Jamiat-e Islami

Jamiat-e Islami

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Jamiat-e Islami (Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

:جمعیت اسلامی افغانستان), is an Islamic political party in Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 along the line of the Muslim Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood
The Society of the Muslim Brothers is the world's oldest and one of the largest Islamist parties, and is the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states. It was founded in 1928 in Egypt by the Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna and by the late 1940s had an...

 of Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

. Jamiat-e Islami means "Islamic society" in the Persian language
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 and is also known as just Jamiat for short. Jamiat is the oldest Islamic political party in Afghanistan. It has a communitarian ideology based on Islamic law
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

 but is also considered moderately progressive. During the Soviet war in Afghanistan
Soviet war in Afghanistan
The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan against the Afghan Mujahideen and foreign "Arab–Afghan" volunteers...

 and the following civil war in Afghanistan, Jamiat-e Islami was one of the most powerful of the mujahideen
Mujahideen are Muslims who struggle in the path of God. The word is from the same Arabic triliteral as jihad .Mujahideen is also transliterated from Arabic as mujahedin, mujahedeen, mudžahedin, mudžahidin, mujahidīn, mujaheddīn and more.-Origin of the concept:The beginnings of Jihad are traced...

 groups. The majority of the party are ethnic Tajiks of northern and western Afghanistan.
Former President of Afghanistan Burhanuddin Rabbani
Burhanuddin Rabbani
Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani was President of the Islamic State of Afghanistan from 1992 to 1996. After the Taliban government was toppled during Operation Enduring Freedom, Rabbani returned to Kabul and served as a temporary President from November to December 20, 2001, when Hamid Karzai was...

 lead the party from 1968 to 2011.


Jamiat was one of the most popular and broadly spread party during Jihad with representations in every ethnic group. Although, primarily they were composed of Tajiks & Uzbeks but it had signifiant presence in Pashtun and other ethnic areas. Some of the prominent commanders of Jamiat included Ustad Zabihullah, Ahmad Shah Massoud, Ismail Khan
Ismail Khan
Ismail Khan is a politician and former mujahideen commander from Afghanistan. Born in the western Afghan city of Herat, he rose to become a powerful rebel commander during in the Soviet War in Afghanistan, and then a key member of the Northern Alliance until finally becoming the Governor of Herat...

, Atta Mohammad Noor, Mullah Naqib, Dr Fazlullah.
. Undoubtedly, Ahmad Shah Massoud was the military wing of the party.
In 1979 Ahmad Shah Massoud, who had joined Jamiat as a university student, organised a mujahideen group in Parwan Province to fight against the Communist government and their Soviet allies. This group grew to control multiple provinces and include thousands of fighters. The Soviet Army launched a series of major offensives to attempt to destroy the Jamiat forces, but they were unable to engage most of Massoud's men. After the withdrawal of the Soviet troops in 1988, the mujahideen groups continued to wear down the government forces; in 1992 the communist government collapsed entirely. Massoud's forces were among the first to enter Kabul.

Meanwhile, a peace and power-sharing agreement among the leadership of the Afghan political party leaders led to a tentative agreement to appoint Rabbani, who had spent the civil war in exile, as interim president. The peace agreement was called the Peshawar Accords.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is an Afghan Mujahideen leader who is the founder and leader of the Hezb-e Islami political party and paramilitary group. Hekmatyar was a rebel military commander during the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan and was one of the key figures in the civil war that followed the...

 however, did not support the peace agreement despite the fact that Hekmatyar was repeatedly offered the position of prime minister. Subsequently Hekmatyar's Hezb-i Islami attacked the new interim government and the capital of Kabul with tens of thousands of rockets. As Hezb-i Wahdat and Ittihad-i Islami started a second war in 1992 and Dostum's Junbish-i Milli joint Hekmatyar in 1994 Kabul witnessed a gruesome war. The war led to massive civilian casualties and destruction of much of the city. In 1995 the Islmaic State of Aghanistan government also with Jamiat forces retained control of Kabul, pushing back a coalition of Hekmatyar's Hezb-i Islami, the Hizb-i-Wahdat and Abdul Rashid Dostum
Abdul Rashid Dostum
Abdul Rashid Dostum is a former pro-Soviet fighter during the Soviet war in Afghanistan and is considered by many to be the leader of Afghanistan's Uzbek community and the party Junbish-e Milli-yi Islami-yi Afghanistan...

