A Secular Islam: Religion and Politics in Central Asia

May 25, 2017 | Autor: Adeeb Khalid | Categoría: Islamic Studies, Central Asia, Political Islam, Uzbekistan
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Int. J. Middle East Stud. 35 (2003), 573–598. Printed in the United States of America DOI: 10.1017.S0020743803000242

Adeeb Khalid

A S E C U L A R I S L A M : N AT I O N , S TAT E , A N D R E L I G I O N I N U Z B E K I S TA N

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. As I argue in this article, Islam in Uzbekistan is too complicated to be understood through such paradigms of hope and fear. Militant groups no doubt exist, but their significance and the size of their support need to be considered carefully. Furthermore, they exist in a cultural milieu that, after seven decades of Soviet-style modernization and secularization, is not hospitable to them. Before we can speak of the political role of “Islam” in contemporary Uzbekistan, we have to comprehend what “Islam” means to the people of Uzbekistan. How have 20th-century projects of nation- and statebuilding in Central Asia shaped and reshaped people’s understandings of Islam and its place in the world? How is religious authority produced and reproduced today, and what is its relationship to the broader field of political power? What contests over the place of Islam in society are under way now? By answering these questions, I argue that the experience of the 20th century has left popular understandings of Islam intertwined with, and subordinate to, powerful discourses of nation and progress. As a result, Islam today is widely understood in Uzbekistan in ways that are profoundly secular. The revival of Islam, which began in the last years of the Soviet period, does not necessarily subvert the authority of the nation state, and indeed can even be made to further buttress it. Much of the literature on Islam in Uzbekistan suffers from a serious lack of compar-

Adeeb Khalid is an Associate Professor at Carleton College, Northfield, Minn. 55057, USA; e-mail: [email protected].  2003 Cambridge University Press 0020-7438/03 $12.00

574 Adeeb Khalid ative and historical perspective. Usually the work of policy experts with training primarily in Russian or Soviet studies, it is often oblivious to work done by scholars looking at other Muslim societies, who over the past three decades have produced a vigorous literature on the articulation of Islam in various local contexts. This literature also underestimates the strength of Soviet-era nation- and state-building, which have deeply marked how Islam is understood in Uzbekistan (and other lands of the former Soviet Union). “Islam” is therefore taken simply as a given, a monolithic set of beliefs that drives its believers to certain political actions. This is not surprising. After the Russian Revolution, Central Asia was forgotten by the world of Islamic studies and left to the tender mercies of “nationalities studies,” a subdiscipline of Sovietology, which, much like Orientalism, posited the uniqueness of its subject and thus was averse to comparative work or conceptual insights generated in other disciplines. Observers of Soviet Islam displayed great sympathy for Soviet Muslims as victims of atheism, but it was based on a flawed, essentialist view of both Islam and communism. Because Islam and communism, taken as archetypes, are mutually inimical, the argument went, Islam was the biggest internal threat to the Soviet state. Adherence to Islam automatically was supposed to have a political meaning in the Soviet context.4 Although scholars more at home in the Muslim world challenged these assumptions even during the Cold War,5 and some serious work on Central Asia has been undertaken in the Islamic studies field in the past decade,6 the central aspect of Cold War–era conventional wisdom—the automatic assumption of the political meaning of Islam—continues to inform current debate. There is, however, a crucial difference: Islam has now been transformed from a victim of Soviet oppression into a threat to regional security, democratization, and the establishment of open societies in the region. Similar problems beset the considerable corpus of writing on the subject by Soviettrained scholars, whose objectivist and positivist assumptions about the social world are conducive to essentialist notions of Islam. Many of these scholars posit a causal link between the adherence of the people of Central Asia to Islam and their political actions. “That Islam would appear in politics is only natural,” writes Aleksei Malashenko, a prolific author. “Islam as part of politics constitutes a natural part of Muslim society, without which it is ‘incomplete.’”7 Others see in Central Asia an immutable tradition immune to all historical change, so that contemporary politics in the region is simply the replication of ancient patterns of authority. For S. P. Poliakov, tradition is “the complete rejection of anything new introduced from the outside into the familiar, ‘traditional’ way of life. Traditionalism does not simply battle novelty; it actively demands constant correction of the life-style according to an ancient, primordial, or ‘classical’ model.”8 Demian Vaisman asserts that politics in Soviet Central Asia was “indeed a replica of the pre-Bolshevik power structure. . . . Only the names of the offices held by local politicians were changed. Rashidov (First Secretary of Uzbekistan’s Communist Party in the years 1959–83) would previously have been the republic’s khan or emir; the party Bureau, his vizirs; and the central party bureaucrats, court figures along the Bukharan, Kokand or Khivan patterns.”9 Tradition, however, is highly malleable. Debates over tradition predate Soviet rule in Central Asia and have been intimately connected to notions of nation, progress, and Islam. It is in the realm of practice, however, that the most interesting permuta-

A Secular Islam 575 tions took place. In this paper, I trace how tradition was shaped and reshaped by the social and political upheavals Uzbekistan underwent in the 20th century and how it accommodated itself to new political realities.


Discourses of progress and the nation arrived in Central Asia at the turn of the 20th century. They interested a new group of intellectuals called the Jadids, who found in them hope for the cultural regeneration of their society that they had come to see as necessary in the aftermath of the Russian conquest.10 In common with Muslim modernists elsewhere in the world, the Jadids favored a thoroughgoing reform of Islam and the Muslim tradition that alone could allow Muslims to answer the “demands of the new age.” Meeting the demands of the age, however, tended to conflate the interests of Islam with those of Muslims, for Islam could be safeguarded (against both theological and political incursions) only if Muslims achieved success in this world. This reversed the long-standing concern in the Islamic tradition of seeing Islamically ordained behavior as a prerequisite for worldly success. Instead, Islam became the defining characteristic of a worldly community that increasingly came to be seen as a political nation. Indeed, Islam became a nation in Jadid discourse. “Muslims” were now a political community located in history and geography, and existing alongside other communities. Although the nation was defined in confessional terms, its uses were entirely secular. In many Jadid writings, the distinction between Islam as a faith and Muslims as a community disappears completely. Thus, Mahmud Xo’ja Behbudiy, the leading Jadid in Central Asia, could urge his compatriots to educate their children to become “judges, lawyers, engineers, teachers, the supporters and servants of the nation, . . . who would work for the true faith of Islam.”11 The true faith, the nation, and progress blended very easily to produce a discourse of secular Muslim nationalism. At the turn of the 21st century, secular Muslim nationalism appears to be an oxymoron. Therefore, it is worthwhile to recall how widespread such discourses were a century earlier. Central Asia was scarcely unique in this. Muslim modernists in other parts of the Russian empire were equally at home with the idea, and the so-called Islamists of the Ottoman Empire articulated a very similar view of Muslim solidarity.12 Similarly, in British India “communalism” functioned—at least, at that time—as a set of confessionally defined nationalisms.13 Nor was the phenomenon restricted to the Muslim world. Zionism also represented an instance of confessional identities being re-imagined along national lines, combining concerns of group survival with claims to land and underplaying the specifically religious aspects of the community. Instead of being simply vanquished by forces of nationalism, the ummat was transformed into the millat and nationalized. Nor did the sacred language disappear. To be sure, such Muslim nationalism was not uncontested or even “purely” Muslim. It was always intertwined with discourses of race and ethnicity, as well as with those of territorial sovereignty. The millat as imagined by the Jadids encompassed the sedentary Muslims of Central Asia, who were implicitly held to be Turks. Only progress and enlightenment allowed one to be a good Muslim; recognizing one’s nationality was a sign of

576 Adeeb Khalid progress; a good Muslim had to be a nationalist. As one Jadid author put it, “faith (din) rests on the nation (millat), and the nation on nationalism (milliyat).”14 The implications were of fundamental importance: if Islam were conceived as a community, it could exist without explicit reference to Islamic behavior. For the Jadids, the implementation of Islamic law was never an issue in the politics of the Muslim nation (the question of the Islamization of law belongs to a later generation of Islamic thought). Indeed, faith could become irrelevant (and for some, even a hindrance) for the progress of the Muslim nation. In Central Asia—as, indeed, in much of the Ottoman world—it was thus possible in the early 20th century to be agnostic or even an atheist and yet retain a strong Muslim national identity. Recent crises in the Balkans have forced us to recognize that such forms of identity continue to exist among Balkan Muslims; we need to remember how widespread the phenomenon was in the early parts of this century. I S L A M A S N AT I O N A L H E R I TA G E

