has two (2) major tribal societies residing there; that is, Pashtun and Hazara. Pashtun is the largest ethnic or cultural group. Pashtun or Afghan is based on Islam and Pashtunwali. Pashtunwali (or Pakhtunwali) is an ancient self-government tribal system that regulates nearly all aspects of Pashtun life ranging from community to personal levels. Concepts of Pashtunwali continue to be followed by many Pashtuns especially in rural areas. The Pashtuns speak Pashto and Pashtun is their mode of dress. They are often referred to as ethnic “Afghans”. The earliest mention of the name Afghan was used to refer to a common legendary ancestor known as “Afghans” and also has been referred to the family of King Saul of the Hebrews. A village which was known as Saul was located near Gardez in Afghanistan in which there lived “Afghans”. A traveling scholar named Ibn Battuta in the early 1300s described Kabul, Afghanistan as a village inhabited by a tribe of Persians called Afghans.
Pashtuns are non-Arabic speaking Muslims. Many Pashtuns want to reclaim their identity from being lumped in with the Taliban and international terrorism which is not directly linked with Pashtun culture and history. The culture also flows into India. The overwhelming majority of Pashtuns are Sunni.
Pashtunwali means “way of the Pashtun”. It is pre-Islamic. Pashtunwali culture to the Pashtun people is stronger than religion or ideology. However, Islam laws are considered supreme and supersedes tradition and culture. If Pashtuns follow Islam and Pashtunwali, would they then follow the Shari’ah Law of Islam. This would cause confusion, to say the least, and cause clashes when considering disputes.
The Hazara people are discriminated against by Pashtuns and struggle for recognition. They live mainly in the center of Afghanistan. Genghis Khan was of the Hazara tribal culture. Their dialect is of the Persian language and are mainly of the Shi’a (sometimes called Shiites) tribe. In the late 1900s, a Pashtun king ordered killing of all Shi’a people leaving tens of thousands dead. Man fled to Iran and are fleeing to Europe. They were granted legal rights in 2004 but do not feel protected by the government.
PAKTHAS FROM THE RIG VEDAS (OR RGVEDA) OF THE HINDU VEDAS
Historians believe the Pashtun origin and early ancestors began from various ancient people called Pakthas between the 2nd and 1st millennium BC. These people are now spread among the countries of Pakistan (which had been part of India) and Afghanistan. The Pashtuns have written accounts of their family tree but the Semites did not keep written records (see next two paragraphs). According to the Encyclopaedia of Islam, there is a theory of Pashtun descent from Israelites (actually Hebrew race) which could have occurred when they were separated by war. This story may contain a clue to the remarkable theory of the Jewish origin of some of the Afghan tribes which is persistently advocated in the Persian-Afghan chronicles.
There have also been legends of descent from the Ten Lost Tribes after groups converted to Christianity and Islam. Ibn Buttuta relates that Yusufzai in Pashto translates to the “son of Joseph” which is also termed one of the Hebrew Semitic tribes separated by war for a time. They were later united.
As related in “The Larger Spiritual Order & Universal Scheme of Things-Simplified”, Chapter 3, The Sacred Journey of Primitive Religions”, the twelve (12) Hebrew tribes separated into two (2) tribes due to a war caused by racial conflicts with other races. Ten (10) tribes split into the Ten Tribe House and two (2) tribes became the Two Tribes of Judah. The Two Tribes of Judah were taken in exile to Mesopotamia/Babylon and were later returned to the Ten Tribe House. When the Persians conquered Babylonia around 538BC, the Two Tribes of Judah were allowed to return to the Ten Tribe House. These twelve (12) tribes were nomadic and kept no records and later took stories from the Vedic/Aryan records. Israel actually refers to the beginning of the human race which means “a pure ray of light” according to the Aryans. The twelve (12) tribes of the Semites are actually called Hebrews. Some of the Hebrew tribes settled in the Afghanistan region.
In Afghanistan, the decades of war and the rise of the Taliban caused considerable hardship among Pashtun women as many of their rights were curtailed by a rigid interpretation of Islamic law. Due to numerous social hurdles, the literacy rate remains considerably lower for Pashtun females rather than for males. However, following recent elections, the proportion of female representatives is one of the highest in the world.
Xenophobia may play a part in hostility towards Pashtun people or anything related to Pashtun culture in general. They are the largest culture in Afghanistan. There is rivalry for power and influence between the Pashtun majority and the minority Persian-speaking ethnic groups of Afghanistan which would include the Hazara culture. However, the situations were usually among the rulers. This could be because of Afghan dynasties such as the Durrani Empire, although Pashtun by origin, had been Persianized, and it neutralized any ethnic culture. The Rabanni government which ruled Afghanistan in the early and mid-1990s was viewed by the Taliban as corrupt, anti-Pashtun, and was responsible for civil war.
The Pashtuns remain a predominantly tribal people but the trend of urbanization has begun to change Pashtun society in cities such as Kabul. However, the people still identify themselves with various tribes. The tribal system is divided into groups which in turn are divided into smaller groups which consist of several extended families.
The land of the Pashtuns was south of the Hindu Kush mountains which belongs to the Himalayan parent range. The range is near the Afghan-Pakistan border from central Afghanistan to northern Pakistan. This area at one time referred to Pashtuns but now it refers to every citizen of the State of Afghanistan since the Afghan Constitution of 1964.
FIELD OF POPPIES
OPIUM was forbidden under Islam law for the mullahs (Muslim clergy or religious leadership of Afghanistan) to cultivate opiates but they grow it anyway. It is being grown by over three (3) million people as of 2014 (more now). Opium defeated the United States in Afghanistan, and its production and sale to the United Sates provides a war of its own. The proceeds have probably financed the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The United States spent billions of dollars to stop the growth of opium but it did not stop business as usual. Shall the new contribution of United States troops or warriors to the country halt the growth of poppies and the financing of Taliban and Al Qaeda? Perhaps if the United States burns the fields!! People grow it because they like what it buys for them personally…TVs, new houses, etc…those who had motorbikes have a car and those who had one wife now have two wives. Poppy fields could provide a major problem in the forthcomng Afghanistan war and the racial differences it may provide.
PAKISTAN and its location to Afghanistan is shown. It has the second largest Pashtun culture. The Pashtun tribes and clans range from approximately 150 to 400. Pashtun culture is mostly based on the Pashtunwali tribal system and the use of the Pashto language. The Pakistan Jews and Afghan Jews have largely relocated to Israel and the United States.
Some sections of the Urdo-speaking community had anti-Afghan feelings or discrimination. The Urdo language developed in the northern part of India and is influenced by Arabic, Persian, and Turkish languages. These sentiments caused anti-Afghan riots in the beautiful city of Karachi in 1986. There was an increased migration to Karachi including Afghan migrants from Afghanistan due to the Soviet invasion and war with Afghanistan from 1979-1989. This disturbed Karachi’s sensitivity of particular groups within the population and brought about a violent competition for land, jobs, and economic control of the city. The cause was the influx of black money, narcotics, and illegal trade.
Racial inequities have been occurring for thousands of years in these areas. It would be a Spiritual blessing if they would become more balanced in this 21st Century.