Pashtun Taliban – the Lost Tribe of Israel?
There would be a certain irony – others might see the hand of cosmic humor – in the latest DNA research that seeks to demonstrate that the Pashtun may be one of the ten “Lost Tribes of Israel”. There are more than 40 million Pashtuns around the world including around 10 million in Afghanistan and nearly 30 million in Pakistani.
There is some circumstantial historical evidence to support the claim. Many Pashtuns have grown up with stories of their people being “Children of Israel”. Tribal lore has it that they are descended from the Ephraim tribe which was driven out of Israel by the Assyrian invasion in 700BC. Archeological evidence shows an ancient Jewish settlement close to Afghanistan’s border with Iran, including where a graveyard with tombs carved in Hebrew. Kabul also has an ancient synagogue long abandoned. If there is a God, He would have a wicked sense of humor if the research proves this correct.
Experts at Mumbai’s National Institute of Immunohaematology believe Pashtuns could be one of the ten “Lost Tribes of Israel”.
The Israeli government is funding a genetic study to establish if there is any proof of the link.
An Indian geneticist has taken blood samples from the Pashtun Afridi tribe in Lucknow, Northern India, to Israel where she will spend the next 12 months comparing DNA with samples with those of Israeli Jews.
The samples were taken in Lucknow’s Malihabad area because it was regarded as the only place safe enough to conduct such a controversial project for Muslims.
Shanaz Ali a senior research fellow, will lead the study at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Tel Aviv…
Navras Aafreedi, a leading researcher on the Lost Tribes of Israel, said the DNA investigation could have major modern repercussions.
“It could be seen as scientific validation of traditional belief about the Israelite origin of [Pashtuns] and can have interesting ramifications for Muslim-Jew relations in particular and the world at large,” he said.