The conquest of power by the Bolsheviks transformed the social and political milieu in which Islam existed in Central Asia. Armed with a utopian vision of radical remaking of society and the individual, the Bolsheviks set about creating an activist state that intervened in society at all levels. The matter was given further urgency by the fact that the Bolsheviks had acquired power in a country that, according to their own reckoning, lacked many of the preconditions for Soviet power. Somewhat paradoxically, the Bolsheviks came to see cultural revolution as an important guarantee for safeguarding the political gains of the revolution. Throughout the Soviet Union, therefore, the regime launched campaigns for literacy, health care, women’s rights, and enlightenment. Two aspects of this program were of particular importance to our concerns here: a radical transformation of society, with attacks on the property and status of old elites (many of whom had already suffered huge blows from the economic crisis of the civil war) and the emergence of new elites; and a vision of a rational society in which religion had no place. In Central Asia, the cultural revolution of the 1920s involved an attack on the maktab and its replacement by a network of modern schools, campaigns against illiteracy, an orthographic revolution that resulted in the adoption of a Latin alphabet for all Turkic languages of the Soviet Union in 1928 (the same year as in Turkey), and attacks on traditional practices in general. In 1927, the party launched the hujum, or assault, on the traditional way of life. Its main focus was the veil—thousands of women unveiled in public acts of defiance of tradition—but it was a basic metaphor for the state’s relationship to local customs and traditions, which it sought to re-create on a “more rational” plane. The hujum, with its excesses, was unsuccessful—and, indeed, counterproductive—in the short run: the very customs it attacked became highly valued markers of local identity against an aggressive and oppressive state.15 In the long run, however, many of its goals were achieved. The veil eventually disappeared; public discourse was radically de-Islamized; and local customs gradually “Sovietized.” Recent scholarship in Russian history has looked at these state-enforced initiatives as an exercise in European colonialism. A far more apt comparison is with the Kemalist remaking of Anatolia that was roughly contemporary with events in Central Asia.

A Secular Islam 577 In each case, a modernizing elite made use of state institutions to push society along the path to “modern civilization.” The Bolshevik vision was more universalist, and it was much more ruthlessly executed, but its implementation was the act of a state bent on reshaping the behavior and norms of its citizens, rather than a colonial state acting on native subjects. The Bolsheviks always had support among local elites. Opposition from conservative forces within Muslim society during the open politics of 1917 had radicalized the Jadids’ stance and produced an impatience with evolutionary change.16 After initial misgivings, many of them began joining the Communist Party of Turkestan after mid-1918. The Jadids of Bukhara had toppled the emir with Red Army help in 1920 and set up a short-lived republic that pursued a modernist agenda. For much of the 1920s, the Jadids had a great deal of say in formulating cultural policy. More significant was the emergence of a new indigenous political class that staffed the Soviet and party apparatus. To be sure, Russians and other Europeans were overrepresented in organs of power, especially in the top echelons, and the centralism of the party meant that Moscow could override local concerns. It is nevertheless difficult to speak of “the near-total absence of self-proclaimed ‘socialists’ among the local population.”17 Self-proclaimed or not, Uzbeks made up 43 percent of the membership of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan in 1925.18 This did not substantially change in the following decades, even after the bloodletting of the Great Terror in the mid1930s, which tended to be blind to the ethnic origins of its victims. More significantly, the rhetoric of Uzbek nationhood flourished under official auspices during this period. The attack on Islam began in the mid-1920s, with waqf revenues being diverted to the commissariat for education and some madrasas being closed. By the end of the decade, it had turned into a frontal assault: mosques and madrasas were closed by the hundreds (some destroyed; most turned to other uses; and a few saved as “architectural monuments”); and countless ulama killed or sent off to labor camps as enemies of the people.19 In addition to bringing about physical destruction of institutions and personnel, Soviet xenophobia also cut off links with the outside Muslim world. Although the Soviet border with Afghanistan saw some movement back and forth of Turkmen nomads into the 1930s, Muslim intellectuals, modernist and traditionalist alike, lost contact with their peers abroad. If the Jadids were members of print-based communities that encompassed much of the Muslim world, now Central Asian Islam was forced into isolation and hence localized. The most important consequence of this isolation was that Islam was rendered synonymous with tradition. Official channels of socialization, such as the school system and the army, which reached very deep into society were not just secular but atheistic. With maktabs and madrasas abolished, the ranks of the carriers of Islamic knowledge denuded, and continuity with the past made difficult by changes in script, religious knowledge was vastly circumscribed and the site of its reproduction pushed into private or covert realms. With no new religious texts being published, and oral chains of transmission often destroyed, the only sources for religious knowledge were pre-revolutionary texts in lithograph editions that became prized possessions, even as the ability to read them became rarer in society.20 Central Asia remained beyond the reach of much of mid-century Muslim religious thought, including the entire phenomenon of “political Islam” as developed by Abu al-Ala Maududi and Sayyid Qutb. The upheaval of the 1930s destroyed older elites and disrupted social bonds, but

578 Adeeb Khalid Soviet power was never so absolute as to supplant all local solidarities with purely Soviet ones. Indeed, the lowest level of state and party organizations often coincided with traditional nodes of local society. In the cities, for instance, state and party organizations were based on the mahalla—the residential neighborhood—which had long been the site of reciprocal social bonds and of collective memory,21 and which continued to function as such in its Soviet guise. In the countryside, collective farms became sites of similar networks of kin-based solidarities—a “new tribe,” in the words of Olivier Roy, the most sensitive observer of this “social recomposition.”22 This, combined with Soviet policies that from the mid-1920s emphasized the “nativization” (korenizatsiia) of the local apparatus of power, meant that power at the ground level remained in local hands. The Soviet system became, especially after Stalin, a political machine for the distribution of power and patronage. In Central Asia, the new political class was based on networks of power based in highly localized solidarities fully ensconced in official Soviet institutions. It was these solidarities that provided the base for the transmission of Islam in Soviet Central Asia. While religious observance continued even in the harshest years of the 1930s, it now existed in a radically altered cultural milieu. Thus, every collective farm, it seems, had a mosque, which was officially registered as a storage room or community hall; the imam similarly received a salary as a tractor driver or a mechanic. Rituals were performed by men who claimed locally esteemed lineages, who transmitted the knowledge, usually quite slender, in the family.23 Other forms of observance also continued, while new forms of ritual arose to circumvent official restrictions. Visits to tombs and shrines had long been a part of Central Asian Islam; now, with hajj not a real possibility, they became a common expression of piety.24 Sufi practice was also widespread. The supervisory apparatus of the state, itself not immune to these networks of solidarity, left much of this practice alone as long as it remained discreet, and it was left to the professional propagandists of atheism to bemoan the continuing hold of religion and tradition on the population.25 But if local solidarities supported Islam in the Soviet period, they also marked it in very significant ways. Although there is no question that religious observance continued and was widespread, it was not what was most important about being a Muslim. Rather, belonging to Islam became a marker of national identity, for which no personal piety or observance was necessary. Islam came to be seen as an indispensable part of local customs and practices that served to set Central Asians apart from outsiders. These customs and practices included circumcision for boys (which was frowned on as unhealthy by Soviet medical science, and hence its observance also had an aura of national opposition to Soviet dictates), the maintenance of patriarchal kinship networks, and the celebration of life-cycle rituals. Indeed, the feasts (to’y) connected with these rituals (but especially circumcisions and weddings) acquired a central place as national customs in the Brezhnev period. The to’y served several purposes. Most clearly, it marked Central Asians as different from others living in their midst; it also served to affirm status within the national community. With the political upheavals of the Stalin and Khrushchev periods a thing of the past, a native political elite came to control the region under Brezhnev. Long-serving first secretaries, such as Sharaf Rashidov in Uzbekistan and Dinmuhamed Kunaev in Kazakhstan, headed vast networks of power and patronage, and as long as they did not rock the boat by making radical

A Secular Islam 579 claims on the center, they were secure in their power.26 Conspicuous consumption and conspicuous possession of scarce consumer goods were the most important ways of asserting status and influence in this context,27 and the to’y was the most suitable occasion for this. The to’y was nearly universally observed, including by members of the party. But these very same ceremonies were also awash in a sea of vodka, the drinking of which also became a part of national custom. Similarly, the vast majority of Central Asians, including many communists, were buried according to Islamic ritual in Muslim cemeteries, yet many Muslim graves were topped by busts of the deceased in the typical Soviet style. The localization of Islam coexisted with the emergence of strong national identities. From the very beginning, “nation” (and the related concepts of “nationality” and “the people,” all rendered by khalq in Central Asian languages) was a constitutive part of the Soviet political system. While “Soviet internationalism” and “the friendship of peoples” remained constants in official rhetoric, they were premised on the assumption that every individual belonged to a nation. The Soviet regime indulged in the most ambitious—and successful—project of nation-building in human history, as nations were created (or “recognized”) and equipped with territorial homelands, along with policies of affirmative action promoting native elites to positions of power within the political system.28 Indeed, the discourse of primordial national identity is arguably the most powerful legacy of the Soviet period in contemporary Central Asia. Soviet-era national identities centered on language as the most important marker of the nation, but custom and heritage (meros in Uzbek) were also crucially important. The Soviet constitution explicitly recognized such symbols of nation- and statehood as flags and parliaments, but much more significant was the creation of national intelligentsias, supported by an overstaffed humanities academe generously funded by the state. It was these intelligentsias that articulated (and jealously guarded) each nation’s cultural heritage, complete with a pantheon of great thinkers, artists, and heroes. To be sure, national rhetoric had to stay within fairly strict limits and emphasize “Soviet internationalism” and “the leading role of the Great Russian people, the elder brother,”29 but in actual practice, especially by the 1960s, it had attained widespread acceptance among the population. Most significantly, the notion that everyone belongs to a nation defined by language, history, custom, and heritage became a commonplace that underpins all nationalist discourse in the post–Soviet space today. In Uzbekistan, the celebration of meros became a major, and completely legitimate, preoccupation of the intelligentsia in the last three decades of Soviet rule. Much to the chagrin of other Central Asians, Uzbek intellectuals laid claim to the entire cultural heritage of Transoxiana. Lavishly funded “jubilees” celebrated anniversaries of the founding of Bukhara, Samarqand, and Tashkent. Figures such as Abu Rayhan Beruni, Ibn Sina, Alisher Nawa’i, and Mirza Ulughbek were likewise claimed as “Uzbek”; their works were published in massive editions, their deeds celebrated in historical fiction, and their statues strewn about the cities of Uzbekistan. Islam was thus subordinated to strong national identities. Central Asians were Muslims by tradition and civilization, but they were also part of the modern world. Islam in the late Soviet period served as a marker to divide Central Asians–natives–Muslims from Europeans–outsiders–Russians, with the emphasis on custom and way of life. This emphasis meant that this “Islam” was understood as a form of localism; it was

