Ahmad Shah Massoud

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Ahmad Shah Massoud (c. September 2, 1953September 9, 2001) was a prominent political figure in Afghanistan's recent history and played a leading role in driving the Soviet army out of Afghanistan. In September 2001 it is said that he was assassinated by al-Qaeda agents. The following year he was named "National Hero" by the order of Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai.


If we stop fighting, terrorism will spread all over the world.
  • Afghans want to regain their right to self-determination through a democratic or traditional mechanism acceptable to our people.… We are willing to move toward this noble goal. We consider this as part of our duty to defend humanity against the scourge of intolerance, violence and fanaticism.
  • The behavior of the Taliban as well as their extremist attitudes do not correspond in any way with a tolerant Islam. We have always been opposed to extremist tendencies of Islam and we still are. We have not stopped insisting on defending an Islam of tolerance which would be profitable to every Muslim, in Afghanistan and in the whole world, and we will always defend it.
  • It has always been our deep conviction, and we have always stressed the fact that the only solution for Afghanistan is democracy through elections. Each individual must have the right to vote. The day we will be in Kabul, we will organize elections under the auspices of international organizations.
  • I am ready to serve the people of Afghanistan, particularly in order to restore peace. I will be ready to assume any duty at the service of my people.
  • I am afraid to die sometimes, but God is the one to decide when a person dies. I want to live to the fullest until then.
  • If President Bush doesn't help us, these terrorists will damage the U.S. and Europe very soon.
    • Remark to a reporter (April 2001), quoted in Time (4 August 2002) "The Secret History" by Michael Elliott.
  • We will never be a pawn in someone else's game. We will always be Afghanistan.
    • Attributed in Jawbreaker: The Attack on Bin Laden and Al Qaeda (2005) by Gary Berntsen and Ralph Pezzullo.

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