Today’s New York Times has a fascinating op-ed on a snippet of Pashtun history, concerning one Abdul Ghaffar Khan. He was a famous pacifist whose beliefs about jihad differed radically from those that get press today:



Ghaffar was renowned as “the frontier Gandhi.” His followers, the Servants of God, were nicknamed Red Shirts because of their brick-colored garb. All had to swear: “I shall never use violence. I shall not retaliate or take revenge, and shall forgive anyone who indulges in oppression and excesses against me.”

For two decades, Ghaffar and his Red Shirts dominated the North-West Frontier without resort to violence, enduring prison and torture. Ghaffar’s friend and mentor, Mohandas Gandhi, called his feat “a miracle.” Nevertheless, the most remarkable Pashtun of his era is forgotten, not only because his cause was lost