580 Adeeb Khalid most emphatically not Pan-Islamic. Muslims from other parts of the world who did not share Central Asian customs were not included in these boundaries.30 Although Muslimness distinguished locals from outsiders in the Soviet context, being Muslim was not counterposed to being Soviet. This was not just because by the 1960s the Uzbek way of life was inextricably intertwined with Soviet society. Many of the carriers of Islam were quite comfortably ensconced in Soviet society. Nor did the rhetoric of Muslimness exclude the possibility of antagonism with other “peoples” of Central Asia, let alone with Muslims abroad. The Soviet government presented Tashkent as a showpiece to the Third World, especially the Muslim world, of Soviet achievements in overcoming underdevelopment. It was a common destination for large numbers of foreign students, many of them Muslim. Yet little love was lost between them and their hosts precisely because their common Muslimness meant little to the hosts.31 Similarly, when Central Asians went abroad, especially to other Muslim countries, they went as Soviet citizens proud of being citizens of a superpower and more “advanced” than other Muslims. Central Asians participated in large numbers in the war in Afghanistan, where they served as willingly as any other group of Soviet soldiers. Indeed, recent archival research has shown that in the post-war period, the regime considered Muslims (especially those of Central Asia) to be loyal citizens who had shown their patriotism during World War II. It was only after the revolution in Iran and Soviet involvement in Afghanistan that the regime began to worry about the influence of foreign Islam on its citizens.32 The reproduction of the learned tradition of Islam did not die out, but it was limited to two restricted sites away from the mainstream of public life. One was the officially sanctioned Muslim Spiritual Directorate for Central Asia and Kazakhstan (SADUM), one of the four Muslim boards established in 1943 as part of a country-wide peace with religion dictated by the exigencies of war. The direct antecedent for the Muslim directorates was the Muslim spiritual assembly founded by Catherine II in Ufa in 1788, but whose jurisdiction had never extended to Central Asia. The state hoped for better oversight over religious expression in the country by legitimizing certain aspects of it and establishing bureaucratic control over it. For the ulama who had survived the assault on Islam, this came as a mixed blessing. Official recognition allowed an institutional basis for the practice and reproduction of Islam. Mosques could be opened and local “communities of believers” allowed to raise funds for them; limited contact with the outside world became possible, as did higher religious education for small numbers of students in two institutions in Central Asia: the Mir-i Arab madrasa in Bukhara (reopened in 1948) and the Imam al-Bukhari Islamic Institute (founded in Tashkent in 1971). Yet this came at a price: official ulama were expected to help the state in its foreign-policy initiatives in the Muslim world as well as in the domestic realm.33 The family of Naqshbandi shaykhs who presided over SADUM until 1989 balanced political caution with ensuring the reproduction of a learned elite. The instruction in these institutions was very different from the pre–Soviet Central Asian madrasa tradition: tajwid, tafsir, and hadith were the basic disciplines (taught from primary sources, rather than the commentaries and glosses used in Bukharan madrasas), and they were accompanied by intensive training in Arabic. All students also studied geography, history, social science, and Uzbek language and literature, and

A Secular Islam 581 were obligated to take classes in physical education.34 In the 1960s, students began to be sent abroad, usually to friendly Arab countries. They returned well acquainted with current reformist trends of Islam. This turn to the Arab world was something new (the outside contacts of the generations before 1917 had been with India or the Ottoman world), but the emphasis on modernist Islam harked straight back to the Jadids. Foreign observers were usually highly suspicious of official Islam,35 as were many Muslims in Central Asia, but the official ulama are best seen as the realization of the Jadid ideals of broadly educated, enlightened, reformist religious intellectuals. Much like the Jadids, they were critical of local customs (such as visits to saints’ tombs, the to’y, and so forth) that could not be legitimized by appeal to scriptural sources, a position they asserted in fatwas that were read out in mosques.36 Indeed, Muslims of the Soviet East, the quarterly magazine published since 1968 by SADUM, was probably the last forum for the expression of Abduh-style Muslim modernism anywhere in the world. In their formal voice, the official ulama stressed the congruence between the ideals of Islam and socialism and Islam’s commitment to social justice, anti-colonialism, and world peace. In practice, they ensured the survival of a learned tradition in the modernist vein. When Ziyovuddin Boboxon, the long-time head of SADUM, wrote that “the practice of socialist society as regards the universal duty to work does not actually differ from the humane principles of Islam,”37 he was making an argument common among modernist Muslims throughout the 20th century. The official ulama, however, never acquired the monopoly over Islamic learning that the state had hoped for. Unofficial ulama, operating without any authorization, far outnumbered them. Not only did unofficial ulama perform rituals and lead prayers; some of them, beginning in the 1960s, also offered lessons in secret to selected students. This was an unofficial intellectual milieu of considerable vitality. Its most important figure was domla Muhammadjon Hindustoniy (1895–1989). Born in a village outside Kokand, Muhammadjon left Central Asia in 1919 to study in India (hence his epithet). He returned to the Soviet Union in 1929 and promptly got into trouble with the state. He spent several years in jail and labor camps and served in the Red Army in World War II. After the war, he worked briefly as an imam-khatib in an official mosque in Dushanbe and then at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Tajikistan Academy of Sciences. In private, he wrote copiously, compiling, among others, a six-volume manuscript tafsı¯r. Unlike the thorough modernism of the official ulama, Muhammadjon Hindustoniy taught traditional Hanafi doctrine, in which he found no bases for political opposition to Soviet rule. In the late 1970s, this milieu was torn asunder by a theological dispute. When certain unofficial ulama began advocating purism in ritual and observance, Muhammadjon Hindustoniy angrily declared that they had foresworn accepted Hanafi dogma, and drawing on the vocabulary of the South Asian sectarian milieu denounced them as “Wahhabis.” This dispute between traditionalists and those advocating religious purism continues and is the source of the introduction of the much abused term “Wahhabi” to public life in Uzbekistan.38 The two groups of ulama were linked with a complex web of relations. Both came from similar backgrounds and were connected to each other through chains of initiation and kinship. There was also no clear dogmatic divide between them, although the unofficial ulama could not travel abroad and tended to be more traditionalist. Official

582 Adeeb Khalid ulama tried, not always successfully, to control or influence their unofficial counterparts; unofficial ulama ranged in their attitudes toward SADUM from support and cooperation to open contempt. The picture I have drawn of the nationalization of Soviet Islam differs sharply from the scholarly consensus that developed in the West on this issue during the Soviet period. Western observers rejoiced at every indication of continued observance of religious ritual, seeing in it a potential threat to the Soviet state. For Alexandre Bennigsen, the most influential Western observer of Islam in the Soviet Union, “though forced to adapt, Islam has not in any way been contaminated by Marxism. From the point of view of Islamic law and theology, Islam in the USSR is the same untainted religion that it had been before 1917.”39 The political implications he drew from this essentialist (and manifestly incorrect) understanding of Islam were clear to him: Soviet Muslims and those from abroad feel completely at home with each other in whatever country they meet. They belong to the same Muslim Millet and share the same spiritual background that rules their everyday life. They observe the same religious rites and social customs. They have the same dietary traditions, wear almost the same clothes and display the same deeprooted distrust towards the non–Muslim West, as represented by Europeans and Americans in the Middle East and by Russians in Central Asia and the Caucasus. In short, they are brethren facing a hostile world together.40

Similarly, in the widespread if covert practice of Sufi ritual and other forms of worship Bennigsen discerned a “parallel Islam” and invested in it his hopes of a Muslim subversion of the Soviet order.41 This was clearly wishful thinking rather than analysis. Much of this writing was driven by a hatred of the Soviet Union, not any interest in understanding social and religious transformation in the societies being studied. Even when the essentialist argument about Islam led Bennigsen to see a certain community of interest among Americans, Europeans, and Russians, his anti–Soviet posture drove him to a nostalgia about “untainted Islam” that he could never have espoused in a different, non-communist context (such as that of Turkey). It is perhaps not fair to Bennigsen to use hindsight to note that Islam played no role in the breakup of the Soviet Union.42 Islam in the Soviet period was intertwined with the nation but in a very different way from how it had been with the Jadids. For the Jadids, belonging to Islam had become a form of national identity. But their attitude toward Islam was thoroughly reformist. The nation’s survival depended on a thorough reform of Islam itself. “True” Islam, accessible through modern education and a recourse to the original textual sources of Islam, shorn of the mediation of generations of commentary and supercommentary, necessitated the jettisoning of numerous customary practices. The Jadids were especially critical of the to’y, which they saw as wasteful and not sanctioned by Islam. They also criticized visits to shrines and tombs and Sufi practices in general.43 During the Soviet period, these very practices were elevated to the status of national custom, which alone differentiated Central Asians from outsiders. Islam now was part of the civilizational and cultural heritage of a nation imagined as an ethnic entity. Instead of requiring the transformation of customary practices, Islam was now synonymous with them.

