The years 1978 and 1979 were dramatic throughout south and western Asia. In Iran, the Pahlavi dynasty was toppled by an Islamic revolution. In Pakistan, Zulfigar Ali Bhutto was hanged by the military regime that toppled him and which then proceeded to implement an Islamization programme. Between the two lay Afghanistan whose "Saur Revolution" of April 1978 soon developed into a full scale civil war and Soviet intervention. The military struggle that followed was largely influenced by Soviet-US rivalry but the ideological struggle followed a dynamic of its own. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including such previously unused archival material as British Intelligence reports, this is a detailed study of the Afghan debate on the role of Islam in politics from the formation of the modern Afghan state around 1800 to the present day.