The Biden administration is alarmed at the stunning lack of gender diversity among the terrorists tapped to serve in the Taliban's interim government in Afghanistan, according to a statement provided to The Hill this week.
"We have made clear our expectation that the Afghan people deserve an inclusive government," said a State Department spokesperson, who went on to express concern that the country's interim cabinet "consists exclusively of individuals who are members of the Taliban or their close associates and no women."
The spokesperson did not elaborate on how the Biden administration was able to conclude that every member of the interim Afghan government identified as male. To simply assume that to be the case would be an unfortunate and rather blatant example of Islamophobic bigotry.
The State Department's expression of disappointment comes several weeks after Taliban leaders promised to form an "inclusive" government and declared that women "should be in government structure according to Shariah law." They also urged female-identifying Afghans to stay in their homes, however, to avoid being "treated in a disrespectful way" by soldiers who "are not trained."
The State Department spokesperson reiterated the administration's commitment to judging the Taliban "by its actions, not words." Last month, U.S. diplomat Ross Wilson warned that the Taliban could face "international isolation" if its leaders failed to followed through on their expressed commitment to diversity and inclusion.
In addition to concerns about the alleged lack of female-identifying government officials in Afghanistan, the Biden administration also expressed its disapproval of the "affiliations and track records of some of the individuals" selected. That's a polite way of saying that some of the Afghan cabinet leaders are known terrorists with American blood on their hands.
The Taliban announced on Tuesday, for example, that wanted terrorist Sirajuddin Haqqani will serve as the country's minister of the interior. Haqqani is a senior leader in the al Qaeda-aligned Haqqani network of terror groups and is on the FBI's most-wanted list for his role in a 2008 bombing that killed an American citizen in Kabul. The U.S. government is offering up to $10 million for information leading to Haqqani's arrest.
Much like U.S. corporations, Islamic terrorist organizations have struggled to promote a culture that values diversity and inclusion in which female-identifying or other non-binary individuals are adequately represented in leadership roles.