Emergence of ulama as political leaders in the Waigal Valley: The intensification of Islamic identity.
AuthorNuristani, Ahmad Yusuf.
Committee ChairAdamec, Ludwig W.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study is the outcome of research carried out during my involvement with the Afghan resistance movement within Afghanistan and in Pakistan from 1983 to 1990. During this period I was associated with resistance groups in various parts of Afghanistan, particularly Kunar province. The enormous human sacrifice among the Afghan people finally forced the Soviets to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan. The anti-Communist resistance operated largely under the leadership of the ulama as well as the members of the intelligentsia. The decade-long struggle against the regime in Kabul and against the Soviets, has resulted in a tremendous socio-economic and political transformation in addition to the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives and the dislocation of millions of Afghans. Most of the former traditional leaders have lost or are losing power. They have been replaced by the ulama or young field commanders from relatively modest backgrounds. This study examines the emergence of the ulama as the new leaders in Nuristani society. Traditionally the ulama have played a very active role in national politics and have mobilized the masses in the name of Islam against the invaders. However, in the present crisis the ulama have been even more prominent than usual in the forefront of national and international politics. This study attempts to identify the socio-economic and political factors that were instrumental for the shift of the leadership pattern from the traditional elite to the ulama and commanders. Will the ulama be able to provide a viable socio-economic and political agenda? Will they be capable of sustaining ideological and financial support from other Islamic countries? These are the main questions found by the ulama and the commanders. The answers are not likely to emerge in the immediate future. Whatever happens the ulama and commanders will continue to remain a socio-political force in the future.
Degree ProgramNear Eastern Studies