Please join the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for a virtual hearing that will examine Afghanistan’s freedom of religion or belief under the Taliban’s rule since its takeover of the country in August 2021. The hearing will also highlight opportunities for U.S. policy to support vulnerable Afghans.
The Taliban’s imposition of their narrow interpretation of Sunni Islam on all of society poses a grave threat to Afghans who interpret Islam differently, who hold a different faith, or who choose to have no faith at all. In addition, despite continued promises to protect all ethnic and religious communities residing in Afghanistan, the Taliban de facto government has been unable to protect religious minorities against attacks from Islamic State-Khorasan (ISIS-K). While some religious minority communities face the threat of extinction, others struggle to practice their faith in hiding due to fear of reprisal.
Witnesses will document religious freedom conditions throughout the country under Taliban rule, discuss current U.S. policy, and share recommendations for the U.S. government to support religious freedom in Afghanistan.
Nury Turkel, Chair, USCIRF
Abraham Cooper, Vice Chair, USCIRF
Haris Tarin, Chief of Staff, Operation Allies Welcome, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Invited)
Fereshta Abbasi, Researcher, Asia Division, Human Rights Watch
Anne Richard, Afghanistan Coordination Lead, Freedom House; former Assistant Secretary of State, Population, Refugees and Migration, U.S. Department of State
Joseph Azam, U.S. Policy Advisor and Board Chair, Afghan American Foundation