Joined: 16 Jan 2010
|Posted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:45 am Post subject: what is Mujahideen?
|what is Mujahideen?
Mujahideen is also transliterated from Arabic as mujahedin, mujahedeen, mudžahedin, mudžahidin, etc.
copied in part from:
A Muslim or Muslims who struggle in the path of Allah. (some would say non-violent struggles much like non-violent jihad)
The people who helped Muhammad during the early periods of his prophethood were referred to as Ansars ("helpers") and Muhajirs ("immigrants"), but the Ansars participated in armed conflict alongside Muhammad, and are also referred to as Mujahideen.
Islamic guerrilla fighters
Muslim holy warriors engaged in a jihad
Mujahideen (muǧāhidīn, literally "strugglers") is a term for Muslims fighting in a war or involved in any other struggle. The word is the plural form of muǧāhid, which comes from the same Arabic root as jihad ("struggle"). In Islamic scripture, the status of mujahid is unequal to qaid, one who does not join the jihad.
Mujahideen is also transliterated from Arabic as mujahedeen, mujahedīn, mujahidīn, and mujaheddīn.
also on the page is a political history of majahideen in several countries.
The best-known mujahideen, various loosely-aligned Afghan opposition groups, initially fought against the incumbent pro-Soviet Afghan government during the late 1970s. At the Afghan government's request, the Soviet Union became involved in the war. The mujahideen insurgency then fought against the Soviet and Afghan government troops during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. After the Soviet Union pulled out of the conflict in the late 1980s the mujahideen fought each other in the subsequent Afghan Civil War.
The mujahideen were significantly financed and armed (and are alleged to have been trained) by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during the Carter and Reagan administrations and the governments of Saudi Arabia, the People's Republic of China, several European countries, Iran, and Zia-ul-Haq's military regime in Pakistan. The Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was the interagent used in the majority of these activities to disguise the sources of support for the resistance.
The main base station of mujahideen in Pakistan was the town Badaber, 24 km from Peshawar. Afghanistan mujahideen were trained in the Badaber base under supervision by military instructors from U.S.A., Pakistan, Republic of China and Egypt. The base served as the concentration camp for Soviet and DRA captives as well. In 1985, the uprising of captives destroyed the base, but the incident was concealed by Pakistan and USSR governments until the dissolution of the USSR.
Ronald Reagan praised mujahideen as "freedom fighters", and three mainstream films, 1987 The Living Daylights, 1988 Rambo III and 2007 Charlie Wilson's War, portrayed them as heroic.
Afghanistan's resistance movement was born in chaos and, at first, virtually all of its war was waged locally by regional warlords. As warfare became more sophisticated, outside support and regional coordination grew. Even so, the basic units of mujahideen organization and action continued to reflect the highly segmented nature of Afghan society. Eventually, the seven main mujahideen parties allied themselves into the political bloc called Islamic Unity of Afghanistan Mujahideen.
Many Muslims from other countries volunteered to assist various mujahideen groups in Afghanistan, and gained significant experience in guerrilla warfare. Some groups of these veterans have been significant factors in more recent conflicts in and around the Muslim world. A wealthy Saudi named Osama bin Laden was a prominent organizer and financier of an all Arab islamist group of foreign volunteers; his Maktab al-Khadamat funnelled money, arms, and Muslim fighters from around the muslim world into Afghanistan, with the assistance and support of the Saudi and Pakistani governments. These foreign fighters became known as "Afghan Arabs" and their efforts were coordinated by Abdullah Yusuf Azzam.
The mujahideen won when the Soviet Union pulled troops out of Afghanistan in 1989, followed by the fall of the Mohammad Najibullah regime in 1992. However, the mujahideen did not establish a united government, and many of the larger mujahideen groups began to fight each other over the power in Kabul. After several years of devastating infighting, a village mullah organized a new armed movement with the backing of Pakistan. This movement became known as the Taliban, meaning "students", and referring to the Saudi-backed religious schools known for producing extremism. Veteran mujahideen were confronted by this radical splinter group in 1996.
By 2001, the Taliban, with backing from the Pakistani ISI (military intelligence) and possibly even the regular Pakistan Army, as well as al-Qaeda which found a refuge in Afghanistan, had largely defeated the militias and controlled most of the country. The opposition factions allied themselves together again and became known as the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan (Northern Alliance). In 2001 with U.S. help and international military aid, they ousted the Taliban from power and formed the new government, and gradually militias were either incorporated into the new national army and police forces or demobilized.
