Leave, convert or perish: The fate of Afghanistan’s minorities

President Biden’s decision to ‘end the war in Afghanistan’ means the complete withdrawal of 3,500 US troops by the 20th anniversary of 9/11. However, what may be domestically popular — particularly among Trump voters — will soon have consequences for the Afghans left unguarded by foreign troops. The Taleban and other jihadist militias are already making significant territorial gains while nuclear Pakistan will be strengthened by the vacuum left by the US military. But it is Afghanistan’s non-Muslims who will really suffer. Extinction is a word normally associated with dinosaurs — but it’s no exaggeration to say some minority religions (including my own) will now face that fate at the

Renaming streets isn’t necessarily a bad idea

A few days ago, Ealing Council put out a statement saying that ‘following consultation’ the local authority had decided to rename a street in Southall. Part of Havelock Road, the Labour-led council explained, would be renamed ‘Guru Nanak Road’. It appears the local authority wanted the renaming to coincide with the 551st anniversary of the birth of Sikhism’s founder Guru Nanak and that the London council was planning to ‘celebrate and honour’ this religious figure. According to the pressure group Save Our Statues (SOS), just 16 households of the 345 contacted for their views on the proposed renaming had actually engaged with the process. Of those 16 who replied, just