The Islamic Youth Movement

Afghanistan Table of Contents

Spreading interest in modern applications of Islam coincided with the emergence of Marxism on the campus. The Islamic faculty organized study groups which evolved into political organizations. The crisis over the cabinet in October 1965 incited Islamist students as well as Marxists. Out of this ferment grew the radical movement generally known as the Ikwan-i-Musalamin (Islamic Youth). Competition at Kabul University between the Islamists and the Marxists came to involve debate, intimidation, and violence. The rivalry produced a generation whose later careers were marked by their personal involvement as allies and opponents on campus.

Daud's coming to power in 1973 gave the Parcham faction the opportunity to persecute their Islamist rivals. In 1975 an abortive uprising planned by young Islamists from several provinces brought a vicious response. Hundreds were executed or imprisoned to face death later at the hands of the Khalqis. The survivors went underground or fled to Pakistan.

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Source: U.S. Library of Congress