Gunmen and suicide bombers killed worshippers, including women and children, and injured many others at Gurdwara Har Rai Sahib, in the heart of Kabul.
Guru Nanak Dev on his way back from Mecca traveled through Afghanistan. At Kabul, the capital city, he held discourse with several Muslim holy men. They cautioned him to be careful because he was traveling in a predominantly Muslim land. The Guru told them that God’s light shines alike in all; even their bodies He made alike. Some undergo circumcision and call themselves Muslims, others make a vermilion mark on their forehead and wear a sacred thread on their body and become Hindus. Later, a Gurdwara dedicated to Guru Nanak Dev was established in Kabul but it was demolished during the reconstruction of the city because it stood in the way of a new road.
Afghanistan’s tiny Sikh community is one of few religious minorities in the country, protected by law but frequently targeted by extremists and subject to discrimination.
Thirty years ago it was 500,000 strong, but after decades of conflict and the rise of the Taliban – who ordered Sikhs to wear yellow armbands – many have sought asylum in India and the community is thought to have been reduced to about 300 families.