's Jumbish-i-Milli Islami.

By 1995 the Taliban, which had seized control of much of southern Afghanistan with comparative ease in the previous year, were advancing on Kabul. Massoud rejected Taliban demands that he surrender and the Taliban rejected Massoud's offer to join a peaceful political process leading towards general elections. In March 1995, Massoud handed the Taliban their first major loss. The Taliban regrouped and were then by Osama Bin Laden's forces and Saudi Arabia, which allowed them to launch another offensive in mid-1996. Massoud ordered the retreat of his troops among them Jamiat to avoid another bloodbath.

Following the capture of Kabul, the major mujahideen factions put aside their previous feuds and formed the United Front, United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan
United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan
The United Islamic Front , known in the West and Pakistan as the Northern Alliance, was a military-political umbrella organization created by the Islamic State of Afghanistan in 1996 under the leadership of Defense Minister Ahmad Shah Massoud...

, commonly known in the west as the Northern Alliance. Rabbani officially became political leader of the United Front, but most power lay with Defense Minister Massoud. Other Jamiat members took up senior positions within the United Front Government. Yunus Qanuni
Yunus Qanuni
Yunus Qanuni is a politician in Afghanistan. An ethnic Tajik from the Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan, Qanuni is the leader of the Afghanistan e Naween political party and former Speaker of the House of the People .-Pre Election...

 served as Interior Minister and Dr Abdullah became Foreign Minister. During the United Front's existence, the political parties became less important. Individual commanders were leading the struggle against the Taliban, foremost Ahmad Shah Massoud. He controlled about 10,000 of the Alliance's 40,000 troops. Most observers agreed that Massoud's forces were the most disciplined, best trained and equipped of the United Front.

On the 9th of September 2001, Massoud was assassinated by two of suicide bombers. Immediately afterwards Taliban forces launched a major offensive against United Front positions. Mohammed Qasim Fahim was chosen to succeed Massoud as leader of Jamiat's military wing and repulsed the Taliban offensive. With extensive assistance from an American-led coalition in October and November 2001 (see War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

), United Front forces recaptured most of Afghanistan.

Since then, Jamiat appears to have splintered. The military wing of the party, led by Fahim and Qanuni, dominated the Afghan Transitional Administration
Afghan Transitional Administration
The Afghan Transitional Administration was the name of a temporary administration of Afghanistan put in place by the 2002 Loya Jirga and followed the Afghan Interim Administration which was installed after the Bonn Conference.-Background:Following the US Invasion in Afghanistan, a UN sponsored...

 (2001–2004) from which Rabbani was absent. Massoud's friend, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah
Abdullah Abdullah
Abdullah Abdullah is an Afghan politician and a doctor of medicine. He was an adviser and friend to Ahmad Shah Massoud, legendary anti-Taliban leader and commander known as the "Lion of Panjshir". After the fall of the Taliban regime, Dr. Abdullah served as Afghanistan's Foreign Minister from 2001...

 became minister of foreign affairs. In the 2009 Presidential Elections, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah
Abdullah Abdullah
Abdullah Abdullah is an Afghan politician and a doctor of medicine. He was an adviser and friend to Ahmad Shah Massoud, legendary anti-Taliban leader and commander known as the "Lion of Panjshir". After the fall of the Taliban regime, Dr. Abdullah served as Afghanistan's Foreign Minister from 2001...

ran as an independent candidate against Hamid Karzai. He came in second place, but a run-off was suspended because of wide-spread allegations of election fraud against Karzai. When Abdullah's followers wanted to take to the streets, Abdullah hold them back in order not to endanger the fragile rebuilding of Afghanistan.