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(1) Plural of mujahid, “one who engages in jihad.” Often translated as “warriors of God.” Technically, the term does not have a necessary connection with war. In recent years those Muslims who engage in armed defense of Muslim lands call themselves or are called mujahidin. They are not a monolithic movement of one origin but rather are diverse. They see themselves as God-fearing people who are fighting against injustice, especially foreign domination, but also against unjust state oppression. The term became well known in the West in the early 1980s as the Afghan mujahidin battled against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Muslim volunteers from many countries have been fighting under that name in conflicts such as those in Albania, Kashmir, Kosovo, Bosnia, and Chechnya. (2) Afghani guerrilla fighters who fought against Soviet occupation and Communist rule (1978–90). Supported by United States, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. They were divided into numerous political parties, following various ideological, ethnic, and sectarian loyalties. Dominant parties included the radical Hizb-i Islami, led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and the moderate Jamaat-i Islami, led by Burhanuddin Rabbani and Ahmad Shah Masud.

Subjects: Islam.

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