Activists gather on the steps of St. Louis City Hall on Aug. 22, 2021 to pray for peace in Afghanistan and reject the rule of the Taliban. Rachel Rice for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
ST. LOUIS — Abdul Saboor Amin lives in St. Louis, but his parents and siblings are still back in Afghanistan. He is afraid for them, he said, now that the Taliban have wrested control from the elected government.
“They call me crying, saying ‘Please do something,'” Amin said. “Everybody is crying. You can’t control it … when your country is in trouble.”
Roughly 300 people, many of them Afghani immigrants, gathered on the steps of City Hall on a sweltering Sunday afternoon to pray for their country and reject the rule of the Taliban, which claimed power in the country earlier this month.
The Taliban’s return to power has sent scores of Afghans on a desparate bid to flee the country, fearing violence. Amin said that “nobody but the Taliban” believes the claims that things will be different this time.
Moji Sidiqi, one of the organizers of the event, left Afghanistan 27 years ago. For 20 years after the fall of the Taliban, she said, Afghanistan made progress. Women were learning and working again.
“The Taliban invading Afghanistan is a disaster for us,” she said. “The women are terrified. They are like candy on a shelf right now. Anything could be a reality — rape, torture, public humiliation, death. Especially those who have advocated for women’s empowerment — they will be targeted. I pray for them.”
Originally Appeared Here