Monday, September 22, 2014

ISIS Recruitment in Tajikistan

Here is a bit from Jamestown Foundation on how ISIS is gaining recruits in Tajikistan:
Earlier this month, it was widely reported that the Islamic State had appointed a Tajikistani national to be Amir of Raqqa—the “capital” of the territory under the group’s control (BBC Tajik, September 2). Little is known about the alleged “Tajik Amir.” However, many fear that if the appointment is true, it would be a major propaganda coup in the effort to recruit more Tajikistanis to fight.
Some observers blame the uptick in recruiting on anti-Shia propaganda funded by the Gulf States. Satellite stations such as “Wesal TV” have Persian-language services designed to reach Sunni populations in Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Iran. In one video, a popular host, Shaykh Abdul Rahim Mollazadeh, can be seen accusing Iran of propagating Shia thought in Tajikistan, which he denounces as “intellectual cancer and lies” (YouTube, April 19). While Tajikistan’s population is predominantly Sunni, the sectarian identity has become increasingly salient in recent years as evidenced by a high-profile incident of Hoji Akbar Turajonzoda, an influential cleric and political figure, who was accused of secretly being a Shia (see EDM, January 12, 2012). 

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