In the Whirlwind of Jihad

In the Whirlwind of Jihad

MARTHA BRILL OLCOTT
Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 300
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt6wpjxb
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  • Book Info
    In the Whirlwind of Jihad
    Book Description:

    In Uzbekistan, Central Asia's most populous country, Islam has been an ever-present factor in the lives of its people and a contentious force for political officials trying to build a secular and authoritarian government.

    In the Whirlwind of Jihadexamines the intertwined and evolving relationships between religion, the state, and society in Uzbekistan from the late 1980s to today, encompassing the period from the collapse of the Soviet Union to the launch of the U.S.-led "war on terror" in neighboring Afghanistan. Martha Brill Olcott, the foremost expert on Central Asia, concludes that in an era of global communication and increased contact with international Islamic communities, a new role for Islam in Uzbekistan will ultimately emerge with implications beyond the country's borders.

    eISBN: 978-0-87003-301-8
    Subjects: Political Science, Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. FOREWORD
    (pp. vii-viii)
    JESSICA T. MATHEWS

    From the time of the Arab Conquest in the seventh century, Islam has been an ever-present factor in the lives of the peoples who have lived in modern-day Uzbekistan—and a force that political leaders must contend with to secure their authority.

    A center of learning in philosophy, science, and the arts during the centuries of the Islamic Empire, for most of modern history, Central Asia’s population has accepted a fusion of religious authority with political power. Since the Russian Conquest, however, Islam has been subordinated to the will of secular authorities. Throughout Soviet rule, the relationship was a contentious...

  4. PREFACE
    (pp. ix-xii)
    MARTHA BRILL OLCOTT
  5. NOTE ON TRANSLITERATION
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    MARTHA BRILL OLCOTT
  6. 1 AN INTRODUCTION TO ISLAM IN UZBEKISTAN
    (pp. 1-26)

    When Uzbekistan received its independence in late 1991, the question of whether the country would remain a secular society was a relatively open one. Uzbekistan experienced an Islamic revival starting in the 1980s, which became more widespread when the Soviet Union collapsed, especially during the early years of independence when the Uzbek state was weak. Religious groups competed with secular authorities but as the state grew stronger, and more autocratic, it was better able to channel the course of Islam’s development. But even then, the state was not able to fully define Islam’s development, as opportunities for contact with the...

  7. 2 ISLAM AND THE STATE BEFORE SOVIET RULE
    (pp. 27-50)

    Since the introduction of Islam, Central Asia’s rulers have had to contend with Islam and its understanding of “just rule” as they have sought to bolster their own authority. Rulers from within the region have sought to co-opt Islam to serve their own purposes, either through the choice of asheikh ul-Islamor by favoring clerics of one theological school or Sufi order over those of another. Conquerors from outside of the region, such as the Russians or the Soviets after them, sought to sharply limit Islamic authority or attempt to make it fully subservient to secular rule.

    Central Asia’s...

  8. 3 ISLAM AND THE STATE IN THE SOVIET UNION
    (pp. 51-74)

    The years 1917 through 1923 were a period of real turmoil in Central Asia in which power shifted frequently. There was no uniformly accepted authority in Turkestan between the February and October revolutions in 1917, and after the Bolshevik Revolution there were competing authorities in Tashkent (the Soviets, almost entirely Russian) and in Kokand (a government of local nationalists, with support of the local council ofulama). In 1917, Jadid reformers, referring to themselves as “Young Bukharans” in the style of the Young Turks of the Ottoman Empire, pushed unsuccessfully for the Emir of Bukhara to introduce political reforms within...

  9. 4 RELIGIOUS LEADERS OF THE SOVIET ERA
    (pp. 75-106)

    My goal in this chapter is not to write an exhaustive history of religious life throughout the Soviet period, but to try to give some suggestion as to how complicated things were during that time. The task of writing a complete history of Islam in this period will rest with another generation, as it requires that the archives of the Spiritual Administration of the Muslims of Central Asia and Kazakhstan as well as Soviet archives be exhaustively researched, preferably by a scholar with little stake in the outcome of the findings. In the current environment, access is still restricted, and...

  10. 5 MUHAMMAD SODIQ MUHAMMAD YUSUF—UZBEKISTAN’S THEOLOGIAN
    (pp. 107-134)

    One figure was omitted from the previous chapter, Muhammad Sodiq Muhammad Yusuf (also known as Muhammed Sadik Mamayusuf or Mamayusupov), the formermuftiof the Spiritual Administration of Central Asia, and Uzbekistan’s firstmuftiafter independence. He was earlier omitted because he merits a chapter of his own.

