MUSLIM CLERGY IN THE SOCIAL AND POLITICAL LIFE OF AFGHANISTAN
Ruslan Sikoev, Ph.D. (Philol.), leading research associate, Near and Middle East Department, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow, Russia)
Afghanistan’s past greatly affects its present. This is especially true of the two state coups: the anti-monarchy coup of 1973, which brought Mohammad Daud to power, and the events of 1978, which brought the Marxist People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) to power. They were followed by a protracted civil war and foreign military interference which consecutively created the regimes of the Islamic fundamentalist-mojahedin in 1992, which declared Afghanistan an Islamic state, and of the radical Taliban movement, which established a military theocratic regime in the form of the Islamic Emirate throughout most of the country. Late in 2001, it fell under blows delivered by the international U.S.-led counterterrorist coalition and the Northern Alliance.
The nation paid dearly for the years of devastating internecine war with loss of life, destroyed political, economic, and cultural infrastructure, an altered demographic situation, and millions of émigrés. (According to the U.N., there are about three million Afghan refugees in Pakistan alone.) The wars and the kaleidoscopic regimes delivered a crushing blow to………….