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Author Olcott, Martha Brill, 1949-

Title Roots of radical Islam in Central Asia / Martha Brill Olcott
Published Washington, D.C. : Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2007
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Description 1 online resource (39 pages : digital, PDF file)
Series Carnegie papers ; no. 77
Working papers (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) ; no. 77
Contents Understanding radical Islam in Central Asia -- Beginning of radicalization of reformist Islam in Uzbekistan, 1920s to 1960s -- Radicalization of reformist Islam, 1970s to mid-1980s -- Radical Islam, late 1980s through early 1990s -- Radical Islam, mid-1990s -- Tahir Yuldashev, the IMU, and jihad, late 1990s to 2001
Summary The history of the development of Islamic radicalism in Uzbekistan, and in Central Asia more generally, is a potentially contentious one. There is very little agreement either within the policy community in the United States or in Central Asia itself as to what Islamic radicalism is and who among devout Muslims should be considered as posing a threat to the secular regimes. This paper will provide some answers to the question of what Islamic radicalism is. It offers an in-depth look at a number of prominent clerics from Uzbekistan -- who have been labeled either "fundamentalist" or "Wahhabis"--Who have been instrumental in the development of radical Islam in Uzbekistan. It looks at their teachings, their teachers, and their influence on political and social behavior in Uzbekistan. This paper describes the roots of radical Islam and provides some background into the ideological role played by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) in the development of Islamic radicalism in Uzbekistan, leading to the question of whether the IMU is likely to have any intellectual influence in the future. Materials used in this analysis include films, documents seized by U.S. journalists, documents secured through contacts within the Uzbek security forces, and material from in-depth interviews with six former members of the IMU who returned to Uzbekistan through the amnesty program. These former members of the IMU were active during the period of 1994-2003. Also included are the author's brief contacts with several member-fighters (including Juma Namagani) of Adolat at the very beginning of that movement. The evolution of radical Islam in the years just prior to and immediately following the collapse of Soviet rule has its roots in earlier decades. Radical Islam represents both a battle between Islam and outside forces that seek to transform Islam's sociopolitical role and doctrinal disputes within Islam that have been characteristic of the practice and teaching of the faith for more than five hundred years. Central Asia's Muslims have traditionally practiced Islam as it is interpreted by the Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence, which is known for its liberalness and respect for personal freedom. Although there have been Salafi Muslims -- those who reject all four schools of Islamic jurisprudence -- in the area, historically they have not played a strong role in the region. This creates an uphill battle for modern-day proponents of a return to the caliphate. Over the centuries, however, many have been critical of how traditional Hanafi Islam has been practiced in Central Asia, and many of these critics can be, and were, viewed as fundamentalists and even as Wahhabis by the clerical establishment they sought to transform
Notes "January 2007."
Title from title screen (viewed February 9, 2007)
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 37-39)
Notes Mode of access: World Wide Web
System requirements: Adobe Acrobat Reader
Subject Islam -- Asia, Central
Islam -- Uzbekistan
Central Asia.
Form Electronic book
Author Carnegie Endowment for International Peace