    Many consider Muhammad Sodiq Uzbekistan’s unofficial spiritual leader. His following reaches into southern Kazakhstan and among Uzbeks in Khujand, although outside of Uzbekistan the respect he enjoys is mostly from fellow clerics. Most Muslims, including most official imams and many politicians, agree with the positions he takes. His wide support makes him...

  11. 6 ISLAM IN THE COMMUNITIES
    (pp. 135-158)

    The next two chapters look at the survival and revival of Islam in Uzbekistan, through the use of interviews conducted by a group of Uzbek scholars¹ in 1992 and 1993 in a research project of my design. They offer a portrait of religious practice at the household and community level, and show how the survival of Islam in Uzbek communities was sufficient to support religious dynamism during the period of religious revival in the late 1980s and 1990s.

    This chapter focuses on survival, and tries to capture the reasons why some people tried to preserve the teachings and practice of...

  12. 7 ISLAMIC REVIVAL IN THE UZBEK COMMUNITIES
    (pp. 159-190)

    As early as late 1992, when the survey was done, it was already possible to see real divisions within Uzbek communities as to what the appropriate government policy toward religion should be and what role Islam should ideally play in Uzbekistan. In this period, Uzbek government policy toward religion was not yet well defined. Local communities were filling the void left by the collapse of Soviet power and the new independent government’s lack of capacity to enforce its preferences on recalcitrant populations.

    For this reason, it was possible for people to speak freely and, where desired, quite critically about what...

  13. 8 “MANAGING ISLAM” SINCE INDEPENDENCE
    (pp. 191-222)

    Like all post-Soviet states, Uzbekistan confronts the challenge of creating politically loyal citizens. True to their Soviet upbringing, Uzbek leaders have turned to ideological indoctrination, rather than political participation, as the foundation for building national unity and political loyalty.

    Like many others in Central Asia, Uzbekistan’s rulers believe that ideology is the glue that promotes political and social stability. As such, they have applied a great deal of energy, and in some cases resources, to try to cast a new nationally oriented ideology for the Uzbek people. It is based heavily on the idea that Uzbek nationhood—and even Uzbek...

  14. 9 THE RISE OF RADICAL ISLAM IN UZBEKISTAN
    (pp. 223-252)

    At the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s, the post-World War II generation began reaching maturity, and they included a number of interesting religious figures. While some, such as Muhammad Sodiq Muhammad Yusuf, came from noted religious families, others, like Rahmatulla-alloma and Abduvali qori, came to the forefront without any particular family recommendation to open their doors. Most of these men were considered “radical” by their elders because they took issue with the political pacifism of the Stalin and Khrushchev-era clerics. Most saw the roots of this radicalism in the way that Hanafi Islam had evolved...

  15. 10 THE ISLAMIC MOVEMENT OF UZBEKISTAN IN TAJIKISTAN AND AFGHANISTAN
    (pp. 253-286)

    This chapter looks at the role of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan prior to the U.S.-led military operation in Afghanistan. While Uzbekistan’s radical Islamists were unable to coalesce into a sustainable political movement in the Ferghana Valley, they did achieve this aim once they fled to Tajikistan, recruiting fighters from Uzbekistan to fight alongside their Muslim brethren in the Islamic Renaissance Party. Through their participation in the Tajik Civil War, leaders of the IMU, as they began to call themselves, were able to deepen their contacts with global Islamist forces and gained access to elite strata in Muslim countries supporting...

  16. 11 THE POST-9/11 WORLD
    (pp. 287-320)

    The U.S.-led “war on terror” in general and the International Security Assistance Force operation in Afghanistan in particular hardened the resolve of the Uzbek government that religious life in the country had to be closely regulated by the government. While the chief security concern of the state has related to Islamic groups, Christian groups (and particularly evangelical sects)¹ have found it more difficult to operate as well, in part because Uzbek authorities want to secure a “special role” for Islam, as part of a strategy of maintaining rapport with the country’s Islamic leaders.

    The NATO bombing of the Islamic Movement...

  17. NOTES
    (pp. 321-376)
  18. GLOSSARY
    (pp. 377-384)
  19. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 385-406)
  20. INDEX
    (pp. 407-414)
  21. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    (pp. 415-415)
  22. CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE
    (pp. 416-416)
  23. Back Matter
    (pp. 417-417)