Hazara’s Rally in the Aftermath of Horrific School Bombing


On Oct. 8, members of the Hazara and Afghan communities in Washington, DC held a rally in McPherson Square to protest the killing of 35 schoolgirls inside the Kaaj Educational Center in the Dasht-e-Barchi district of West Kabul, Afghanistan on Sept 30. Rallies were also held around the world in 64 countries and 92 cities as Hazara calling attention to the ongoing genocide of the ethnic and religious minority.

The suicide attack killed 35 schoolgirls and injured over 82, all members of the Shi’a Hazara minority community, which is about 15 percent of the population of Afghanistan whose majority practice Sunni Islam. No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing although the Islamic State Korasan (IsisK), Islamic State of Iraq, the Levan ISIL and the ruling Taliban have a history of attacks against the minority Hazaras.

In a report earlier this year, the House of Lords Select Committee on International Relations stated: “The Hazaras have a long history of suffering state persecution on both ethnic and sectarian grounds.”

After the rally at McPherson Square, the crowd of several hundred marched and chanted as they headed to the White House where a second rally was held. Dr. Gregory Stanton, a world renown genocide expert, opened his comments by reassuring the crowd, “This is the sort of activism that will change governments.” In illustrating the horrific and inhumane treatment the Hazara face in Afghanistan he went on to relate a story about an Hazara mother who had just given birth and shortly afterward the Taliban invaded the hospital killing most of the women in the maternity ward along with their newborn infants.

The Hazar people have been discriminated against in education, access to public services and economic opportunities enduring one crisis after another since the late 19th century. Until the Taliban takeover last year, the Hazar were finally just beginning to become better assimilated into Afghan society.

Report and photos by Phil Pasquini

© 2022 nuzeink all rights reserved worldwide

(This article has previously appeared in Nuzeink.)

Phil Pasquini is a freelance journalist and photographer. His reports and photographs appear in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Pakistan Link and Nuze.ink. He is the author of Domes, Arches and Minarets: A History of Islamic-Inspired Buildings in America.

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