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- Islam in Central Asia
- The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society
- Berkeley Program in Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies
- Review of Adeeb Khalid's "Islam after Communism: Religion and Politics in Central Asia"
Begin typing your search above and press return to search. Press Esc to cancel. Chapters 3 and 4 introduce the process of leftist ideology and Islam undergoing conflicts and continuing to coexist after the Russian Revolution, and Chapters 5, 6, and 7 examine in detail the process of the Islamic religion, politics, and society interacting as the Central Asian countries become independent after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. With this latest publication, we seek an opportunity to focus on the uniqueness that the Islam culture —religion, politics, society, and culture distinctively combined— has earned through the special process of 70 years under the Soviet regime. We wish for this book to provide an even deeper understanding of Central Asia for researchers, policymakers, and members of the private sector with interests in the region.
Islam in Central Asia
Islam in Central Asia has existed since the beginning of Islamic history. Islam is the most widely practiced religion in Central Asia. The Hanafi school of thought of Sunnism is the most popular, with Shiism of Imami and Ismaili denominations predominating in the Pamir plateau and the western Tian Shan mountains almost exclusively Ismailis , while boasting to a large minority population in the Zarafshan river valley, from Samarkand to Bukhara almost exclusively Imamis.
Many well-known Islamic scientists and philosophers came from Central Asia, and several major Muslim empires, including the Timurid Empire and the Mughal Empire , originated in Central Asia.
Concerns about Islamic radicalism and religious freedom in the region persist to this day. The Battle of Talas in between the Abbasid Caliphate and the Chinese Tang dynasty for control of Central Asia was the turning point, initiating mass conversion into Islam in the region.
Most of the Turkic khanates converted to Islam in the 10th century. The arrival in Volga Bulgaria of Ahmad ibn Fadlan , ambassador of the caliph of Baghdad , on 12 May is celebrated as a holiday in modern-day Tatarstan. Islamisation of the region has had a profound impact on the native cultures in the region molding them as a part of Islamic civilization. Islamisation in the region has also had the effect of blending Islam into native cultures, creating new forms of Islamic practices, known as folk Islam , the most prominent proponent of which was Khoja Akhmet Yassawi whose Sufi Yeseviye sect appealed greatly to local nomads.
Some have proclaimed that Yassawi was a Khwajagan , however, some scholars insist that his influence on the Shi'a Alevi and Bektashi cannot be underestimated. Until the Mongol invasion of Central Asia in the 13th century, Samarkand, Bukhara, and Urgench flourished as centers of Islamic learning, culture and art in the region.
Mongol invasion halted the process for a half-century. Other areas such as Turkistan became more strongly influenced by Shamanist elements which can still be found today.
Central Asian Islamic scientists and philosophers, including Al-Khwarzimi , Abu Rayhan Biruni , Farabi , and Avicenna made an important impact on the development of European science in the ensuing centuries. Turko-Mongolian tribes almost as whole were slow to accept certain Islamic tenets, such as giving up the consumption of alcohol or bathing before prayer.
This is, however, believed to relate more directly to their nomadic lifestyle and local tradition than their faith in God and devotion to Islamic law and text. After conquests in the region by the Russian Empire in the s and s, western Central Asia came under Russian control and was incorporated into the empire as a Governor-Generalship led by Konstantin von Kaufman.
Russian authorities debated what position they should take on Islam in the newly conquered territories. Some advocated a policy of religious repression, citing the ongoing Dungan Revolt in the neighboring Qing Empire as proof of the potential "threat" of Islam.
Others, such as General Kaufman and his superior Dmitry Milyutin , preferred a policy of mild religious tolerance. Kaufman was nevertheless concerned about pan-Islam movements that would cause the Muslims of Russian Turkistan to view anyone other than the czar as their ruler. While the practice of Islam was broadly tolerated by the Russian Empire during its rule over Central Asia from the mids to , the advent of Soviet rule following the Russian Revolutions of and the subsequent civil war brought with it Marxist opposition to religion.
During the first few years of Bolshevik rule in the early s, Soviet officials took a pragmatic approach by prioritizing other goals attempting to modernize culture, building schools, improving the position of women in order to solidify their hold on Central Asia.
During this time, the Bolsheviks cooperated with the Jadids Muslims working towards social and cultural reforms such as improved education to accomplish their goals. In the process, the Bolsheviks created a new political elite favorable towards Marxist ideology by using propaganda and appointing officials favorable towards their policies during the division of Central Asia into separate republics along ethnic lines in the s and s.
