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More recently it was the Soviet Union that had reason to regret its invasion of Pathan territory, and today perhaps the United States -- Ghaffar Khan’s Pathan tribe is the same tribe that later embraced the TalibanBut Ghaffar Khan discovered the power of Gandhi’s ideas. He not only applied them in his own life, but he also founded a Pathan army without arms. Called the Khudai Khidmatgars,they swore themselves to fearless and provocative nonviolence in the face of oppression. For decades in the Northwest Province they supported Gandhi’s campaign against the British. Their efforts were strikingly successful and played a major role in freeing India from British rules.After India was independent, other Islamic leaders committed to a Muslim Pakistan imprisoned Ghaffar Khan and his followers, and the population was less supportive of his ideas
of nonviolence now that local Muslim leaders controlled police and army. Yet a recent researcher has found that, a half-century later, many Afghans who took part in the struggle are still deeply influenced by Ghaffar Khan’s example and consider their participation in his nonviolent campaign to have been a high point of their lives. Ghaffar Khan died in 198 at the age of 95.Riffat Hassan (1943-,Pakistan, U.S.) did her undergraduate and graduate work in England. She is a leading Muslim feminist scholar and activist, with a “progressive understanding” of Islam. In 2009 she retired from thirty-three years of teaching at the University of Louisville, where she served as chair of the Religious Studies Program. Her interest and activity have focused on women’s rights and human rights in the Muslim world, the work of the Indian Muslim philosopher Muhammad Iqbal (see above in the section on “modernism”), and interreligious dialogue especially with Jews and Christians. After September 11, 2001, Hassan created and ran two “peace-building exchange programs” between the United States and Muslims in the Muslim world. Two of Hassan’s outstanding essays are “What Does It Mean to Be a Muslim Today? And “Peace Education: A Muslim Perspective.”Fatima Mernissi (1940-, Morocco) grew up in Fez, Morocco, in a progressive, middle-class family. Educated in Morocco, France and the United States, she has taught sociology at Mohammad V University and advised UNESCO on issues affecting Muslim women. In her view as a major Muslim feminist scholar and prolific author, the veil has become a device to silence women and make them invisible. She criticizes the West for suppressing democracy by supporting autocratic Arab governments. Mernissi believes that , through repressive interventions, the West has reinforced North African and Middle Eastern tendencies to limit the freedom of Muslim women and of Muslims generally. Distinguishing between the authentic, liberating Islamic sources (the Quran and the Hadith, the latter revealing Muhammad as a proponent of gender equality) and later patriarchal misinterpretation of those sources by