19 are dead in the July,1 2018 suicide bombing in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
WSO is calling upon the community to contact their local representatives. Devastation and sadness cannot be our only response; it must be followed by action.
Once a thriving population of well over 200,000, Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan now number less than 2,000. Daily persecution and discrimination have forced many of them to flee the country, while others face a reality that for some like those lost on July 1, 2018, ends only in death. In 2015, the late Manmeet Singh Bhullar began what he called ‘his life’s work’ to help Afghan Sikh and Hindu minorities flee the country.
Today, because of Manmeet's work, over 200 Afghan Sikh refugees in India are awaiting approval of their private sponsorship applications to Canada, and will hopefully soon have the honour of calling this great country their home. We must protect his legacy.
Contact your local MP and relevant Ministries (contact information can be found below) and let them know that the Government of Canada must recognize Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan as vulnerable minority groups that require immediate Canadian assistance.
Prime Minister of Canada
Ottawa Office Telephone: 613-992-4211
Constituency Office Telephone: 514-277-6020
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ottawa Office Telephone: 613-992-5234
Constituency Office Telephone: 416-928-1451
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Ottawa Office Telephone: 613-995-0777
Constituency Office Telephone: 416-656-2526
Your Local Member of Parliament
Find your local MP here: https://www.ourcommons.ca/parliamentarians/en/constituencies/FindMP
Subject: Attack on Afghan Minorities - Request for Intervention
Dear ( name of Minister or MP)
I am writing to you today to bring a growing humanitarian crisis affecting approximately 2,000 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus to your attention. As you may know, on July 1, 2018 a suicide bomb attack on a Sikh and Hindu delegation in Jalalabad, Afghanistan killed 19 people. The delegation of Sikhs and Hindus was going to meet President Ashraf Ghani.Those killed were the prominent leaders of the Afghan Sikh and Hindu community and this attack has left the community in a state of panic and terror.
Sikh and Hindu Afghans currently an unliveable situation in many parts of Afghanistan. The Sikh and Hindu communities that have lived in Afghanistan for hundreds of years now number approximately 1,000-2,000. Prior to 1992, their population numbered over 200,000, however due to persecution and discrimination, most have been forced to flee to other countries.
Religious persecution in the form of the jizya (religious tax on non-Muslims), harassment and even the ongoing threat of abduction have made living conditions in Afghanistan unbearable for many in the Sikh and Hindu communities. Those remaining are often unable to move due to lack of financial resources and as conditions worsen, travel for Afghan Sikhs, who are very visible due to their articles of faith, has become increasingly difficult. The government has been ineffective in protecting minorities from harassment. Sikh and Hindu Afghans, particularly women, are afraid to leave their homes alone due to the threat of verbal and physical abuse in public places.
The Government of Afghanistan has also been ineffectual in protecting these minority communities. Because of the decreasing number of the Sikh and Hindu Afghans, they cannot demand the same protections that others enjoy and they are too few to matter politically.
I am writing to ask that the Government of Canada intervene to save the lives Afghanistan’s Sikhs and Hindus. Afghan Sikhs and Hindus are a vulnerable minority under siege that is unable to exercise basic human rights and faces overwhelming persecution and threat. Canada has a humanitarian obligation to come to their assistance and as necessary to aid in their evacuation and resettlement. We request that Canada move quickly to help save these vulnerable minority communities.