In , the Soviet government decided it had consolidated control over Central Asia sufficiently to shift official policy from toleration of Islam to condemnation. The government closed private religious schools in favor of state-run public ones. Between and , the state ran a campaign to shut down mosques in Central Asia.
This operation was not well documented, but existing accounts indicate that it was often violent and poorly controlled, often carried out by self-appointed officials who arrested imams and destroyed buildings, denouncing Islam as an enemy of communism. Despite these assaults, Islam in Central Asia survived Soviet rule in the following decades. However, it was transformed in the process: instead of part of the public sphere, Islam became family-oriented, "localized and rendered synonymous with custom and tradition.
Additionally, Islam was largely removed from the public discourse, especially in terms of its influence on morals and ethical values. The policy of glasnost put into practice by Mikhail Gorbachev in the mids meant that by the Soviet government relaxed its controls on Islam. As a result, there was a rapid religious revival, including new mosques, literature, and the return of private religious schooling.
Many Central Asians were interested in the ethical and spiritual values that Islam could offer. The revival accelerated further following the collapse of the Soviet Union in For many, Islam constituted a national heritage that had been repressed during the Soviet era. Additionally, relaxed travel restrictions under Gorbachev enabled cultural exchange with other Muslim countries; Saudi Arabia, for example, sent copies of the Qur'an into the Soviet Union in the late s.
Islam, as practiced in Central Asia, became much more varied in this short time. However, the governments of the Central Asian republics were wary of Islam in the political sphere. Their fears of undue influence were soon justified by the outbreak of the Tajik Civil War in , between the Tajik government and a coalition of opponents led by a radical Islamist group called the Islamic Renaissance Party.
The takeover in of Afghanistan by the Taliban further emphasized that threat. It was formed in in Astrakhan by a group consisting mostly of Tatar intellectuals, with separate branches for each Soviet republic. It was in fact registered as an official political party in Russia, but was banned by the Central Asian communist governments.
However, the other Central Asian republics did not follow this example, continuing instead to repress and persecute Islamic groups rather than allow them to participate in the political process. Though it does not espouse the same violent methods as groups such as the IRP and IMU, its stated goal is to unite all Muslim countries through peaceful methods and replace them with a restored caliphate. For this reason, governments in Central Asia consider it a threat and have outlawed it as a subversive group in the Central Asian republics.
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, , foreign powers took a much greater interest in preventing the spread of radical Islamic terrorist organizations such as the IMU.
The Central Asian republics offered their territory and airspace for use by the US and its allies in operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the international community recognized the importance of ensuring stability in Central Asia in order to combat terrorism.
Powers such as the United States, Russia, and China were not only interested in fighting terrorism; they used the war on terror in order to advance their political and economic agendas in the region, particularly over the exploitation of Central Asian energy resources.
In Tajikistan, the government took advantage of this shift in international attitude in order to erode the position of Islam in politics, taking steps such as forbidding the hijab which is not traditional in Tajikistan, due to Soviet rule in public schools and reducing the legal rights of Islamic groups. Since , ethnic and religious tensions in the Central Asian republics combined with endemic poverty and poor economic performance have made them increasingly volatile.
However, governments as often use Islamic groups as a justification for repression and crackdowns as those groups are the cause of violence, if not more often. For example, in May the Uzbek government massacred over of its own civilians demonstrating following a trial of 23 suspected Islamic radicals, saying that they were terrorists.
Though the events of the massacre were complex, this simplistic account appears to be false; instead, it was a case of the Uzbek government repressing peaceful protesters, perhaps attempting to prevent the sort of popular revolt that had occurred two months earlier in Kyrgyzstan, toppling President Askar Akaev.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Overview of Islam in Central Asia. Encyclopaedia Iranica. Retrieved December Archived from the original PDF on 24 September Agency of Statistics of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Archived from the original on 22 July Retrieved 21 January Department of State. Retrieved 14 February The Guardian. Facts and Details. Retrieved 27 March Islam in Asia. Book Category Asia portal. Hidden categories: Articles with short description Short description matches Wikidata. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file.
Download as PDF Printable version. Madrassa in Samarkand. Islam portal.
