Speaking to SIR, the news outlet of the Italian bishops, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, archbishop of Luxemburg and president of the Commission of Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), said the images coming out of Afghanistan over the past week “hurt my heart. It hurts my heart to see how people are treated.”
“We had given hope to this people and now we have left them in Dante’s hell,” he said, adding, “I feel ashamed. Shame on Europe and the West. We talk a lot about values, but where are our values in Afghanistan now?”
Under the control of the Taliban until the United States’ invasion in 2001, after nearly 3,000 people died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on U.S. soil – coordinated by al-Qaida’s Osama bin Laden, who received protection from the Taliban – Afghanistan is back in the hands of the militant Islamist group after its takeover of the capital city of Kabul just over a week ago.
The country is in chaos, with thousands camped at the Kabul airport in the hopes of being evacuated while the Taliban consolidates control of the country.
U.S. President Joe Biden has announced a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan by Aug. 31, just before the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, ending a decades-long presence of American military in the country.