Sandra Dunham

The situation in Afghanistan has unrolled quickly. We thought you might like to know what CFIC has been doing and what the issues are as it pertains to our mandate. This piece has been drafted quickly to meet the deadline for publication.

CFIC has been receiving many requests from individuals in Afghanistan, individuals who have escaped Afghanistan, and members who have family in Afghanistan. Our volunteers have been working with volunteers from other humanist and secular organizations across Canada to determine what we can do to assist with the situation and with the requests we are receiving.

We are fortunate to have two committee members who have fled Afghanistan. They’re helping to mobilize resources within the county. They’re also helping us prioritize, based on our limited numbers, finances, and knowledge. CFIC will be working with one of these members to set up a website to consolidate this information. One of the members who fled Kabul still has family there.

In the past 20 years, while Afghanistan enjoyed the protection of the U.S. and other armies, Afghanis have spoken their truth. They have acknowledged their disbelief in God; they have acknowledged that they are gay; they have joined rallies for women’s rights. Members of the Taliban know who these people are. For simply stating their truth, they risk persecution — or worse. Something they likely never would have done under Taliban rule.

However, these CFIC members give us hope. They have escaped from the Taliban. They let us know that people get out. They continue to offer whatever they can to ensure that as many Afghanis as possible get the help that they need.

CFIC will support them and support the people of Afghanistan to the best of our abilities. If ever there was a time for people in the atheist/secular movement to stand together this is it.