Hazara Genocide Memorial

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 #HazaraBlackDay 24 – 25 September

Light a candle to remember the anniversary of the Hazara genocide by Abdur Rahman Khan in the 1890s.

Join our online campaign with the hashtag #HazaraBlackDay from Friday 24th to Saturday 25 September 2021.

Background

On 25 September 1893, 128 years ago, the independent Hazara country, Hazaristan, collapsed after a three-year-long religious war by Abdur Rahman, a brutal Pashtun ruler of Afghanistan.

The Abdul Rahman religious campaign against the Hazaras involved mobilization and deployment of an estimated 100,000 formal troops, tribal and religious forces from across Afghanistan and parts of the former sub-continent, current Pakistan. The campaign led to the massacre of about 62% of the Hazara population and forcible removal of Hazaras into then sub-continent (current Pakistan), Iran, and Central Asia. In the aftermath of the campaign, thousands of Hazara men, women, and children were enslaved, Pashtun tribes and Kuchis were settled in Hazaristan, and Hazara religious, and political elites were systematically exterminated. To ensure permanent destruction of Hazara country and extermination of Hazara as a people, an internal colonial system of occupation and subjugation, which involved the deployment of Sunni mullahs for religious conversion of the Hazaras, the establishment of a repressive administration exclusively staffed by the Pashtuns, and establishment of exploitative barter commercial system dominated by the Kuchis, was enforced in the occupied Hazaristan.

To put the campaign into a historical context, Abdul Rahman rose to power in 1880. After years of planning and preparation, he launched his campaign against Hazaristan in 1890. His troops faced fierce resistance in the mountainous Hazara land in the early years of the campaign. Having suffered colossal military losses, Abdul Rahman adapted his military campaign methods.  He declared a religious war/Jihad against the Hazaras through issuing a formal fatwa, a religious verdict endorsed by Sunni religious leaders. The fatwa, calling on all ethnic groups, tribes, and forces to join a holy Jihad against the infidel/Kafir Hazara/Shias, was widely distributed across the country through mosques and religious leaders. This religious call for jihad led to the mobilization of about 100,000 troops, tribal forces, and religious warriors from Afghanistan and Pakistan.  These troops and tribal forces invaded Hazaristan again from all directions in 1892. The war carried on until late 1893 and came to a formal end in September 1893 when resistance ceased fully and Hazaristan fell as an autonomous Hazara country.

25 September or the Hazara Black day is a Memorial Day to remember the fall of Hazaristan, the massacre and ethnic cleansing of the Hazaras as an ethnic and religious nation, and the brutal slavery of thousands of Hazara men, women, and children and their inhumane sale in central Asian and India markets. To this day, the massacre and genocide of the Hazaras in the 1890s remain unrecognized. We call on human rights organizations, global civil society, and states to work towards the recognition of the Hazara genocide. It is a moral obligation for every one of us.

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