Anti-Afghan sentiment is the dislike, hatred, fear, prejudice or any other form of negative sentiment towards Afghan people and/or negative sentiments towards the country of Afghanistan or anything associated with it.

The sentiment dates back at least two centuries and has seen a rise in the past few generations across the world with the increase of Afghan migrants and issues relating to unlawful acts, such as terrorism and other forms of international crime that have connections to Afghanistan or Afghan people.


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By region


See also: Racism in Australia

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Prejudice towards Afghan people in Australia was first known to be recorded in the 1800s when Afghan migrants first arrived as camel riders in Australia.[1][2][3][4] An anti-Afghan league was even formed in 1886.[5][6]

Asia and Middle East


Afghan refugees and migrants have lived for decades in Iran. However, the crimes associated with Afghans have led to an increase in anti-Afghan sentiment amongst local Iranian citizens and authorities alike.[7][8]


Further information: Afghanistan-Pakistan relations, Durand Line, Afghanistan-Pakistan border skirmishes, and Afghans in Pakistan

Anti-Afghan sentiment has been reported amongst locals in Pakistan, including public demonstrations with anti-Afghan slogans, resulting from the crime associated with Afghan residents in Pakistan.[9] The past few decades has seen a rise in anti-Afghan sentiment amongst locals.[10][11]

South Korea

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The presence of Afghan refugees in Tajikistan arose prejudice amongst local Tajiks, also making it hard for Afghan traders to do business there.[12]


Turkey is currently claimed to be hosting the largest refugee population in the world. With the increase of Afghan refugees and crimes associated with them, public sentiment in Turkey began to turn on against Afghans.[13] The result was a further stepping effort by Turkey's government to further secure its border with Iran to stop a further influx of Afghans.[13]

However, with the increase of crime and social disruption, anti-Afghan sentiment continued to rise in Turkey.[14] Social media in Turkey has seen an increase in hate speech against Afghans, even before more refugees arrived.[15]

European countries

See also: European refugee crisis

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The rise of crime involving Afghan refugees and immigrants has stocked anti-Afghan public sentiment amongst locals across Europe. The worsening situation involving Afghan migrants and refugees in Europe resulted in politicians openly stating that Afghans will no longer be welcomed in their individual countries.[16] Another Afghan refugee was quoted stating the sentiment against Afghans was so bad that they were better off going back to Afghanistan rather than "facing humiliation" in Europe.[17]


See also: Crime in Austria

The Austrian press reported the influx of Afghan refugees. At the time of arrival amongst Afghan refugees and migrants, the local authorities and citizens welcomed them. But soon after overstaying their welcome by increasing the crime problems in the country, public sentiment towards Afghans began to deteriorate badly and stir up anti-Afghan sentiment.[18] Some Afghan refugees accused of sex crimes against minors had previous deportation orders issued against them from previous unlawful acts.[19]


The rise of crime affiliated with Afghan refugees in Greece has amplified anti-Afghan sentiments in the country. Several incidents involving hate attacks on Afghan residents in Greece have been reported.[20] In one example an Afghan refugee family were beaten in Greece and set adrift into the sea.[21]


Italy has grown more and more resistant towards Afghan refugees; especially following public sentiment against the Roma people which was amplified by the European refugee crisis. The recent increase of Afghan refugees has strengthened right-wing sentiments in the country against accepting them. There is been a common sentiment in the country against affiliating refuges with crime.[22]

United Kingdom

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The United Kingdom (UK) has witnessed increasing incidents relating to Afghan migrants causing backlash from locals. In one of these incidents a local teenage girl was forcefully held and raped by Afghan nationals. The incident went viral amongst local British residents on social media and resulted in violent public protests which resulted in a police vehicle being damaged.[23]

North America

United States of America

Following the 911 incidents in 2001, a wave of violent anti-Muslim attacks and other sentiment were directed at Muslim residents. Amongst the slogans were hate speech directed towards Afghans.[24][25]

Separately, anti-Afghan opinions also arose in the US for the country's involvement in the global drug trade.[26]