The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society
How do Muslims relate to Islam in societies that experienced seventy years of Soviet rule? How did the utopian Bolshevik project of remaking the world by extirpating religion from it affect Central Asia? Adeeb Khalid combines insights from the study of both Islam and Soviet history to answer these questions. Arguing that the sustained Soviet assault on Islam destroyed patterns of Islamic learning and thoroughly de-Islamized public life, Khalid demonstrates that Islam became synonymous with tradition and was subordinated to powerful ethnonational identities that crystallized during the Soviet period. He shows how this legacy endures today and how, for the vast majority of the population, a return to Islam means the recovery of traditions destroyed under Communism. Placing the Central Asian experience in the broad comparative perspective of the history of modern Islam, Khalid argues against essentialist views of Islam and Muslims and provides a nuanced and well-informed discussion of the forces at work in this crucial region.
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Berkeley Program in Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies
The present book is a solid and welcome contribution to the body of literature dealing with the Soviet impact on the Islamic heritage of Central Asia; it is a pleasure to find, amidst that literature, a work that is at once concise and substantive. Many works in this field have been produced by writers familiar with the Russian and Soviet context but quite unschooled in Islamic studies, or vice-versa; happily, Khalid is equally at home in Russian and Soviet history and in the history and politics of the Muslim world. He manages to touch upon, often with insightful summary evaluations if not with substantial detail, a remarkable array of cultural, social, political, and religious developments of the recent Soviet and post-Soviet past; his assessments are often insightful
Review of Adeeb Khalid's "Islam after Communism: Religion and Politics in Central Asia"
How do Muslims relate to Islam in societies that experienced seventy years of Soviet rule? How did the utopian Bolshevik project of remaking the world by extirpating religion from it affect Central Asia? Adeeb Khalid combines insights from the study of both Islam and Soviet history to answer these questions.
Islam in Central Asia has existed since the beginning of Islamic history. Islam is the most widely practiced religion in Central Asia. The Hanafi school of thought of Sunnism is the most popular, with Shiism of Imami and Ismaili denominations predominating in the Pamir plateau and the western Tian Shan mountains almost exclusively Ismailis , while boasting to a large minority population in the Zarafshan river valley, from Samarkand to Bukhara almost exclusively Imamis. Many well-known Islamic scientists and philosophers came from Central Asia, and several major Muslim empires, including the Timurid Empire and the Mughal Empire , originated in Central Asia. Concerns about Islamic radicalism and religious freedom in the region persist to this day. The Battle of Talas in between the Abbasid Caliphate and the Chinese Tang dynasty for control of Central Asia was the turning point, initiating mass conversion into Islam in the region. Most of the Turkic khanates converted to Islam in the 10th century.
It has been linked to terrorist activity and to the attempted overthrow of Uzbek President Islam Karimov. This paper discusses the roots and causes of Islamic radicalism in general; clarifies the terms "Salafism" and "Wahhabism"; and examines violence as culture. In discussing the emergence of radical Islam Islamism in Uzbekistan, the author covers Salafism in Central Asia; the early Salafi ideologists; specific teachers and their disciples; and Uzbek militants abroad, in such places as Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. In describing the rise of the IMU, the paper presents the IMU's early activities; the February terrorist bombings in Tashkent; terrorist networks in Central Asia; the conviction of the leaders of the Erk political party for terrorist acts; and regional and clan rivalries. In discussing trans-border violence, the paper covers the fighting in Tajikistan in ; the hostage taking in Kyrgyzstan in ; and the IMU's adventures in Tajikistan and Afghanistan in
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Они не придут, - сказала она безучастно. Хейл побледнел. - Что это. - Стратмор только сделал вид, что звонил по телефону. Глаза Хейла расширились. Слова Сьюзан словно парализовали его, но через минуту он возобновил попытки высвободиться. - Он убьет .
С ужасом девушка увидела, что сумка застряла в двери. Она наклонилась и что было сил потянула ее, стараясь высвободить застрявшую часть. Затуманенные глаза Беккера не отрываясь смотрели на торчащий из двери кусок ткани. Он рванулся, вытянув вперед руки, к этой заветной щели, из которой торчал красный хвост сумки, и упал вперед, но его вытянутая рука не достала до .
Сьюзан, - сказал. - Дай мне двадцать минут, чтобы уничтожить файлы лаборатории систем безопасности. После этого я сразу перейду к своему терминалу и выключу ТРАНСТЕКСТ. - Давайте скорее, - сказала Сьюзан, пытаясь что-нибудь разглядеть сквозь тяжелую стеклянную дверь.
Да-да. Сегодня мой брат Клаус нанял девушку, очень красивую. С рыжими волосами. Я тоже хочу. На завтрашний день, пожалуйста.