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A SECULAR ISLAM: NATION, STATE, AND RELIGION IN UZBEKISTAN

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 November 2003

Extract

The collapse of the Soviet Union a decade ago engendered both hope and fear about the future of Islam in Uzbekistan (and Central Asia in general). Many Muslims from other countries hoped that, freed from the constraints of the Soviet regime, Uzbeks and other Central Asians would rediscover their religious traditions and rejoin the broader Muslim world.1 Other observers feared that Islam would emerge as a political force and threaten the security of the region.2 As the decade progressed and militant Islamist organizations appeared, fear tended to overshadow hope. The events of autumn 2001 in Afghanistan, when fighters belonging to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) played a prominent role alongside the Taliban, seemed to vindicate the darkest fears,3 and to justify the unremitting campaign that the regime of President Islom Karimov has waged against “religious extremism” since 1998.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2003 Cambridge University Press

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