See also


  1. ^ Kabir, Nahid Afrose. "The culture of mobile lifestyle: Reflection on the past–the Afghan camel drivers, 1860–1930." Continuum 23.6 (2009): 791-802.
  2. ^ Stubbs, Ben. "Islam in the outback: The legacy of the Afghan cameleers." Griffith REVIEW 61 (2018): 257-265.
  3. ^ Kabir, Nahid. "Muslims in Western Australia 1870-1970." Early Days: Journal of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society 12.5 (2005): 550-565.
  4. ^ Kabir, Nahid A. "The Economic Plight of the Afghans in Australia, 1860—2000." Islamic studies 44.2 (2005): 229-250.
  5. ^ Ganter, Regina. "Muslim Australians: The deep histories of contact." Journal of Australian Studies 32.4 (2008): 481-492.
  6. ^ Molloy, Jan. "Teaching and learning history in the twenty-first century: Museums and the national curriculum." Agora 45.2 (2010): 62-67.
  7. ^ Yarbakhsh, Elisabeth. "Iranian hospitality and Afghan refugees in the city of Shiraz." Anthropology of the Middle East 10.2 (2015): 101-118.
  8. ^ Naqvi, Syed Fraz Hussain, and Ammara Zaheer. "Iran’s Policy towards Taliban 2.0: A Circumspect Approach for Maximum Gain." Focus (2023).
  9. ^ Rogers, Tom. "Afghan refugees and the stability of Pakistan." Survival 29.5 (1987): 416-429.
  10. ^ Downman, Scott, et al. "Human Rights Reporting, War Crimes and Refugee Migration." Journalism for Social Change in Asia: Reporting Human Rights (2017): 119-141.
  11. ^ Jehangir, Ayesha. "Finding Peace Journalism: An analysis of media discourse on Afghan refugees and their forced repatriation from Pakistan." (2021).
  12. ^ Werbner, Pnina. "Trading Worlds: Afghan Merchants Across Modern Frontiers By Magnus Marsden." (2018): 123-124.
  13. ^ a b Wilks, Andrew (July 29, 2021). "Afghans fleeing the Taliban face renewed anti-migrant sentiment in Turkey". The National.
  14. ^ Cookman, Liz (August 5, 2021). "Fleeing the Taliban: Afghans met with rising anti-refugee hostility in Turkey" – via The Guardian.
  15. ^ Minute, Turkish (July 23, 2021). "Hate speech against refugees increases on Turkish social media as a new wave of Afghan migrants arrive".
  16. ^ Bennhold, Katrin; Erlanger, Steven (August 18, 2021). "Why Europe's Leaders Say They Won't Welcome More Afghan Refugees" – via
  17. ^ "'The greener side of the same hell': Afghans on a year in EU". openDemocracy.
  18. ^ Benard, Cheryl (July 11, 2017). "I've Worked with Refugees for Decades. Europe's Afghan Crime Wave Is Mind-Boggling". The National Interest.
  19. ^ "Rape, killing of 13-year-old shocks Austria, 3 Afghans held". AP NEWS. 2021-07-01. Retrieved 2023-06-21.
  20. ^ Sunderland, Judith (July 10, 2012). "Hate on the Streets". Human Rights Watch – via Human Rights Watch.
  21. ^ "Afghan asylum family beaten in Greece, set adrift at sea". EUobserver. February 25, 2021.
  22. ^ Fernández, Belén. "Afghans are the next victims of Italy's war on refugees". Retrieved 2023-06-21.
  23. ^ "Four teenage asylum seekers arrested in connection with alleged rape of schoolgirl in Kent". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2023-05-17.
  24. ^ Perry, Barbara. "Anti-Muslim retaliatory violence following the 9/11 terrorist attacks." Hate and Bias Crime. Routledge, 2012. 201-220.
  25. ^ Muñoz, Arturo G. "Bent by history in Afghanistan." The Global Obama. Routledge, 2013. 235-252.
  26. ^ Collins, John, and Ian Tennant. "Evaluating Afghanistan’s Past, Present and Future Engagement with Multilateral Drug Control." (2022).