Friday, April 27, 2007

Fighting Islamic Resurgence

Authorities in Tajikistan have raided some home-based Muslim religious classes, citing among other things fears that the children were being abused. The article, however, links it to the government's concern over Islamic extremism. I think it's easy to say that the Rahmon regime doesn't want to see the development of potential opposition networks, and that fears of IMU-like organizations make a good cover. However, I also suspect there's a cultural conflict involved.

Under the last sub-heading, a young woman named Muhayo reacts angrily against a CD encouraging women to wear headscarves, which is a fairly common thing for Muslim women to do, regardless of their political views or activities. I don't know as much about the cultural effects of the Soviet period in Central Asia as I probably should, but I do know that during that period, Islam was scorned even more than communism. Most people who grew up under Soviet rule probably had an education that promoted secularism and portrayed many aspects of Islam as backwards. Now that there is a religious revival in the post-Soviet period, many are probably reacting against it based on both their Soviet education (or the trailings thereof, among the younger generation) and what they get from the news which deals with the danger of Islamic extremism in the context of terrorism issues.



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