Of course it does.
If there was an Oscar awarded for ‘chutzpah’ (cheek), Nushin Arbabzadah’s article
yesterday on the Guardian ‘s website Comment is Free would probably win it hands-down. The ‘story of the Afghan Jews is one of remarkable tolerance' belongs in the realm of fiction, rather than on a newspaper of record. You might as well say water is not wet. Hitler was not evil. There was no historic antisemitism in Afghanistan.
The author builds a fantasy that Jews were pretty much like other Afghans - conservative, patriarchal. Because of their cosy isolation, Afghan Jews were shielded from antisemitism. Antisemitism was something, Nushin implies, that came from the outside.
The piece begins with the author’s own personal experience of Jews during the era of the Soviet occupation, a time when only a few hundred Jews still lived in Afghanistan. Nushin had a clever, blond Jewish classmate whose household was accused of immorality for letting a man into the home (presumably a Shabbat goy) on Shabbat. The inference is that such religious bigotry had suddenly sprung out of nowhere to prepare the ground for the fundamentalist era of the Taliban.
Then Nushin drops the bombshell: the Afghan antisemitism she witnessed was not representative.