Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-x

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Introduction: Reassessing the “Islamic Revival” in Central Asia

Pauline Jones

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pp. xi-xviii

For most of the 1990s, there was a broad consensus that Central Asia was experiencing an “Islamic revival” analogous to what occurred throughout the Islamic world in the 1970s and 1980s,1 and that this would have similarly negative effects on the social and political development of the five sovereign states that compose the region: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.2 And yet, despite over two decades of research, at the end of the 2000s we still lacked a thorough understanding...

Part I. A View from Below: Islam and Society in Central Asia

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pp. 1-2

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Chapter One. The Social Significance of Islam in Post-Soviet Central Asia: The Case of Kyrgyzstan

Rouslan Jalil

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pp. 3-28

The aim of this chapter is to analyze whether the process of religious revival in Kyrgyzstan has translated into increased religiosity in Kyrgyz society. The study is based on a nationwide mass survey conducted in 2011–12, which examines various dimensions of religiosity to ascertain the degree of Islamic practice, beliefs, values, and religious knowledge. (See the appendix to this chapter for details.) The findings demonstrate that the apparent outcome of religious resurgence in Kyrgyzstan is a profound...

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Chapter Two. Beyond Piety: Self-Related Muslims in Uzbekistan

Svetlana Peshkova

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pp. 29-54

In this chapter I focus on the individual uniqueness of Central Asian Muslims and challenge prevalent analytical assumptions about Muslim piety that obscure religious diversity in the region and the rich religious history informing it. These assumptions limit individual piety to a set of cultural symbolic behaviors, including a regular ritual practice (Ar. salat, Uz. namoz), dietary restrictions, religious education, modest covered dress, and sometimes increased political activism. In order to gain deeper insights into the...

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Chapter Three. Radical Islam from Below: The Mujaddidiya and Hizb-ut-Tahrir in the Ferghana Valley

Vera Exnerova

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pp. 55-76

For many in Central Asia the Mujaddidiya and Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HBT) movements represent the most active and prominent radical Islamist groups to have emerged over the past four decades.1 The Mujaddidiya is known for its role in the appearance of radical political Islam in Uzbekistan both prior to and after the collapse of the Soviet Union and its culmination in the violent jihad of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) against governments in Central Asia in the 1990s. The HBT has been scrutinized...

Part II. A View from Above: Islam and the State in Cenral Asia

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pp. 77-78

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Chapter Four. Engineering Islam: Uzbek State Policies of Control

David Abramson and Noah Tucker

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pp. 79-98

Soon after Uzbekistan became independent in 1991, its government led by President Islam Karimov acknowledged Islam as an integral component of national identity (Khalid 2007, 132). The public recognition of Islam as part and parcel of national identity and state interests has allowed and at times even encouraged growth in religious practices and symbols, and that growth in turn prompts new efforts to control them. This dynamic has fostered multiple and contradictory analyses of the role of Islam in...

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Chapter Five. Subversives and Saints: Sufism and the State in Central Asia

Emily O’Dell

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pp. 99-126

During the imperial Russian conquest and the Soviet period, state authorities considered Sufism a threat and thus an ideology that needed to be controlled and destroyed. In response to armed Sufi resistance movements against state attempts to control and define Islam, the tsars and the Soviets both weakened the influence and public presence of Sufism in Central Asia by directing religious officials to issue fatwas against Sufism, placing Sufis under strict surveillance, and stripping Sufi endowments of their wealth....

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Chapter Six. Unregistered: Gray Spaces in the Soviet Regulation of Islam

Eren Murat Tasar

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pp. 127-148

In 1988, at the eclipse of Soviet power, a bureaucrat in the government’s Council for Religious Affairs (CRA) cautioned Kyrgyzstan’s Council of Ministers that “the vestiges of patriarchal-tribal traditions have not been erased among the population, in large part thanks to the unregistered functionaries of the Muslim cult.”1 This lament echoed long-standing unease within the Party-state about the legal status of the many unregistered, or illegal, Islamic religious figures, whose ranks far outnumbered those of...

