June 17, 2024


Imagination at work

Afghanistan’s Shiite Minority Cautiously Embraces Taliban Rule, Seeking Protection

YAKAWLANG, Afghanistan—Going dwelling to dwelling in January 2001, Taliban fighters rounded up hundreds of adult males in this Shiite city and close by villages. Then they executed their captives, leaving piles of bodies in the snow-covered fields.

These times, a Shiite flag lauding Imam Hussain, Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, flies following to the Taliban’s white banner atop Yakawlang’s district authorities compound. Most of the Taliban fighters and officers in this article are local Shiites who joined the Sunni Islamist insurgency a long time in the past, as the downfall of the American-backed Afghan republic grew to become more and more very likely. Bitter recollections of the 2001 killings, they say, influenced this change.