The Taliban Blows up Statue of Hazara Leader Abdul Ali Mazari

Published August 19th, 2021 - 06:20 GMT
Abdul Ali Mazari statue
The statue was blown up despite the Taliban's statements promising to protect minorities' rights. (Twitter: @Natsecjeff)

While the Taliban's spokesmen were promising international media a different kind of ruling experience, compared to the strict version of Islamic laws they implemented during the late 1990s, the group's fighters in Bamyan in central Afghanistan blew up a statue of famous Hazara leader Abdul Ali Mazari.

Abdul Ali Mazari was a leader of a Hazara militia that resisted the Taliban rule during the 1990s civil war, in which he was killed by the extremist group that has just taken control of all of Afghanistan.

According to social media reports, the Taliban fighters have blown up the statue that was built in memory of the militia leader who was quite popular amongst the country's Hazara minority. 

For decades, the Hazara minority has suffered discrimination by Afghanistan's three other ethnic groups, particularly the Pashtun who make up the biggest ethnic group in the country.

Unlike other groups, the Hazarajat-based Hazara are mostly Shia Muslims and have been suffering racial discrimination based on their facial features, which associates them with Mongolians and Turks. According to estimates, Hazaras make up about 19% of the Afghan population.

As soon as pictures of the destroyed statue of Abdul Ali Mazari appeared online, social media users circulated it questioning the authenticity of the Taliban's claims of a new era and of their commitment to protecting minority rights.

Some online people also remembered the famous scenes of the Taliban fighters who blew up Bamiyan Buddhas in March 2001, shortly before the US invasion of the country, which ended the Taliban's rule for 20 years.

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