Afghanistan__Mullah, Marx and Mujhid
Mullah, Marx and Mujahid.
Authors : Ralph H. Magnus and Eden Naby
First Published 1998 by Westview Press
A division of HarperCollins.
About the authors :
Ralph H. Magnus is the coordinator of Middle Eastern Studies at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey. He is a former cultural attaché of the US embassy Kabul.
Eden Naby has long been associated with the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at Haward University, where she has taught Central Asian cultural history. She also served as the facilitator for the first 60 Minutes program
on Afghanistan in 1980 .
The front flap of this volume says :
“ For over two centuries, Afghanistan has ricocheted between being either completely ignored in world affairs or lying at the centre of confrontation. First it was the focal point of colonial rivalry between Russia and Britain in the nineteenth century. More recently it became the last battlefield that pitted Soviet and Western influence in the Cold War. The ignominy of the Red Army’s Afghan
adventure ,ending in its withdrawal in 1989, hastened the failure of a century of Soviet political experiment ; it allowed the rise of a new Asia evolving towards a new configuration. Nevertheless Afghanistan still remains a region of seemingly insoluble turmoil and constant crisis.
Despite the --- disinterest by major world powers (after the mujahideen victory ) , Afghanistan’s impact on stability, progress and regional cooperation remains crucial to the wellbeing of Central Asia, the Middle East and South Asia. Not only does the geographic position of the country give it important status, but the conflict that continues to destabilize the region can be located among three forces : Mullah, the traditional element of an archetypal, publicly pious Muslim society ; Marx, the old and new leftists and associated secular socioeconomic forces; and the Mujahid, the fighters for a Muslim Afghanistan, mobilized as much by ardent nationalism as by their religious zeal.
These three elements which rarely are able to cooperate, have held power in Afghanistan in turns since the Soviet invasion in 1979.
Their rivalry has not abated with the Soviet withdrawal but has instead resulted in a civil war that has crippled the economic cooperation throughout the area. Moreover, in various guises, these three sociopolitical forces influence the entire region from iran to the new states of Central Asia.
In this book, Ralph Magnus and Eden Naby, whose intimacy with Afghanistan spans three decades each, detail the country’s physical situation, human environment and modern history, as well as the rise and fall of competing internal forces, most recently the Taliban.
The authors offer an analytical insight into Afghanistan’s political position with the reconstructed Central Asia region, the ethnic relationships that complicate its political history and the potential for stability.
( to be continued )