From Sufis to Taliban: Trajectories of Islam in Afghanistan

From October 30 to October 31, 2014 AIAS co-sponsored a conference hosted by UCLA’s Program on Central Asia, called “From Sufis to Taliban: Trajectories of Islam in Afghanistan.”

Providing idioms and organizations for both anti-state and anti-foreign mobilization, Islam has proven to be a vital socio-political resource in modern Afghanistan. Even as it has been deployed as the national cement of a multi-ethnic “Emirate” and then “Islamic Republic,” Islam has been no less a destabilizing force in Afghan society. Despite the universal scholarly recognition of the centrality of Islam to modern Afghan history, its developmental trajectories have received relatively little sustained attention outside monographs and essays devoted to particular moments or movements. This conference brought together specialists on the different historical periods, regions and languages of Afghanistan to develop a more comprehensive, comparative and developmental picture of Afghan Islam from the nineteenth century to the present and to see beyond the unifying rhetoric of Islam into its disparate forms.

To learn more about the conference and view the list of participants, please visit the conference page.

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