A Secular Islam 583 I S L A M I N I N D E P E N D E N T U Z B E K I S TA N

Post–Soviet Central Asia has witnessed a considerable religious revival, and nowhere is it more visible than in Uzbekistan. Disused mosques have been brought back into operation, and many new ones have been built; thousands of pilgrims perform the hajj every year; public expressions of piety have proliferated; and considerable publishing activity has put many Islamic texts in print. Although there is no question that an “Islamic revival” is under way, its political implications from the beginning have been misconstrued and exaggerated. The alarmist prognoses that have proliferated serve various political interests. I will discuss the interest of the Uzbek regime in an “Islamic threat” at greater length later. The current popularity in Russia of kul’turologiia, a new discipline that takes civilizational difference (a` la Samuel Huntington) as its point of departure for analyzing the world, and of geopolitics combine to make Islamophobic discourse commonplace in Russian public life. For Russian scholars, discerning Islamist danger in the former Soviet periphery can serve any number of purposes, from asserting Russia’s civilizational superiority over Central Asia (and its proximity to “the West”) to finding reasons for continued geopolitical involvement in the socalled Near Abroad.44 In the West, such prognoses perpetuate stereotypes of a Muslim world that is congenitally prone to instability and violence and of a religion inherently linked to politics and terror. A closer look at the ways in which religious authority is being contested and transformed in the post–Soviet period leads to more sanguine conclusions. Today’s Islamic revival originated in the context of the open assertion of national identity that took place throughout the former Soviet Union in the late 1980s as glasnost broke old taboos. The Islamic revival in Uzbekistan is a grass-roots movement, an example of non-state groups asserting their presence in the public realm. It involved the exploration of national and cultural legacies beyond the constraints placed on nationalist discourse by the regime. For Central Asians, it meant rediscovering Islam and Muslim culture and re-establishing links with the broader Muslim world that had been severed by Soviet xenophobia and the downplaying of historical links with non–Soviet nations. There was, in addition, a search for old spiritual and moral values that many felt had been lost during the Soviet period. The religious revival in this sense is profoundly national, one aspect of reclaiming and asserting national identity. None of this was unique to Central Asia. Indeed, the religious revival in Russia itself has been more spectacular than in Central Asia. Religious observance and church attendance have skyrocketed; Orthodox religious ritual has crept into official functions; churches in the Moscow Kremlin are fully functional; and new churches have been built. The religious revival has also encompassed the large numbers of non–Muslims living in Central Asia (mostly settlers from European parts of the former Soviet Union). Not surprisingly, these developments are evaluated positively—as people rediscovering their spiritual values—and never construed as a political threat. Uzbekistan’s religious revival began in 1988, when the late–Soviet regime abruptly curtailed its surveillance of religious activity. The following years saw hectic activity in religious and cultural realms. As the Soviet world turned upside down, unofficial ulama and their supporters rebelled against SADUM, protesting the corruption of its

584 Adeeb Khalid leadership and accusing it of servility to the regime. The most spectacular episode during this rebellion was a demonstration in Tashkent on 3 February 1989 against the established hierarchy of official Islam, which resulted in the “retirement” of Shamsuddin Boboxon as the head of SADUM.45 Over the following three years, mosques proliferated (many were built new, but many others simply became officially recognized), Sufi masters emerged, and basic religious education appeared again. There has been a certain pluralization of Islam as sectarian debates, once confined to the underground circle of unofficial ulama, emerged into the open. New sects and religious groups (such as Ahli hadis, Ahli Qur’on, and a host of local offshoots), many of them with no previous record in Central Asia, have appeared.46 This was accompanied by great interest in the Arabic script and attempts to replace Russian loan words with Arabic or Persian terms. Many texts, hitherto taboo, appeared in print again, and the Quran was translated into Uzbek for the first time in 1992. The most ubiquitous sign of the re-Islamization of society has been the availability of what one might call “religious commodities” in Uzbekistan. These range from plaques and stickers bearing prayers in Arabic and calendars with dates of Islamic holidays to posters bearing the photographs of the holy sites in Mecca and Medina and new editions of “classical” Muslim authors of Central Asia. Yet the life of these religious commodities is different from elsewhere in the Muslim world. In the cities of Uzbekistan, they can share shelf space with foreign liquor and tobacco, the most palpable symbols of the “opening” of the country to the outside world. All the same, the publishing scene has been transformed, and many more Islamic texts are available now than was even conceivable until 1988. “Islamic” books have appeared in substantial numbers over the past decade. Nevertheless, publishing in Uzbekistan is very different from that in the Middle East or South Asia. A brief survey of the new “Islamic” books and their place in the publishing scene will serve to highlight the peculiarities of contemporary Central Asian Islam.47 In terms of content, the new Islamic books can be classified as follows: 1. Texts explicitly written for the contemporary Central Asian audience to serve as introductions to the basic tenets of Islam or providing the most basic knowledge of Islam that was lost during the Soviet period.48 There are also a few manuals of conduct, but the number of such publications remains quite small. Some of the earliest titles were published with the help of foreign sponsors.49 2. Older texts transcribed into Cyrillic but published without any scholarly apparatus or explication. These texts range from pre-revolutionary primers and devotional works from the period to works that were popular in the print market on the eve of the revolution.50 The choice of titles seems to be quite random, depending primarily on what older texts are at hand; some titles published in this manner are Tatar or even Ottoman. The transcription in these texts usually sticks very close to the original text, even though the language is often markedly different from contemporary literary Uzbek and not easily accessible to today’s readers. Beyond the language, several other aspects of these works (the unstated assumptions of their authors and the cultural and intellectual milieu in which they wrote) remain distant from their contemporary readers. 3. “Classic” texts transcribed into Cyrillic and presented with a scholarly apparatus. Although the content of these works is different, their publication is located in the tradition of Soviet Orientalism. Now they serve the function of retrieving the cultural and spiritual heritage of the nation, although they are, of course, open to purely “religious” use. The past decade has

A Secular Islam 585 seen the publication of some texts from al-Bukhari and Rabghuzi (the author of the most popular compilation of tales of the Prophets), and the first Uzbek translation of the Quran, which was, significantly, done not by an alim, but by an Arabist from the Institute of Oriental Studies in Tashkent. In the same tradition are reprints of works by turn-of-the-century Russian Orientalists on Central Asian Islam and society, which now provide access to hitherto taboo aspects of history. Similarly, almost all the works of the Jadids are now back in print. 4. Popular texts about the region’s Islamic past, focusing on figures such as al-Bukhari, Baha’uddin Naqshband, and Temur, all of whom are also part of the official canon of Uzbek cultural heroes. There is also small corpus of post–Soviet Sufi hagiography, compiled by academic authors who step outside Soviet-era constraints on the study of religious but nevertheless bring a modern sensibility to their subject. Sufism and Sufi masters can now be praised for their “free thought” and their humanism.51 Although the promotion of these figures as Uzbek heroes relocates Uzbek identity in a more Islamic domain, it also keeps Islam firmly Uzbek. 5. Facsimile reprints of turn-of-the-century lithographed texts, often without any introduction or other material. These books are chosen seemingly at random and seem to be aimed at acquainting the reader with the Arabic alphabet.

