Afghanistan Table of Contents
Islam was the most powerful common denominator shared by Afghanistan's isolated communities throughout the violation and betrayal. The line seemed clearly drawn between the traitors with their atheist patrons and those whose lives and way of life were threatened. In a struggle where martyrdom became a central theme, transcendental faith offered meaning and the hope of survival and vindication. The demands of inspiration called for a religious leadership. So long as the struggle remained intense those demands were met, certainly in symbol, and for many, in substance. But, when a remarkable victory was achieved, the demands changed. Failure, loss and disillusionment had to be coped with and the apparently inspired leaders proved all too human. Given Afghanistan's experience and segmented society, the mujahidin leadership was asked and apparently expected itself to fulfill the incredible task of governing a society which had lost whatever faith it had in government. Its performance must be measured against the task it has faced. When the government led by Najibullah collapsed in 1992, Afghanistan would be left with a political vacuum.
Data as of 1997