He Battled the Communists and Was Tortured By the Taliban. Will Europe Take Him In?
A militant rebel leader left everything behind to flee Afghanistan for Greece. Now he and his family live in limbo while his violent past continues to haunt him.
Photos by Marilena Stavrakidis
A portly, bespectacled man dressed in a casual tricolored jacket, a woolen sweater and gray jeans is busy blowing his kid’s nose with a handkerchief. On this beautiful January day, they’re at a crowded cafe in Victoria Square, a plaza in the heart of Athens, Greece. There’s a mug of coffee for the adult, fresh orange juice in a stemmed glass for the youngster. The dad is stern and stolid, his movements around his son, who has a chunk of gelled hair sticking straight up, tender all the same. It’s not the picture one might expect of a former Jihadist commander who says he has taken part in an assortment of violent transgressions, like killing a healthy number of “atheist communists,” and burying forty of his own dead soldiers’ bodies on orders from the Taliban, at gunpoint.
Mir Abdul Rahim Mohammadi, 44, was a leader of the Jamiat-e-Islami military faction in his native Afghanistan. The group was originally founded as a Muslim political party with a communit…
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