Clearly missing from the repertoire are works of contemporary Islamic thought; works about Islamic law or jurisprudence; and works about Muslim figures who are not connected with Central Asia, all of which appear in great numbers in countries such as Pakistan, Egypt, and Turkey. Moreover, the new Islamic books look exactly like those of the Soviet period, except that they are slimmer and usually not as well produced. This is in marked contrast to the “new Islamic books” in Egypt, for instance, which are illustrated and come with attractive covers.52 Publishing practices have not changed very much since the Soviet era, and the actual production is still done by a few mammoth concerns that own most printing presses. The large number of small-scale publishers that dominate the market for popular literature in, say, Pakistan is not to be found in Uzbekistan.53 The severe economic crisis of the previous decade has hit publishing and academe especially hard, mitigating greatly the easing of ideological constraints over publishing (although censorship is still routine). The school system remains resolutely secular, with no religious instruction whatsoever. This, again, is in marked contrast to Turkey, where the laicist regime nevertheless ensures that Islam, in an approved and properly “nationalized” form, remains part of the moral education of all pupils.54 In Uzbekistan, religious instruction remains in the private realm, and, as we shall see later, is not always free from persecution. A remarkable feature of the cultural landscape in the past few years has been the emergence into open of otins, women who teach children the basic tenets of faith, largely orally.55 Similarly, there has been a revival of Sufi orders, with shaykhs recruiting disciples openly. Yet it is clear that instead of being a return to some kind of “pure” Sufism, this phenomenon is redefining Sufism itself. As an Uzbek scholar has pointed out, the adepts’ knowledge of the intricacies of Sufi ritual is often superficial, while older practices about initiation are widely disregarded.56 Contact with Sufi fraternities abroad has been reestablished, and the renovated shrine of Baha’uddin Naqshband outside Bukhara receives large numbers of visitors from far afield, but national differences and language barriers have proved to be very real. The Islamic revival remains largely a phenomenon of cultural rediscovery, which

586 Adeeb Khalid shows little sign of affecting everyday life. There is little concern with observing the basic prohibitions of Islam against alcohol and even pork. The rhythms of everyday life remain secular in a way that is inconceivable in, say, Turkey. The one sphere of life in which the Islamic revival has had some effect is that of gender roles, where the rhetoric of cultural authenticity seeks a rehabilitation of traditional, “properly Islamic” norms for women’s lives. There is a new emphasis on traditional roles for women, accompanied by a debate on whether the hujum (and, by implication, all that it represented) was “necessary.”57 But even here, the emphasis on reclaiming national traditions far outweighs concern with the Islamization of everyday life that accompanies political Islam elsewhere. Of the small number of manuals of proper behavior for women that have appeared in print, most are translations of turn-of-the-century reformist tracts from Central Asia (and in at least one case, from the Ottoman Empire).58 Finally, it is the disappearance of large numbers of jobs from the economy in the economic dislocation of the Soviet collapse that feeds the rhetoric of redefining women’s place in society.59 Islam, nation, and tradition coexist happily in Uzbekistan. A “return” to Islam today is widely seen as a way of reclaiming the national cultural patrimony and of decolonization, but little more. Islam is deeply intertwined with powerful national myths. For the same reason, there is little interest on university campuses in a return to “true Islam,” as has been a feature in much of the Middle East. For most people, Islam represents an idealized version of an authentic Central Asian past set against Sovietera corruption rather than an idealized future based on the sovereignty of God and the Islamization of all aspects of life. I S L A M A N D T H E P O S T – S O V I E T S TAT E

The source of the alarm about “religious extremism” is located in the complex relations between the social and cultural phenomenon of the religious revival and the political strategies of the post–Soviet state, which I will examine in some detail later. The political implications of the religious revival can be understood only through its relationship to state power. The political field continues to be dominated by the state, which is in no mood to divest itself of any of the prerogatives it had inherited from the Soviet period. The Soviet twilight provided Uzbekistan a period of tolerance and moderation between 1989 and 1992, in which limited pluralism existed in politics and the media, and even a contested presidential election was held in October 1991. This period quickly came to an end. The party elite retained control of the state, although there was some turnover within the elite. Nevertheless, the political system has changed: although the Communist Party, now renamed the People’s Democratic Party, still exists, Uzbekistan is no longer a party state in the Soviet sense, for Islom Karimov, the president of Uzbekistan, has managed to concentrate all power in the presidency.60 The democratic opposition of the late glasnost era was crushed and its leadership driven into exile by the end of 1992.61 The Karimov regime has also largely spurned the mantra of privatization, and the state remains a powerful actor in the economy. The regime has sought to anchor its legitimacy in Uzbek nationalism and statehood. This nationalism is very much in the Soviet mold but with the Soviet constraints

A Secular Islam 587 removed. Thus, the mandatory homage to the Great Russian people has been replaced by an equally mandatory invocation of the horrors of “Tsarist and Soviet imperialism.” The new nationalism is built on celebrating the “golden heritage” (oltin meros) of Uzbekistan. It utilizes the Soviet-era pantheon of heroes of the past, but it puts at its head the figure of Temur, whose “feudal militarism” was frowned on in Soviet times. Also pressed into service are the great figures of Islamic learning such as al-Bukhari, al-Maturidi, and al-Tirmidhi. The celebration of the heritage takes the typically Soviet form of elaborately scripted “jubilees,” of which there have been an average of two per year in recent times.62 In addition, massive celebrations, staged at great cost, mark independence day each year.63 The regime has also acted to “nationalize” the state and make it more Uzbek. Uzbek was declared the state language in 1989; Uzbeks have been promoted in the bureaucracy and the security forces; and the symbols of Uzbekness are ubiquitous.64 The regime’s policy toward Islam is best understood in this context. It celebrates the Islamic cultural heritage of the region and invokes the moral and ethical values stemming from it. Sufism has been adopted as an example of the humanist traditions of the Uzbek nation, just as old mosques are celebrated as “architectural monuments.” The hajj is now officially sponsored, and Karimov has performed it in person. At the same time, having no patience for any challenges to its authority, the regime is committed to remaining in firm control of Islamic expression. To this end, it has refashioned the Soviet-era bureaucracy. SADUM, which did not survive the fall of the Soviet Union (its Kazakh wing seceded 1990, and by 1992 each new country had its own religious administration), has been replaced by the Muslim Directorate of Uzbekistan (O’zbekiston Musulmonlar Idorasi), which functions as an organ of the state, firmly under the control of the regime. The Islamic revival had begun with a revolt against official ulama. Since independence, the regime has worked hard to reassert the authority of the national board, bringing about another era of “official Islam.” The Muslim Directorate has a monopoly over religious instruction and the organization of contacts with the rest of the Muslim world. New madrasas have appeared under its auspices, and it organizes the hajj for several thousand citizens every year. It also controls all mosques and their personnel in the country. Mosques not controlled by the directorate, by contrast, are deemed illegal and have in many instances been closed.65 While the government asserts its respect for the spiritual heritage of the nation, it also makes no bones about its opposition to the danger posed by the wrong kind of Islam. To the regime, such Islam, not part of the nation’s traditions, denotes backwardness, obscurantism, and fanaticism and is bound to knock the nation from its path to progress. Karimov is keen “to make clear the difference between the spiritual values of religion and certain ambitions—political and other aggressive goals—that are far from religion.”66 In its self-representation, the regime offers a stark choice to the people of Uzbekistan: they can have a future led by “enlightened people with a scientific world view” who are able to combine the best aspects of modern life and their heritage, or by “barbarians . . . ignorant, uneducated people who use pseudo–Islamic slogans to increase their own power.”67 The good of the nation requires that the wrong kind of Islam be kept in check, by merciless means if necessary. As Karimov told the rubber-stamp Parliament in a speech broadcast live on radio, “Such people [Islamic extremists] must be shot in the head. If necessary, I’ll shoot them myself.”68

588 Adeeb Khalid The wrong kind of Islam is defined very broadly. An official text issued as part of an educational effort to combat “religious extremism” renders it synonymous with “fundamentalism” and “Wahhabism.” Fundamentalism, it states, “struggles to maintain religion in its original form,” rejecting all innovation. It thus poses a threat to the well-being of the nation and the state. But “extremism” comes from the fundamentalists’ lust for power, which leads them to give religion “a political coloration” and to attempt to take over the state.69 In actual practice, the definition of “extremism” is highly expansive, encompassing any attempt by a religious figure or organization to participate in public life. These labels have been applied with great liberality to repress opponents and to restrict religious activity itself. These measures were given legal backing in 1998 by a Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations, which prohibits private teaching of religious principles. Worship and religious education may be undertaken only by registered organizations. Amendments to the criminal code made participation in the activity of unregistered or prohibited religious organizations punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment.70 The struggle against “extremism” was brought to the forefront of the regime’s agenda by unprecedented events in 1999. On 16 February 1999, six bombs exploded within an hour in the center of Tashkent, destroying government buildings, killing sixteen people, injuring more than 100, and missing Karimov narrowly. No one took responsibility for the Tashkent bombings, but the government quickly accused “Islamic extremists” operating out of Afghanistan and Tajikistan of making the attack and unleashed a widespread campaign against them. Hundreds of people were arrested, and several suspects were extradited from Turkey, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. In June, six suspects were duly found guilty and sentenced to death.71 In the absence of compelling proof (the confessions of the suspects were clearly extracted under torture), a number of theories have been put forward to explain the bombings. Exiled opponents of the regime, pointing out that not a single official functionary was harmed in the bomb attacks, have even suggested that the bombings were staged by the government to give it a pretext for another wave of repression.72 Other explanations ranged from factional conflict within the Uzbekistani regime, through Russian intrigue, to retaliation on the part of the government of Tajikistan.73 Even as the trials progressed in summer 1999, the IMU made its first appearance. An armed band belonging to it entered the Batken district of Kyrgyzstan from Tajikistan and took several people, including four Japanese geologists, hostage. The insurgents demanded a ransom and passage to Uzbekistani territory, which they claimed was their real target. The Kyrgyzstani armed forces appeared powerless to expel them, and the insurgents withdrew only after two months, when the Japanese government reportedly paid a ransom of $6 million.74 The confrontation was repeated the following summer, when the insurgents briefly took a group of American mountaineers hostage. Although the hostages escaped, the incident moved the U.S. State Department to place the IMU on its list of terrorist organizations.75 The early history of the IMU is little known. It was founded in Afghanistan around 1998 by Uzbek exiles who had fled persecution in Uzbekistan since independence. Many of its founders saw action in Tajikistan’s civil war, which for them opened the door to the stateless realm of Afghanistan. There they received backing from Pakistan’s Interservices Intelligence Agency, the Taliban regime, and Usama bin Ladin.

