Abdul Ghaffar Khan and his Khudai Khidmatgar Movement, whose peace activities included nonviolent resistance to British rule in India, have remained relatively unknown despite the magnitude of their achievement and significance (100,000 strong peace army). Even among appreciative peace scholars their nonviolence has been mischaracterized as an adoption of Gandhi’s teachings; Khan is referred to as the Muslim Gandhi. I argue that this is due to a reliance on biased colonial sources, concomitant racist characterization of the Pakhtuns and Islam, and an insufficient understanding of violence. I illustrate how this movement’s motivation and inspiration were deeply rooted in Pakhtun culture and Islam, even though Khan and Gandhi were spiritually alike, with the same peace cultural commitments, working together for independence. A better understanding of this movement’s origins as indigenous is crucial to avoid the vilification of these people that continues to justify violence against them, constraining them to respond likewise.
"The Mischaracterization of the Pakhtun-Islamic Peace Culture Created by Abdul Ghaffar Khan and the Khudai Khidmatgars,"
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