Islam is one of the few commonalities in Afghan society despite the existenceof sectarian differences and variations in Quranic and legal interpretations. Itfaces no competition from other religions as only scattered minorities of Hindusand Sikhs, who came originally as traders from India, and Jews, lived in urbancenters. By 1985 virtually all Jews had emigrated.
In their war of liberation against the Soviet Union, resistance groupsstriving for a pan-Afghan constituency appealed to Afghans on the basis of theirMuslim identity. The term used for the resistance fighters, mujahidin,translates as "those waging jihad." Jihad, meaning to strive or tostruggle to follow God's will, both within oneself and in the defense of Islam,is an obligation incumbent on all Muslims.
Early Development ofIslam
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