A Secular Islam 589 One of its founders, Tohir Yo’ldashev, found sanctuary in Peshawar, from where he traveled to Saudi Arabia, the Gulf, and the Caucasus in search of funding and recruits. We know now that the Taliban provided the IMU a training base in Kunduz, while other exiles studied in the madrasas of Pakistan.76 The number of fighters it commands has been a matter of speculation. In part, it was fed a constant creep of exiles escaping from Uzbekistan via Tajikistan; in part, it acquired many non–Afghan fighters whom the Taliban did not want to be directly associated with them. This access to funds and arms elevated the IMU from a minor movement to a substantial security threat. Although its summer incursions in 1999 and 2000 were quite minor affairs, the IMU featured prominently on the side of the Taliban during the 2001 war in Afghanistan. Its leader, Jum’a Namangoniy, was reportedly given command of the whole of northern Afghanistan, and press reports spoke of thousands of Uzbeks fighting alongside the Taliban.77 The experience of Afghanistan also marked the ideological outlook of the IMU in many fundamental ways. Its official rhetoric is quite vitriolic, especially toward the current Uzbek government and particularly against Karimov himself, whom it accuses of “carrying out in Uzbekistan the policy of Israeli Jews and the American enemies of Islam.”78 The intertwining of anti–Israeli, anti–Jewish, and anti–American motifs in the IMU’s criticism of the Karimov regime highlights its debt to the rhetoric of militant groups in Afghanistan. Nor is there is any concrete political program behind the vitriol. Much like the Taliban, the leaders of the IMU speak only of “see[ing] the Holy Koran as the Constitution of Uzbekistan” as their “highest goal.”79 The Uzbekistani regime has also focused its attention on another Islamist organization, the Hizb-ut-Tahrir al-Islomiy (HTI). The HTI is an international organization, apparently established in Palestine in 1953 after splitting from the Ikhwan alMuslimin, that aims to re-establish the caliphate and enforce Islamic law.80 It is organized in secret cells of five to seven members and emphasizes the need for the Islamization of society through non-violent means as a prerequisite for the Islamization of the state. In Uzbekistan, its most visible activity has been the distribution of leaflets, although its popularity has surged in recent years.81 Countering the Islamist threat has driven the Uzbekistani government’s agenda since 1999. The central focus of the government’s response has been repression. The campaign against “extremism” has broadened into a general curtailment of all religious activity not under the government’s control. Campaigns of arbitrary arrests, beatings, and harassment of so-called Wahhabis in the Ferghana Valley predated the Tashkent bombings. Hundreds of men, whose beards were deemed by local police to be “Wahhabi,” were rounded up and forcibly shorn.82 Since the bombings, thousands of people have been arbitrarily arrested on suspicion of belonging to the IMU or the HTI, to the point that prisons are overflowing and prison labor camps have been established; others have disappeared without a trace. Few of those arrested have been charged with actual violent crimes. For most, the guilt lies in possessing banned “extremist” literature (HTI tracts, but also other literature not sanctioned by the state) or worshipping in non-official, hence illegal, mosques.83 Parents are encouraged to denounce their sons for sympathizing with “extremists,” and villagers accused of helping insurgents have been tried in closed trials.84 The campaign against extremism has continued since September 2001, of course, and in more recent cases charges of links

590 Adeeb Khalid with al-Qaida have begun to appear in addition to the usual ones of illegal activity, sedition, and treason.85 The future of Islamic militancy in Uzbekistan is open to doubt. The war destroyed the Taliban regime and the territorial base for al-Qaida’s activities, if not all its financial resources. Moreover, Jum’a Namangoniy himself was reported killed in battle in November. Large numbers of IMU soldiers were killed or arrested. Whether the IMU can survive these setbacks and continue to exist in the new geo-political context remains to be seen, although it seems highly unlikely that it will acquire its former capabilities.86 But there are other reasons that Islamic militancy will have little attraction for most people in Uzbekistan. Islamist rhetoric exists in Uzbekistan in an inhospitable cultural milieu. As I have argued, the combination of the curtailment of Islamic knowledge and the predominance of discourses of nation and progress have led to a profound secularization of the parameters of public debate in Uzbekistan. Islamic referents in public debate are filtered through these discourses. The contrast with countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, where Islamic referents saturate public debate, could not be greater in this regard. The urban intelligentsia especially is deeply suspicious of any uses of Islam that are not entirely subordinated to the celebration of national heritage. Furthermore, Uzbekistan remains outside the flow of texts, personnel, and capital that have been instrumental in establishing political Islam as a transnational phenomenon. Censorship has not disappeared, and the government closely monitors contacts with Muslim organizations in the Middle East. In 1998, the Uzbekistani government established a center for reviewing all religious literature and audio and video tapes entering the country from abroad. As an official stated matter-of-factly, “[N]o non-state organization or state organization has any right to do anything concerning religion without the knowledge of our state.”87 Similarly, the possibilities of discursive positioning from within “Islam” are legion. The regime has also used the Muslim Directorate to counter the “extremists” on religious grounds, to argue in effect that those who seek to establish an Islamic state in Uzbekistan are not good Muslims. In January 1998, the Muslim Directorate outlawed the use of loudspeakers in mosques because it is not “one of the fundamentals of Islam.” It has since argued that “Wahhabi” positions are not compatible with Hanafi teachings and are thus un–Islamic. In March 2000, the Muslim Directorate adopted a new program “for defending our noble religion and [for the struggle] against fundamentalism and various extremist tendencies” that establishes Hanafi dogma as officially binding and mobilizes all imams to speak out against non–Hanafi tendencies.88 The government has also sought to bring religious education under even firmer control. In 1999, it established the Tashkent Islamic University for the purpose of “the deep study of the rich and unique spiritual–cultural heritage connected to Islam . . . and to prepare highly qualified specialist cadres capable of answering the needs of the times.”89 It has also taken its campaign against Islam to the country’s secular campuses: all students in middle- and higher-educational institutions are required to take a course on “Religious Extremism and Fundamentalism: Its History, Nature, and the Present Danger.” Finally, one other aspect of the regime’s fight against “Wahhabism” and “fundamentalism” bears consideration. Whereas, as we have seen, the term “Wahhabi” originated

A Secular Islam 591 in sectarian polemics among unofficial ulama even before the demise of the Soviet Union, it has come into indiscriminate use throughout the former Soviet space to denote any and all expressions of non-traditional Islam.90 In independent Uzbekistan, the accusation of Wahhabism situates the accused beyond the scope of the national tradition and insinuates unhealthy Saudi influence. It is thus a nativist gesture.91 But more is at stake. In the post–Cold War world order, “anti-fundamentalism” provides a universal language that allows regimes—liberal democratic as much as authoritarian—to position themselves on the right side of the fence, on the side of Reason, Enlightenment, and Secularism, and against fanaticism, obscurantism, and reaction. The events of 11 September 2001 increased immeasurably the power of this language. Apologists for the regime had long pointed to its role in “stabilizing” the region;92 with the decisive transformation in U.S.–Uzbekistan relations in the aftermath of 11 September the regime’s stance against religious extremism resonates ever more closely with strategic concerns in the United States as well as in the region.


