Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, October 20th, 2017

Alienation in Multi-ethnic Communities

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Alienation in Multi-ethnic Communities

The public reacted negatively when a letter with ethnic tendency written by an official leaked to the media. Afghan Second Vice President Sarwar Danish said that ethnic approach and hatemonger should be treated seriously and radical elements are not to be taken under the wing. He added that the state should criminalize such issues and prosecute those who spread hatred.
In fact, alienation and segregation emerge in multi-ethnic communities and those who belong to another ethnic group will be deemed outsiders; that is, alienation and exploitation of ethnic issues will be capitalized on for certain objectives. If there is no appropriate strategy for running a multi-ethnic society, the ethnic issue is likely to go from bad to worse. It has been proved that silence regarding ethnic and factional movements led to horrible consequences. In Afghanistan, which has been a multi-ethnic country, the relations of ethnic groups have not been friendly and it is still a hot issue. People reveal their ethnic and factional dilemma rather than national one. The graph of ethnic dissatisfaction with the current administration seems to be rooted in the same issue. Cherishing such mindsets will necessarily hamper the process of nation-building in the country. In the past, the mentality of alienation or segregation caused destructive war and conflicts in Afghanistan.
In spite of the recent changes occurred in people’s view about the rights and dignity of individuals, our society is still embroiled in anti-human mindsets and suffers from discrimination. Indeed, discriminatory attitudes prevail in different layers of the society, including cultural, political, and social layers. This mentality will be reflected by the people who seek their ethnic or personal interests in reinforcing the culture of alienation.
Alienating individuals, in the society, due to their racial or ethnic backgrounds will create a gap among ethnic groups and hamper them from gaining equal access to opportunities. This cleavage affects all citizens and the continuation of this trend will spread social hatred and target national solidarity in a serious way. It is crystal clear that ethnic anti-human view is one of the reasons behind the current mistrust among Afghan ethnic groups. The former administrations also played their destructive role in fueling ethnic tension. For example, Afghan kings sparked off ethnic tension to strengthen the foundation of their powers. The policy of “divide and rule” was practiced in a way that one ethnic group was suppressed by another. The past regimes eliminated their political opponents via this policy. Therefore, Afghan people who lived with the spirit of brotherhood for years and defended territorial integrity were pushed to the quagmire of mistrust. In brief, Afghans, who had a common destiny, once treated one another with great hostility that resulted in social and political upheaval and bloody conflicts. The power of one ethnic group was considered a threat to another one. So, one will conclude that the true spirit of unity has not been formed and ethnic tension dismantled national unity in Afghanistan and slowed down the process of nation-building.
To get out of this abyss and reduce ethnic inclination, the principle of participation in nation’s destiny will play a key role in coexistence and peaceful life. According to Afghan Constitution, all those who reside the geographical land of Afghanistan bear equal rights and should be treated equally regardless of their race, religion, sect, and ethnicity. Providing equal opportunities for all citizens irrespective of their ethnic inclination will be crucial in reducing this tension. If citizens are entitled equally, they will be able to hold their destiny in their own hands and free themselves from ethnic tendencies.
The critical role of states in preventing factional and ethnic movements is undeniable. Regarding the letter leaked to the media, Afghan government also ordered the investigation of the issue, which is a really significant step in combating such movements. If the society’s intellectual and cultural powers fulfill their responsibilities dutifully, it will create hope for the public for a bright future. Moreover, this will free the nation from ethnic tendencies and revive the national trust. It goes without saying that Afghanistan will be called a democratic society if there is no sign of ethnic discrimination. It was alienation that resulted in poverty, war, violence, and hatred. Worst of all, those who fueled this tension have been treated with respect.
In brief, we have to practice upon our Constitution which states in article 22, “Any kind of discrimination and distinction between citizens of Afghanistan shall be forbidden. The citizens of Afghanistan, man and woman, have equal rights and duties before the law.” So, all groups have to prioritize national tendencies and distance themselves from ethnocentrism and narrow-mindedness. We have to heal our problems through burying the differences and uphold our common interests. We need, more than ever before, to hold the rights and dignity of one another in respect and shun any kinds of discrimination.

Qurban Ali Ansari is the newly emerging writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. She can be reached at the outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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