Was the latest attack in Afghanistan on Shi’ite women an act of genocide?

The increasing attacks on Shi’ite minorities could be considered genocide. ISIS has done this before in their acts of genocide against Iraq's Yazidi minority in 2014.

People stand at the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 8, 2021. (photo credit: REUTERS/STRINGER)
People stand at the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 8, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/STRINGER)
A bomb exploded at a girl’s school in Afghanistan on Saturday, targeting women and a majority Shi’ite neighborhood in west Kabul, according to reports. It reportedly occurred as girls were leaving school. Some 30 people were killed, and 50 were wounded.
The Taliban has condemned the attack, which means that focus on the perpetrators will shift to ISIS in Afghanistan. The attack comes as the US is in the process of withdrawing from Afghanistan, and other foreign forces are likely to depart the region as well.
Many countries that generally support extremist groups, such as Iran, Turkey, Qatar and Pakistan, appear to want to benefit from the US withdrawal. The attack on the school could be a symbol of worse to come.
According to the Afghani Interior Ministry, the bombing targeted the Syed Al-Shahda School in the Dasht-e-Barchi settlement. The area has been a target of ISIS before, according to reports.
Photos show hospitalized young women and girls. In the past, ISIS targeted a maternity hospital, killing pregnant women and newborns, a media outlet reported.
People are outraged in Dasht-e-Barchi, as evidenced by angry crowds who reportedly attacked those coming to help, angered by the continued lack of government protection.
The increasing attacks on Shi’ite minorities could be considered acts of genocide. ISIS has done this before in their acts of genocide against the Yazidi minority in Iraq in 2014. It also targeted Shi’ites in Tal Afar and Camp Speicher.
If we look at the attacks in Afghanistan, and specifically attacks on Shi’ites in Pakistan, we see a similar pattern.
In August 2018, 50 students were murdered in Dasht-e-Barchi at a tuition center. Like most of the Shi’ites in the area, they were of the Hazara ethnic minority.
In March 2019, an attack on a Shi’ite gathering led to several deaths. A year later in March 2020, another attack on a Shi’ite gathering killed 32 people in Kabul at a memorial for a Shi’ite leader.
Afghan Shi’ites were quoted in 2018 as saying they see the genocidal intentions of ISIS behind the attacks and that the global jihadist organization wants to “wipe us out.”
In January, Afghan Shi’ite leader Karim Khalili visited Pakistan in the wake of the targeted murder of 11 Shi’ite Afghan miners who came from Afghanistan for work. They also were Hazara Shi’ites, who are often targeted in Afghanistan.
In almost no other place in the world are minorities so frequently targeted for mass murder as are Shi’ites in Pakistan.
While international media presented the attacks as “sectarian” or claimed that ISIS “hates” the Shi’ites, they did not use the same terms for this kind of hate when it manifested itself in the West.
Often, attacks targeting the minority community are not fully explained, and one has to read deep into an article to find out that the victims were targeted for being a religious minority. The attacks appear systematic, they often target children and women, and they take place at religious events and periods, such as Ramadan.
In August 2018, for instance, a Shi’ite mosque was targeted. The countries that often speak of Islamophobia, such as Turkey, or Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, never called the attacks on Shi’ites in Afghanistan out as a form of Islamophobia.
However, considering that more than any other group, Muslims are targeted for genocide in Afghanistan by groups like ISIS, it would appear that this term is entirely fitting.
The attacks on Shi’ite women in Afghanistan, designed purposely to eradicate minority women in education and to kill minorities, would appear to represent a genocidal attempt by groups such as ISIS to ethnically cleanse Shi’ites.
It is unclear why human-rights groups and countries that are supposed to speak up about genocide have remained quiet about these cases. They appear to treat them all as random “blasts” rather than seeing the direct and rising connection between them.