Hezbi Islami

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Hezbi Islami
د افغانستان اسلامي حزب
Leader Arghandiwal
Founder Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
Founded 1975
Preceded by Muslim Youth
Succeeded by HIG
Ideology Islamism
Seats in the House of the People
16 / 249
Seats in the House of Elders
0 / 102
Party flag
Flag of Hezbi Islami.svg

Hezbi Islami (also Hezb-e Islami, Hezb-i-Islami, Hezbi-Islami, Hezb-e-Islami), meaning Islamic Party[1] is an Islamist organization that was commonly known for fighting the Communist Government of Afghanistan and their close ally the Soviet Union. Founded and led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, it was established in Afghanistan in 1975. It grew out of the Muslim Youth organization, an Islamist organization founded in Kabul by students and teachers at Kabul University in 1969 to combat communism in Afghanistan.[2] Its membership was drawn from ethnic Pashtuns, and its ideology from the Muslim Brotherhood and Abul Ala Maududi's Jamaat-e-Islami.[2] Another source describes it as having splintered away from Burhanuddin Rabbani's original Islamist party, Jamiat-e Islami, in 1976, after Hekmatyar found that group too moderate and willing to compromise with others.[3]

Hezbi Islami seeks to emulate the Ikhwan militia of Saudi Arabia and to replace the various tribal factions of Afghanistan with one unified Islamic state. This puts them at odds with the more tribe-oriented Taliban.[4]

In 1979, Mulavi Younas Khalis split with Hekmatyar and established his own Hezbi Islami, known as the Khalis faction, with its power base in Nangarhar. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's faction is referred to the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin, or HIG, and is considered a terrorist organization by Coalition Forces in Afghanistan.[citation needed] Neither Hezbi Islami nor Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin were on the U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations from 2001 to 2006.[5] However, Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin is on the additional list called "Groups of Concern."[6] In 2008, the International Security Assistance Force estimated that the military component of Hezbi Islam was about 1,000 strong, including part-time fighters.[7]

Today, the non-violent faction of the Hezbi Islami is a registered political party in Afghanistan, led by Arghandiwal.[8]

A similar party in Pakistan called the Pakistan hezbi islami (PHI) has recently been formed that gives moral support to the Afghan resistance but not weapons to be used inside Pakistan.

On 18 September 2012 Hezbi Islami claimed responsibility of a suicide attack in Kabul, carried out by an 18-year-old woman in which nine people were killed. They said it was in retaliation for the film Innocence of Muslims.[9] All victims were themselves Muslim.

On 16 May 2013 Hezbi Islami claimed responsibility for another attack in Kabul in the form of an explosive-loaded Toyota Corolla that was rammed into a pair of American military vehicles in which 16 people were killed.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pike, John (August 8, 1998). "Hizb-i-Islami (Islamic Party)". Intelligence Resource Program. Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved March 13, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Roy, Oliver; Sfeir, Antoine (2007). The Columbia World Dictionary of Islamism. Columbia University Press. p. 132. 
  3. ^ Haqqani, Husain (2005). Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military. Carnegie Endowment. p. 173. Retrieved 2 November 2014. 
  4. ^ Seth Jones’s article The Rise of Afghanistan’s Insurgency: State Failure and Jihad page. 28-29
  5. ^ "2001 Report on Foreign Terrorist Organizations", "Fact Sheet: Foreign Terrorist Organizations List" October 23, 2002 Archived February 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., "Fact Sheet: Foreign Terrorist Organizations List" January 30, 2003, "Fact Sheet: Foreign Terrorist Organization Designations Table" December 30, 2004, "Fact Sheet:Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs)" October 11, 2005, "Country Reports on Terrorism: Chapter 8 -- Foreign Terrorist Organizations" April 28, 2006 Archived March 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "U.S. Designates Foreign Terrorist Organizations: List includes 42 groups, 43 others deemed “of concern”" April 30, 2007
  7. ^ Tyson, Ann Scott (June 15, 2008). "A Sober Assessment of Afghanistan — washingtonpost.com". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 13, 2012. There are an estimated 5,000 to 20,000 Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, plus an estimated 1,000 each for the insurgent groups led by Siraj Haqqani and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, according to ISAF intelligence. 
  8. ^ Political parties/groups and leaders in Afghanistan
  9. ^ Suicide attack in Afghan capital claimed by Hezb-e-Islami
  10. ^ [1], New York Times, 2013