Glossy Global Leadership: Unpacking the Multilingual Religious Thought of the Jihad
in Green, Nile (ed.). Afghanistan’s Islam: From Conversion to the Taliban. (Oakland: University of California Press, 2017), pp. 189-206 and pp. 299-307
This chapter draws on periodicals in Dari, Urdu, Arabic, and English published by various Afghan parties involved in the Jihad period of the 1980s. I challenge prevailing views that dismiss Afghan Islamic debates in response to the Soviet invasion as lacking in seriousness, intellectual vitality, originality, or even any engagement with the local context. Instead, I suggest that Afghans actors emphasized the international calling and the global significance of their military and political efforts. These were steeped much more in Shi'i imaginary and profoundly influenced by the Iranian Revolution than has been acknowledged so far. I also show how the experience of the Jihad gave rise to new conceptions of the individual, the family, and finally the nation. The time of struggle sharpened discussions about both the structure of the current, camp-based polities and the future political setup of a liberated Afghanistan.
The chapter (and the entire book) is available for free and open access at www.luminosoa.org