Life is going to be very difficult for LGBTQ+ in Afghanistan as Taliban to implement strict sharia laws
On 15th August, the US withdrew their forces from Afghanistan, the Afghan President fled away and the Taliban ended up taking over the land of Afghanistan. Since then, the news from Afghanistan, and the capital city Kabul is haunting the world. People are dying, searching for refugees, and fearing how their survival will be in their life under the Taliban Rule. While life is going to be hard for all, especially women and children, the LGBTQ+ will be on the radar of life and death.
As Taliban Takes Over, LGBTQ+ in Afghanistan will be on Radar
As the Taliban have announced that they will be following the Muslim Shariya Laws, under the Taliban’s interpreted Sharia Laws, homosexuality is strictly prohibited and those who practise are punished with the death penalty.
And with this, the lives of LGBTQ in Afghanistan have a sword hanging on their neck. BCC reports the story of Abdul who tells the Radio 1 Newsbeat about his sexuality and how the revelation of his sexuality will lead up to his death on the spot.
“I was never present when those murders took place. However, I read accounts and overheard others discussing them. I haven’t informed a single Afghan that I’m homosexual yet. I’m sure they’ll inform the Taliban, which will be the end of me.” tells Sulaiman to The Vice. Sulaiman is from Kunduz. He ran away from the country a month ago because as he is well aware of the punishment queer members received when Kunduz was briefly occupied by the Taliban in 2015 and 2016.
During my research with sexually diverse refugees in the UK, I spoke to some queer people of Afghan origin. This was 2 years ago, and fear/memory of the Taliban was at the forefront of their minds. What we are seeing is not just an immediate crisis. We need a long-term strategy.
— Dr. Alex Powell (@APowellLaw) August 18, 2021
Well, Homosexuality has been a Taboo in Afghanistan for ages. Because homosexuality is considered sinful and un-Islamic in Afghanistan, LGBTQ+ individuals have long lived in secrecy. Queer identities are seldom mentioned among young Afghans who are already dealing with a violent conflict. “Pederasty” – a sexual act between two males – was punished by long imprisonment under the Afghan criminal code.
While life will be difficult for women in Afghanistan, gay and lesbian women or any LGBTQ+ member will face the worst, Death.
It is good that Afghans and the world are concerned about Afghanistan and are talking about it. Being optimistic (yet critical) about the recent changes in Afghanistan does not mean supporting a Taliban takeover. The least to be happy for is that there is no fight going on. 1/3
— Modaser Islami (@mmodaser) August 18, 2021
How are LGBTQ people being helped by the Taliban?
Rainbow Railroad, a global charity dedicated to assisting LGBTQ individuals who are persecuted, is prepared to assist LGBTQ Afghans who are seeking to flee the country as stated in the Times report. The group, which was founded in 2006 in Canada, helps LGBTQ persons escape countries where they are in danger due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. “We need key relationships to identify people who are in danger, and finding Afghans who are ready to go online and reveal themselves as members of the LGBTQ community is really difficult. “I can’t disclose it to you kind of the human rights defenders and the loose collectives of people we work with within the country because their lives will be at risk, especially within this context.” a professional from Rainbow Railroad told Times.
Well, while there’s been no official statement by Taliban on the LGBTQ+ rights, the past evidence only reflects danger to the lives of sexual minorities.