This book was and still is considered one of the most important pieces of work in the study of Islam in Afghanistan. It explores the relationship between religion, tribe and state, as well as the connections with the ulama, and the roles of Jihad and Barakat. This interplay between ideology, power and legitimacy is then reflected in the chronological drift which forms most of the book. This is useful, as the formative reigns of Abdur Rahman Khan, Habibullah and Amaah are explored demonstrating how with the formation of the state the relationship with Islam developed and changed. The role of Islam in Afghanistan is also covered up to the Civil War as is the use of Islam to inform resistance by the Mujahideen. Importantly, Islam in the legitimisation of power is also a core theme of the book. Due to the timing of publication, the Taliban is not covered here but the antecedents of the movement are, making this an important work in the field.
Islam and Politics in Afghanistan
2 December 2010
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