At present the term "mujahideen" is sometimes used to describe insurgents, including the Taliban/Al Qaeda, fighting NATO troops and the security forces of the US-backed government of Hamid Karzai and allied militias in Afghanistan, although most of the Mujahideen leaders who fought the Soviet Union later fought against the Taliban.
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a bit more insight
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Thursday 28 April 2011
28 April (2011) marks the 19th anniversary of the mujahideen's victory over the Red Army forces in Afghanistan. The original mujahideen of the 1980s and today's Taliban may use the same language of holy war, but their understanding of jihad is worlds apart. The key difference between the original mujahideen and the Taliban is that the former waged a traditional type of jihad. In a traditional jihad, if waged locally, a contest over control of resources takes place between rival strongmen who each run their own private armies. In this scenario, the ultimate legitimacy to rule draws upon military strength, but the contest itself is called jihad simply because Islam is the sole language of political legitimacy.
Crucially, in a traditional jihad, the victorious party has an unspoken right to pillage, rape and loot the conquered population. This is because militia fighters are not paid soldiers in a regular army and hence looting is the material reward they receive for fighting. The original mujahideen followed this traditional pattern of jihad upon coming to power in 1992. Since competition over resources rather than ideology is key to traditional jihad, the mujahideen's war focused on Kabul where the nation's wealth and the foreign embassies, another potential source of funding, were to be found.
Judging by a historical account from the 1920s, back then the women and girls of the conquered populations also belonged to the pillage package offered to militia jihadis. Hence, in the diaries of court chronicler Katib Hazara on the siege of Kabul in 1929, we read that the victorious mujahideen of the time had demanded to see the list of girls registered at a Kabul school so as to allocate female students to militia fighters.
Katib's account might be exaggerated, but the story still reveals that there was an unspoken rule that women and girls were part of the conquest package. As such, the mujahideen's struggle over Kabul was a continuation of traditional jihad complete with internal rivalries, pillage and looting. The mujahideen were part of the realm of traditional politics in which a conquered region is a turf that can be exploited by strongmen, who call themselves mujahideen so as to appear respectable.
The Taliban's conquest of Afghanistan in 1996, by contrast, strayed from the path of tradition. In a striking breach of precedence, the Taliban militia did not make use of their unspoken right to pillage and loot. They searched the conquered populations' homes, but only to confiscate weapons and so ensure a monopoly of violence for their state.
In a comical incident that features in Sabour Bradley's documentary series The Extreme Tourist, the Taliban saw a poster of Rambo with a machine-gun in the home of an Afghan bodybuilder fan of the Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone. Ignorant of the world beyond the sharia law, the Taliban assumed that Rambo was a family member and told the bodybuilder: "Tell your cousin that he must hand over his machine gun to us." The bodybuilder's protestation that the poster depicted a fictional Hollywood hero fell flat with the Taliban, who subsequently imprisoned the man.
The Taliban were exceedingly ignorant – which made them cruel – but there's no doubt that they saw jihad as a means to establish a state rather than legitimacy to pillage a conquered territory. Building a state was of utmost importance to the Taliban because without it the sharia law could not be enforced. If the mujahideen struggled over resources, the Taliban were concerned with religiosity.
The Taliban's choice of their capital city, Kandahar, was further evidence of their radically new approach to conquest. As already mentioned, historically Kabul drew its importance from the fact that the nation's wealth and the foreign embassies were concentrated there. The mujahideen's vicious fight over the city, which resulted in thousands of dead, and their disregard for public buildings, which they indiscriminately destroyed in rocket attacks, was rooted in the view that the capital city was there to be pillaged by whichever party that came out victorious.
The Taliban, in contrast, disregarded Kabul, moving their capital to the much poorer city of Kandahar. Accounts of Afghans who met Taliban officials all reveal a lack of interest in material goods or symbols of social hierarchy. Meetings would be held seated on the floor in a circle, erasing all signs of hierarchy that traditionally has been part of Afghan court etiquette.
Ironically, such egalitarianism was what the communists had dreamed of in 1978. But in such a deeply religious society, it is not surprising that egalitarianism had to come as part of a religious doctrine. With the Taliban, rural Afghans came to power, ruling over the more sophisticated urban populations. This, too, was a breach of precedence.
Fighting for resources in a traditional fashion complete with looting and pillaging versus fighting for a state that would enforce sharia law even to the point of an obsessive preoccupation with the correct length of young men's pubic hair is what distinguishes the original mujahideen from their Taliban nemesis.
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