Islam in Uzbekistan today is heir to a century of entanglement with powerful discourses of the nation and progress, during which its practice has been shaped by interventionist and overtly hostile states. As a result, it is seen by most people as an aspect of their national heritage, with little claim on political power. The religious revival of the past decade, alarmist prognoses notwithstanding, does not alter this situation, for the reproduction of religious authority remains a-political and firmly under the control of the state. The transformations have been enormous. The Jadids harnessed Islam to the nation and progress at the beginning of the 20th century. They argued against local customs, which for them were evidence of the ignorant state of their community and the perversion of “true Islam” it caused. Only through the reform of local custom could the Muslim community achieve progress and security in this world. At the same time, an aggressively modernist interpretation of Islam equated it with progress itself, while the assimilation of discourses of nationalism nationalized their conception of the community. The nation for the Jadids was a regionally and even ethnically delimited community of Muslims, for which Islam, rid of the encrustation of ignorant tradition, was the central marker of identity. This changed dramatically after the Russian Revolution. Jadidism had remained a minority discourse, entrenched in a public space made possible by print and permitted to exist by a colonial state that did not seek to intervene in society. The Soviet state was highly intrusive. It took over the public space as it sought to mold society and its citizens. Islam occupied a central spot in the state’s struggle with old ways. Islam survived the assault but was transformed by it. It remained a marker of the community’s identity, but in a very different way. It became synonymous with national tradition. The Jadids’ anti-traditionalism was largely forgotten, for national customs were by definition Islamic; the question of an Islamic critique of those customs was counter-intuitive. The reproduction of Islam as a cultural tradition took place in local nodes of solidarity ensconced in Soviet society. Within a Soviet context—the only meaningful context, given that Soviet borders were closed

592 Adeeb Khalid by the late 1920s—Islam distinguished Central Asians from outsiders, non–Muslim and Muslim, but it had no political meaning. This has largely continued to be the case. The religious revival that began during the perestroika era made Islam more visible. The new political conditions also allowed contact with the rest of the Muslim world. Nevertheless, the site for the reproduction of Islam has not been transformed significantly. Islam is still reproduced in the private realm: at home and during private lessons, or in carefully controlled official institutions. Although there has been a certain pluralization of Islam, with the appearance of new sects and tendencies, its absence from public life is striking. Public discourse does not make use of any referents to Islam; indeed, Islam itself has to be justified with reference to other discourses (of national identity and destiny, progress, enlightenment, and so on). A decade after independence, the cultural milieu in Uzbekistan remains too de–Islamized to support a political role for an Islam separated from the nation. The Uzbekistani case is important for one further reason. The language of “antifundamentalism” taps into an unstated but widely held assumption that a Muslim society can be secular only if all religious expression in it is kept out of politics and the public realm. We are much too likely, even in scholarly discourse, to take “Muslim” and “secular” as antithetical, so that any expression of Muslim piety and religiosity leads to apprehension. The fact that the religious revival in Russia, even more spectacular than in Central Asia, seldom excites fears of “fundamentalism” or impending theocracy—but, rather, is seen as a sign simply of Russians rediscovering their spiritual heritage—shows that the parameters of scholarly discourse are defined in the study of Muslim societies differently from that in “the West,” which by definition is supposed to be secular. This assumption of the synonymy between “the West” and “secularism” is destabilized neither by widespread use of religious rhetoric in the United States nor by established links between states and churches in several Western European countries. Islam as it evolved in Uzbekistan in the 20th century was largely a secular phenomenon. An Islamic revival that leaves the political space largely untouched and that is under the firm control of lay authorities can safely be deemed “secular.” Nor is Uzbekistan unique. If we see “secularism” as a facet of political life, rather than as a civilizational attribute, then much of the experience of the modern Muslim world—from the Muslim nationalism of the early 20th century to Islam as an attribute of the nation—is secular.


Author’s note: This article was first presented at the conference “Islam and Politics,” University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and Madison campuses. Since then, it has benefited from insightful comments by Laura Adams and Gero Fedtke, as well as three anonymous referees and the editor of IJMES. Needless to say, none of these individuals shares the blame for any shortcomings that remain. 1 For example, Halit Gu¨ler, Orta Asya’da ˙Islam’ın Yeniden Dogˇus¸u (Ankara: Tu¨rkiye Diyanet Vakfı, 1994); Sayyid Fı¯roz Sha¯h Gı¯la¯nı¯, Sarzamı¯n-e Samarqand o Bukha¯ra¯ (safarna¯ma) (Karachi: Indus Publishing, 1994). 2 The bulk of the writing on Central Asia is widely scattered in journal articles and volumes of collected essays. The following books can be noted: Ludmila Polonskaya and Alexei Malashenko, Islam in Central Asia (Reading: Ithaca Press, 1994); Ahmed Rashid, The Resurgence of Central Asia: Islam or Nationalism?

A Secular Islam 593 (London: Zed Press, 1994); and Mehrdad Haghayeghi, Islam and Politics in Central Asia (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995). 3 Ahmed Rashid, Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2002). 4 Alexandre Bennigsen and Marie Broxup, The Islamic Threat to the Soviet Union (London: Hurst, 1983); Alexandre Bennigsen and S. Enders Wimbush, Mystics and Commissars (London: Hurst, 1985); Michael Rywkin, Moscow’s Muslim Challenge: Soviet Central Asia (London: Hurst, 1982); He´le`ne Carre`re d’Encausse, Decline of an Empire: The Soviet Socialist Republics in Revolt, trans. Martin Sokolinsky and Henry A. LaFarge (New York: Newsweek Books, 1979). 5 Muriel Atkin, The Subtlest Battle: Islam in Soviet Tajikistan (Philadelphia: Foreign Policy Research Institute, 1989); for a challenge from within Sovietology, see Martha Brill Olcott, “Soviet Islam and World Revolution,” World Politics 34 (1981–82): 487–504. 6 M. Nazif Shahrani, “Islam and the Political Culture of ‘Scientific Atheism’ in Post–Soviet Central Asia,” in The Politics of Religion in Russia and the New States of Eurasia, ed. Michael Bourdeaux (Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 1995), 273–92. See also the works by Muriel Atkin, Baxtiyor Bobojonov, Habiba Fathi, and Olivier Roy cited below. 7 Alexei Malashenko, “Islam and Politics in the Southern Zone of the Former USSR,” in Central Asia and Transcaucasia: Ethnicity and Conflict, ed. Vitaly V. Naumkin (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994), 117. Malashenko repeats much the same argument in “Islam versus Communism: The Experience of Coexistence,” in Russia’s Muslim Frontiers: New Directions in Cross-Cultural Analysis, ed. Dale F. Eickelman (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993), and idem, “Central Asia: From Communism to Democracy and Islam?” in The Christian–Muslim Frontier: Chaos, Clash or Dialogue?, ed. Jørgen S. Nielsen (London: I. B. Tauris, 1998), 51–65. 8 S. P. Poliakov, Everyday Islam: Religion and Tradition in Rural Central Asia, ed. Martha Brill Olcott, trans. Anthony Olcott (Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 1992), 4. 9 Demian Vaisman, “Regionalism and Clan Loyalty in the Political Life of Uzbekistan,” in Muslim Eurasia: Conflicting Legacies, ed. Yaacov Ro’i (London: Frank Cass, 1995), 107. 10 Adeeb Khalid, The Politics of Muslim Cultural Reform: Jadidism in Central Asia (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998). 11 Mahmud Xo’ja Behbudiy, “Omolimiz yo inki murodimiz,” Oyina, 7 December 1913, 155. 12 Kemal Karpat, The Politicization of Islam: Reconstructing Identity, State, Faith, and Community in the Late Ottoman State (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001). 13 Indian “communalism” has come a long way over the course of the 20th century, with its specifically religious content augmented over the generations, to the point where Peter van der Veer (Religious Nationalism: Hindus and Muslims in India [Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994]) has called it “religious nationalism.” As should be clear from my discussion, the early–20th-century Muslim nationalism was rather different from the religious nationalism of contemporary India. 14 Abdurauf Muzaffar, “Din millat, millat milliyat ila qoimdir,” Sadoi Turkiston (Tashkent), 26 November, 2 December, 10 December 1914. 15 Marianne R. Kamp, “Unveiling Uzbek Women: Liberation, Representation, and Discourse, 1906–1929” (Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago, 1998), 276–335; see also Douglas T. Northrop, “Uzbek Women and the Veil: Gender and Power in Soviet Central Asia” (Ph.D. diss., Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., 1999); and Gregory J. Massell, The Surrogate Proletariat: Moslem Women and Revolutionary Strategies in Soviet Central Asia, 1919–1929 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1974). 16 Adeeb Khalid, “Tashkent 1917: Muslim Politics in Revolutionary Turkestan,” Slavic Review 55 (1996): 270–96; idem, Politics of Muslim Cultural Reform, 245–301. 17 Douglas Northrop, “Languages of Loyalty: Gender, Politics, and Party Supervision in Uzbekistan, 1927–1941,” Russian Review 59 (2000): 180. 18 Kommunisticheskiaia partiia Turkestana i Uzbekistana v tsifrakh (Tashkent: Izd. Uzbekistan, 1968), 105. 19 Shoshana Keller, To Moscow, Not Mecca: The Soviet Campaigns against Islam in Central Asia, 1917– 1941 (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2001). 20 The academic study of Islam, a fairly circumscribed field, provided one form of access to religious texts. Soviet Orientalism usually shunned religious topics, leaving the study of Islam to experts in the

