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Taliban Makes Hindus’ World Safer

From our foreign correspondent.

by Essie McShepherd
May 23, 2001

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Taliban Makes Hindus’ World Safer_Essie McShepherd-From our foreign correspondent. Afghanistan (PO) – Continuing to make their country a better place for all, the ruling Taliban announced that it would make all people of the Hindu religion wear a badge to identify them as non-Muslim. This, the Taliban assured, would prevent the Hindus from being “harassed” by the religious police. Taliban officials also announced that new laws would require women of Hindu religion be veiled, just like their Muslim counterpart.

While many nations charged the Taliban with issuing tactics similar to the Nazis against Jews, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar downplayed any similarities; “We’re not going to make them wear a ‘Star of David.’ That would just be silly. No, we are searching for a symbol that will instantly identify the wearer as Hindu. It’s for their own safety, really.”

“This is a good thing,” said one anonymous religion police captain, “because if I’m going to publicly flog a person, I want to be sure it’s for the right reason. You don’t know how many times we’ve cracked down on a person, only to have him say, ‘Hey, I’m Hindu!’ You can just imagine the embarrassment on my face!”

Taliban officials said they hope this will end any mistreatment to Hindu people, otherwise more effective measures might be taken. “This is the situation now,” said one official, “but if incidents still occur, it may be necessary to concentrate the Hindus into ‘camps,’ where they won’t have to worry about mistaken identity, sort of concentration ca—it’s for their own safety!”

Readers familiar with events of the Taliban will recall how their army successfully demolished several large statues of Buddha, some dating back to the 5th and 6th centuries. While Buddhists and archaeologists alike protested the destruction, Taliban officials maintained that it was only “a matter of time” before these huge statues fell off the mountainside and crushed someone. Many outsiders felt that these same statues could be successfully removed and preserved somewhere else, but the Taliban insists it knows what was best.

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