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Ideological Identities in Afghanistan: A Critical Examination of the Emergence of “Singular” Identities before the Soviet Occupation

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People are multi-identited subject to multiple layers of identities, some more pronounced than others. The level of significance attached to each identity is dependent on different factors, among them spatiality and temporality. In extreme cases, one identity is brought to the forefront of all others, potentially at the expense of all others. For such shuffling and reshuffling to take place, often a choice is made by the subject/object. This space for choice and agency could be minimized, influenced by others, or simply rendered nonexistent by those who are willing and wield significant power. This article examines the adoption of singular identities by the Afghans who took part in the Jihad and became Mujahidin, an American-supported insurgency that resisted Soviet occupation and its satellite state in Kabul in the 1980s. This paper argues that the space for deliberation and critical engagement by potential recruits was organized in such a way that little to no scrutiny was allowed when inviting potential recruits to adopt the mantle of the Mujahid. Safeguarding Afghanistan’s independence, introduction of radical Islamism, and deliberate targeting of specific parts of the populace, is fundamental to that intervention.

Affiliations: 1: University of Sydney mujibabid@gmail.com

10.1163/15691497-12341428
/content/journals/10.1163/15691497-12341428
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/content/journals/10.1163/15691497-12341428
2017-04-07
2018-07-22

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