Hindus May Be Labeled in Afghanistan

For many Westerners, images of a minority population wearing identification badges on their clothing called to mind the start of the Nazi pogrom against Jews.

"Oh my God, we have learned nothing from history," said Abraham H. Foxman National Director of the Anti-Defamation League and a Holocaust survivor himself. "This is going back to the Holocaust when Jews were separated with yellow stars [of David]. … That led to 6 million dead. One would hope that we had learned from history."

Mody called for international condemnation of the new policy. "The world was slow to respond to Nazism then, it's even slower to respond to this now because these unfortunate people are from a different hemisphere. It's difficult to get the West to respond until the fire reaches their corridor."

The practice of forcing minorities to wear distinctive clothing goes back to the Middle Ages, when Jews in several European countries were forced to wear mandated headgear and clothing to separate them from other residents.

But it reached a crescendo in Nazi Germany, when policies such as identification badges gradually led to the Holocaust.

For Foxman, the resonances were especially disturbing. "Back then, it was a marking for death," he said. "I hope the world will wake up. It starts with monuments, now it's marking people, what could be next?"

Foxman was referring to Taliban's destruction of two giant Buddha statues in the Bamiyan province in March.

The Taliban's demolition of the statues, one of which was once the world's tallest standing Buddha statue, drew harsh criticism from the international community. The statues were considered both religious symbols and archaeological treasures.

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