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Afghanistan's IslamFrom Conversion to the Taliban$
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Nile Green

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520294134

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520294134.001.0001

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Competing Views of Pashtun Tribalism, Islam, and Society in the Indo-Afghan Borderlands

Competing Views of Pashtun Tribalism, Islam, and Society in the Indo-Afghan Borderlands

(p.145) 7 Competing Views of Pashtun Tribalism, Islam, and Society in the Indo-Afghan Borderlands
Afghanistan's Islam

Sana Haroon

University of California Press

This chapter explores descriptions of Pashtun tribes and their religious predisposition in 20th century Urdu literature associated with strategic mobilization of the Pashtun regions, and highlights the inconsistency of this discourse with other twentieth-century nationalist projects in colonial India and Afghanistan. In the first instance, the 1914-36 writings of a group called the Jama‘at-i Mujahidin were at variance with the Pashtun and Muslim nationalist positions of the Khuda’i Khidmatgars and the Jamʻiyyat al-‘Ulama-yi Hind, and with the officially sanctioned geographies of the Afghan state. In the second instance, writings published in Pakistan during the period of the anti-Soviet Afghan jihad contradicted USAID- and Kabul-funded demographic and cartographic studies of the 1970s. Such descriptions of Pashtun religious predisposition, tribal valor, resistance and autonomy must be understood as intentional and disruptive interventions in knowledge production about, and political organization in, the Pashtun regions.

Keywords:   Afghanistan, Islam, Frontier, Borderlands, Tribe, Colonialism, Pashtuns, Geographies, Urdu, Jihad

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