Speaking to Israel’s Kan News on Tuesday, a Taliban spokesperson said that the militia group will not discriminate against minorities in Afghanistan, including the last of Jews.
Not knowing which country the Kan news reporter was from, Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen, who is currently in Qatar, and has been all over the media giving English-language interviews to international media, spoke about how the return of Taliban rule to Afghanistan will not be the nightmare scenario that many in the West expect.
When the Kan news reporter asked Shaheen about the future for minorities under the Taliban, among them Zebulon Simantov, believed to be the last Jew left in the country, Shaheen replied, “I don’t know the last Jew. We don’t harm minorities. There are Sikhs and Hindus in the country, and they have their religious freedom. People don’t need to fear and run away. I don’t understand why people are running away, nothing will happen here. We want to make sure there will be peace, not like in the past.”
Initially, Roi Kais, the reporter from Kan state TV who spoke by phone with Shaheen, identified the name of the station but did not specify that it was an Israeli broadcaster.
“We identified ourselves as the Kan news channel, but we didn’t stress that we are an Israeli media outlet,” the reporter acknowledged in the report.
Shaheen also added that the past two decades of US presence in the country, during which Washington tried to establish a democratic political system, was an “occupation that the Afghan people didn’t want.”But he said the country’s new rulers are keen to cooperate with the international community to rebuild the country, including with the US. “We want to help with building anew the country and want there to be freedom,” Shaheen said. “We hope the Americans will come here and have good relations with us.”