Afghan Shiites call on IEA to recognize their community, protect their rights

Afghan Shiites have called on the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) to recognize their community and to ensure their rights are protected.

In a meeting with Mawlawi Abdul Kabir, the Political Deputy Prime Minister of the IEA, a number of Shiite scholars urged the IEA to protect their rights – including political, social, cultural, and freedom of speech – within the framework of an inclusive government.

Hussain Jafari, Head of the Shiite Ulema Council of Afghanistan, called on the IEA to implement the Shia Personal Status Law, also known as the Shia Family Law, which was approved in 2009 by former Afghan president Hamid Karzai.

“Afghanistan is a country with ethnic and religious diversity, and the beliefs of all religions must be respected,” Jafari said.

He added: “All ethnic groups and followers of all religions must be present in the government and centers of power, and the government must represent the will of all people.”

The IEA, meanwhile, stated that talks about the Shiite community will be held once negotiations begin over the formation of the new governing rules of Afghanistan.

Bilal Karimi, IEA’s Deputy Spokesman, said: “Once laws are enacted, talks will begin in this regard [Shiite rights] and a decision will be made. It is too early to talk about these issues.”