has pledged to ‘forgive’ members of the group if reconciliation is achieved.
Developments such as these already start to make Khan’s criticisms of the Taliban ring hollow, but they are made even more interesting when considered in conjunction with his own rhetoric regarding what is and isn’t un-Islamic in his own country.
Continue reading “Imran Khan: Defender of Islam or political opportunist?”
Le 11 février, Abdul Qadir, un médecin homéopathe ahmadi de 65 ans, a été abattu devant sa clinique dans le quartier de Bazikhel, à Peshawar, dans le nord-ouest du Pakistan. Ce meurtre est le dernier d’une série d’attaques à motivation religieuse contre les ahmadis, en particulier à Peshawar.
L’année dernière, CSW a recensé au moins cinq autres cas de meurtres d’ahmadis, dont un incident au cours duquel un médecin de 31 ans, Tahir Mahmood, a été assassiné devant sa famille à son domicile de Murch Balochan, dans le district de Nankana Sahib, au Pendjab.
Le fait que la communauté ahmadie du Pakistan soit depuis longtemps victime de harcèlement, discrimination, violence et autres violations des droits humains ne laisse guère de doute quant à la motivation religieuse de ces meurtres. On voit aussi clairement se dessiner un schéma selon lequel des médecins et des universitaires éminents ont été spécifiquement ciblés par les extrémistes.
Il est fort probable que, dans une certaine mesure, ces personnes aient été tuées car elles occupaient des places importantes dans la société. Pour les extrémistes du pays qui refusent d’accepter les ahmadis comme musulmans, l’idée que des membres de ladite communauté puissent occuper des postes à responsabilité, par exemple dans des hôpitaux ou des universités, est sans aucun doute un affront à leur interprétation fondamentaliste de l’islam.
Continue reading “Criminalisée, victime de meurtres et maudite : le sort de la communauté ahmadie du Pakistan”
On 11 February, Abdul Qadir, a 65-year-old Ahmadi homeopathic doctor, was shot dead outside his homeopathic clinic in the Bazikhel area of Peshawar in north-western Pakistan. His killing marked the latest in a concerning uptick in religiously motivated attacks on Ahmadis, particularly in Peshawar.
Last year, CSW documented at least five other instances in which Ahmadis were killed, including an incident in which 31-year-old doctor, Tahir Mahmood, was murdered in front of his family at his home in Murch Balochan in Nankana Sahib District, Punjab.
Continue reading “Criminalised, killed and cursed: The plight of Pakistan’s Ahmadiyya community”
The fact that Pakistan’s Ahmadiyya community has a long history of experiencing harassment, discrimination, violence and other human rights violations within Pakistani society leaves little doubt that these murders are religiously motivated. A pattern is also clearly emerging whereby prominent doctors and academics have been specifically singled-out by extremists.
When the official results confirming the re-election of Joko Widodo as President of Indonesia were announced on 21 May, supporters of his rival, former General Prabowo Subianto, took to the streets. Riots led to carnage in the capital, Jakarta, with at least six people dead. The divisions unleashed by the election campaign were exposed in their ugliest form.
point, Indonesia’s elections had been peaceful and orderly, despite what almost
all observers describe as the most divisive campaign in the country’s recent
history. On 17 April, over 190 million people cast their votes for the
presidency and the national, regional and local legislatures, in one of the
world’s biggest and most complex democratic exercises in recent times. To
conduct such a poll, in the world’s third largest democracy and fourth most
populous nation, across the world’s largest archipelago of 17,508 islands
stretching from the Indian to the Pacific Oceans, is a significant feat.
I spent three weeks in Indonesia during the election period. I witnessed the final week of the campaign, election day itself, and the first twelve days after the elections. I travelled to four cities – Jakarta, Medan in North Sumatra, Surabaya in East Java, and Pontianak in West Kalimantan – where I met civil society activists, religious communities and government advisers. I left Indonesia with profoundly mixed feelings.
Continue reading “Indonesia’s elections reveal a nation at the crossroads between pluralism and intolerance”
In the run-up to Human Rights Day on 10 December and the 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders on 9 December, CSW has been speaking with HRDs across South Asia to find out what it means to be a FoRB defender in the region.
Julfikar is a human rights defender working in Bangladesh:
“When friends, well-wishers and colleagues frequently advise me to restrict my movement and leave my country for safety elsewhere, it becomes an indescribable mental pressure. I have been facing this reality for many years now, but it has intensified over the last one year as Bangladesh heads to the national election on December 30.
I have spent 28 years as a professional journalist. During this period, I have witnessed horrific political, religious violence, and brutal terror attacks in the name of Islam. I have investigated and covered many of those traumatic events and closely observed others. There are many more to investigate, but the situation is gradually becoming more difficult for people like me.
In my career, I have exposed violations of human rights, religious persecution, atrocities, intimidation, war crimes of 1971 and criminal activities, abuse of law, corruption, hate campaign, propaganda and fake news on the social media with ill motives.
Continue reading “FoRB on the Frontlines: An atmosphere of self-censorship”