Part III. A View from Within: Sources of Religious Authority in Central Asia

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pp. 149-150

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Chapter Seven. The Ascendance of Orthodoxy: Nation Building and Religious Pluralism in Central Asia

Noor O’Neill Borbieva

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pp. 151-172

It was a sunny Friday afternoon during orozo (Ramadan) in July 2013. The streets around the main mosque in downtown Bishkek were filled with cars and pedestrians, many of them men with skullcaps and rolled up prayer rugs. They streamed into the main entrance, past beggars and rows of tables covered with books, DVDs, Zamzam water,1 and prayer beads. Around the corner, women ducked between the mosque complex and the...

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Chapter Eight. Islam, Religious Elites, and the State in Post–Civil War Tajikistan

Tim Epkenhans

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pp. 173-198

Since its rise to power in 1992, Tajikistan’s authoritarian government under President Emomali Rahmon has cultivated notoriously difficult relations with “Islam” as the majority religion of Tajikistan’s population and with Muslim religious leaders.1 The legacy of the Soviet Union, its disintegration and the successive civil war (1992–97) still influences perceptions of “Islam” among the dominating political elite in the remote and mountainous...

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Chapter Nine. When Religion Resorts to Violence: Explaining the Spatial Variation in Religious-Based Mobilization in Kyrgyzstan

Alisher Khamidov

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pp. 199-220

In the early 1990s, a time when the newly independent states of Soviet Central Asia grappled with economic turmoil and political turbulence, scholars and journalists made ominous predictions about the role of religion in Central Asia. Freed from Soviet control, as some observers claimed, Islam would emerge as a potent political force capable of mobilizing masses and toppling post-Soviet Communist elites (Allsworth 1989; Haghayeghi 1996; Voll 1994). To substantiate such dire predictions, observers pointed to a staggering rise...

Part IV. A View from Outside: International Islam and Central Asia

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pp. 221-222

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Chapter Ten. The Localization of the Transnational Tablighi Jama’at Network in Kyrgyzstan

Mukaram Toktogulova

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pp. 223-244

T here are six people: two young Kyrgyz men and two young women, a five-year-old girl and me in the car that is driving us from Karakol, a small town in the Issyk Kul region of Kyrgyzstan, to Talap village. Two women sitting in the back seat are clothed in long black dresses, wear a hijab on their heads, and cover their faces with a black veil (in accordance with purdah, or the principles of gender segregation); a girl is in a white dress and white hijab, which covers her head and neck. To my surprise,...

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Chapter Eleven. Transnational Islamic Banks and Local Markets in Central Asia

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pp. 245-262

Starting in the early and mid-2000s, the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have become another node in the worldwide network of Islamic financial institutions, hosting an array of such institutions that vary from large banks that serve businesses, to banks that offer retail products, and finally to microfinance companies that offer services to mostly rural populations.1 Despite their foreign origins and their transnational scope, these institutions are framed, translated, and implemented by...

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Chapter Twelve. Studying Islam Abroad: Pious Enterprises and Educational Aspirations of Young Tajik Muslims

Manja Stephan-Emmrich

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pp. 263-289

Between the early 1990s and 2010, a remarkable number of young Muslims in Tajikistan left their country to study Islam abroad,1 and in the meantime many of them have returned to their homeland. Their self-representations as reawakened, pious Muslims are built on references to a “true” or “pure” Islam and attest to their imagination of “ideal” Muslim places afar that, as I will show in this chapter, in many senses serves as an antidote to their experiences of everyday life at home. With their Islamic...

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Conclusion. Central Asia as Part of the Islamic Core

Pauline Jones

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pp. 290-294

Central Asia has long been treated as peripheral to world history—a victim to the shift in the “world historical centre of gravity . . . outward, seaward, and westward” since the fifteenth century (Frank 1992, 44). Perhaps less well recognized is that it has also long been relegated to the periphery of the Islamic world. Geography tells a large part of the story here too. Central Asia’s location between the “barbarian nomads on its north and Chinese civilization at its east” and its cultural connection to...

Notes

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pp. 295-326

References

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pp. 327-352

Index

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pp. 353-366

Back Cover

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