Afghanistan's Struggles (World in Conflict-the Middle East) by Cory Gideon Gunderson

By Cory Gideon Gunderson

- Full-color Photographs
- Diagrams
- Maps
- Timeline
- Index
- word list

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Afghans maintaining their heritage and culture 30 A F G H A N I S TA N ’ S STRUGGLES WORLD IN CONFLICT: THE MIDDLE EAST A N I SLAMIC N ATION T hough ethnic differences separate the Afghan people, the Islamic faith unites them. Only a small fraction of Afghans are not Muslim. Some Sikhs, Hindus, and Jews live in Afghanistan and are typically urban dwellers. The Prophet Muhammad founded the Islamic religion in the early seventh century. Muhammad’s teachings guide the Muslims in the economic, social, political, and personal situations they face daily.

The jihad can be a personal struggle within a Muslim. It can also be with an enemy such as a foreign invader. The main goal of the jihad is to establish Islamic control over self and society. 32 A F G H A N I S TA N ’ S STRUGGLES WORLD IN CONFLICT: THE MIDDLE EAST When Muhammad died in 632, his followers disagreed as to who should succeed him. This disagreement divided the Muslims. The majority of Muslims are Sunnis. They believed that Muhammad’s successor should be one of his companions. They wanted to vote for their future leader.

Mullah Muhammad Omar rules from Kandahar. President Rabbani, though still recognized as the legitimate leader of the country, lives outside of Afghanistan. The country becomes a center of international terrorism and heroin production. 2001 Under the leadership of Osama bin Laden, hijackers attack American targets. S. military bombs targets in Afghanistan when the Taliban refuses to turn over Osama bin Laden. -led military assaults drive the Taliban from Kabul. S. government sends 1,000 soldiers into southeast Afghanistan to find al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorists on March 20.

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