Academic journal article Military Review

Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia

Academic journal article Military Review

Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia

Article excerpt

TALIBAN: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, Ahmed Rashid, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 2000, 274 pages, $27.50.

Ahmed Rashid spent over two decades as a journalist in Pakistan and Afghanistan for Britain's Daily Telegraph and Far Eastern Economic Review. The subjects of his reports include the Soviet's intervention in and withdrawal from Afghanistan and Pakistan and the clashes between ethnic groups that followed Russia's fight for control of strategic routes in Afghanistan.

Rashid shows how religious radicalism entered Afghanistan during the Soviet war in that nation (19791989). Along with providing arms during the war, Saudi Arabia began a deliberate policy of exporting its brand of Islam known as Wahabism.

Pakistan also played a pivotal role as millions of Afghan refugees streamed across the border. Unemployment, desperation and a lack of opportunity for education provided fertile fields for thousands of Madrassahs, who preached radicalism. Their doctrine attracted Afghans and poor Pakistanis and Arabs and contributed to the collapse of Pakistan's educational system. The students, or Talibs, from which the word Taliban originates, represent the 50,000 students who formed the bulk of the organization's leadership and fighting force.

After the Soviets left Afghanistan, ethnic clans continued fighting one another and the communist Afghans. In a United Nations-brokered plan that guaranteed security for President Najibullah, the Pashtun Gilbuddin Hikmetyar claimed victory. Even so, the Afghans continued to fight, and lawlessness prevailed. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.