594 Adeeb Khalid fields of “scientific atheism” and “atheistic propaganda.” Nevertheless, there were examples of believing Muslims working in Soviet academe and teaching Islam privately at home: see Habiba Fathi, “Otines: The Unknown Women Clerics of Central Asian Islam,” Central Asian Survey 16 (1997): 36–37. 21 Ibid., 33–34. 22 Olivier Roy, La nouvelle Asie centrale, ou la fabrication des nations (Paris: Seuil, 1997), 146; see also Bertrand Bouchet, “Tribus d’autrefois, kolkhozes d’aujourd’hui,” Revue du monde musulman et de la Me´diterrane´e, no. 59–60 (1991): 55–69; and Sergei Abashin, “Sotsial’nye korni sredneaziatskogo islamizma (na primere odnogo seleniia),” in Identichnost’ i konflikt v postsovetskikh gosudarstvakh, ed. Martha Brill Olcott, Valerii Tishkov, and Aleksei Malashenko (Moscow: Moskovskii Tsentr Karnegi, 1997), 447–67. 23 Roy, Nouvelle Asia centrale, 226. 24 V. N. Basilov, Kul’t sviatykh v Islame (Moscow: Mysl’, 1970); Maria Eva Subtelny, “The Cult of Holy Places: Religious Practices among Soviet Muslims,” Middle East Journal 43 (1989): 593–604. 25 As Atkin, Subtlest Battle, 57–58, noted, the complaints of these officials were a constant in the late Soviet period. 26 We still know little about how these networks operated, but for a preliminary account of the career of Sharaf Rashidov, see Vaisman, “Regionalism and Clan Loyalty.” 27 Victoria Koroteyeva and Ekaterina Makarova, “Money and Social Connections in the Soviet and PostSoviet Uzbek City,” Central Asian Survey 17 (1998): 579–96. 28 This fundamental trait of the Soviet system was seldom recognized by Western observers while the Soviet Union existed. They tended to focus solely on the official rhetoric of internationalism and thus to see the Soviet Union as a universalist or even an anti-nationalist state (“nation killers,” in the phrase of a prominent Sovietologist). Indeed, nationalism was widely expected to cause the end of the Soviet Union. A notable exception to this general disregard was Gerhard Simon, Nationalism and Policy toward the Nationalities in the Soviet Union, trans. Karen Forster and Oswald Forster (Boulder, Colo. Westview Press, 1991). More recent scholarship has begun to recognize how central the nation was to the Soviet system, and how many post–Soviet nationalisms are a product of the Soviet period. See Ronald Grigor Suny, The Revenge of the Past: Nationalism, Revolution, and the Collapse of the Soviet Union (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1994); Yuri Slezkine, “The USSR as a Communal Apartment, or How a Socialist State Promoted Ethnic Particularism,” Slavic Review 53 (1994): 414–52; Terry Martin, An Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923–1939 (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2001). In the case of Central Asia, conventional wisdom held that the creation of the five national republics in 1924 was a classic case of divide and rule, a cynical attempt by the regime (or by Stalin himself) to destroy authentic Islamic bonds of solidarity. The logical corollary was the assertion that these national identities, imposed by a “foreign” state, meant nothing to the indigenous population that continued to cherish its unsullied bonds of Islamic solidarity. Current research has undermined all of these assumptions. Not only did discourses of the nation and progress predate the Soviets; they informed the actions of local party cadres who enthusiastically supported the national delimitation. See Adrienne L. Edgar, “The Making of Soviet Turkmenistan, 1924–1938” (Ph.D. diss., University of California, Berkeley, 1999); idem, “Nationality Policy and National Identity: The Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic,” Journal of Central Asian Studies 1 (1996–97): 2–20; and Francine Hirsch, “Toward an Empire of Nations: Border-Making and the Formation of Soviet National Identities,” Russian Review 59 (2000): 201–26. 29 See, for an example of this discourse, Said Shermukhamedov, O natsional’nom forme sotsialisticheskoi kul’tury Uzbekskogo naroda (Tashkent, 1961). 30 John Schoeberlein-Engel, “Identity in Central Asia: Construction and Contention in the Conceptions of ¨ zbek,’ ‘Taˆjik,’ ‘Muslim,’ ‘Samarqandi,’ and Other Groups” (Ph.D. diss., Harvard University, Cambridge, ‘O Mass., 1994), 222–44. See also Muriel Atkin, “Religious, National, and Other Identities in Central Asia,” in Muslims in Central Asia: Expressions of Identity and Change, ed. Jo-Ann Gross (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1992), 46–72. The connection between Islam and national identity was noted by many Soviet scholars, although they drew rather different conclusions from it. See T. S. Saidbaev, Islam i obshchestvo, 2nd ed. (Moscow: Nauka, 1984), 221–31; N. Ashirov, Islam i natsii (Moscow: Izd. Politicheskoi literatury, 1975). 31 These phenomena are, by their nature, not amenable to textual proof. My statements are based on many

A Secular Islam 595 conversations over the years with students from Pakistan and the Middle East who had lived in Tashkent, as well as a stay of my own in Tashkent’s University Town (Vuzgorodok) in 1991. 32 Yaacov Ro’i, Islam in the Soviet Union: From the Second World War to Gorbachev (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000), 550–60. 33 The relations between the Soviet bureaucracy and SADUM are examined by Ro’i, Islam in the Soviet Union, chaps. 3–4. 34 Ziyauddin Khan Ibn Ishan Babakhan, Islam and the Muslims in the Land of Soviets, trans. Richard Dixon (Moscow: Progress, 1980), 72–73. 35 For example, Bennigsen and Broxup, Islamic Threat, 103–108. 36 The official texts of many of these fatwas can be found in Shamsuddin Boboxonov, Muftii Ziiauddinkhan ibn Eshon Babakhan (Tashkent: O’zbekiston Milliy Entsiklopediyasi, 1999); see also Bakhtiiar Babadzhanov, “O fetvakh SADUM protiv ‘neislamskikh obychaev,’” in Islam na postsovetskom prostranstve: vzgliad iznutri, ed. Martha Brill Olcott and Aleksei Malashenko (Moscow: Moskovskii Tsentr Karnegi, 2001), 170–84. 37 Babakhan, Islam and the Muslims, 89. 38 Bakhtiyar Babadjanov and Muzaffar Kamilov, “Muhammadjaˆn Hinduˆstaˆnıˆ (1895/96–1989) and the Beginning of the Great Schism among the Muslims of Uzbekistan,” in Islam and Politics in Russia and Central Asia: Early 18th–Late 20th Centuries, ed. Ste´phane A. Dudoignon and Hisao Komatsu (London: Kegan Paul, 2001), 195–219. See also Abdujabbar A. Abduvakhitov, “The Jadid Movement and its Impact on Contemporary Central Asia,” in Central Asia: Its Strategic Importance and Future Prospects, ed. Hafiz Malik (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994), 65–75. Mehrdad Haghayeghi, Islam and Politics, 93, and Ahmed Rashid, Jihad, 97, are entirely wrong in referring to Muhammadjon Hindustoniy as a “Wahhabi.” 39 Bennigsen and Broxup, Islamic Threat, 109. 40 Ibid. 41 Alexandre Bennigsen and Chantal Lemercier-Quelquejay, “L’‘Islam paralle`le’ en Union sovie´tique: les organisations soufies dans la Re´publique tche´tche´no-ingouche,” Cahiers du monde russe et sovie´tique 21 (1980): 49–63; Bennigsen and Wimbush, Mystics and Commissars; and Bennigsen and Broxup, Islamic Threat, passim. 42 A full-scale critique of Western studies of Soviet Islam remains to be undertaken. For a first step, see Mark Saroyan, “Rethinking Islam in the Soviet Union,” in Beyond Sovietology: Essays in Politics and History, ed. Susan Gross Solomon (Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe 1993), 23–52; see also Muriel Atkin, “The Islamic Revolution that Overthrew the Soviet State,” Contention 2 (1993): 89–106. 43 Khalid, Politics of Muslim Cultural Reform, 142–47. 44 Victor Panin (“Russia, Islam and the North Caucasus,” in Islam and Central Asia: An Enduring Legacy or an Evolving Threat?, ed. Roald Sagdeev and Susan Eisenhower [Washington, D.C.: Center for Political and Strategic Studies, 2000], 151), for example, writes, “Despite the wide diversity of fundamentalist movements, all of them pursue the goal of ‘political Islam’ and are united by the [sic] hostile attitude toward the Western model of development, which includes Christian values, such as human rights.” For an excellent critique of post–Soviet Russian writing on Islam, see Muriel Atkin, “The Rhetoric of Islamophobia,” Central Asia and the Caucasus, no. 1 (2000): 126–37. 45 “Soviet Muslim Leader Quits Top Post in Asia,” New York Times, 8 February 1989; for an analysis using oral-history sources of these events, see Bakhtiiar Babadzhanov, “Sredneaziatskoe dukhovnoe upravlenie musul’man: predystoriia i posledstviia raspada,” in Mnogomernye granitsy Tsentral’noi Azii, ed. Martha Brill Olcott and Aleksei Malashenko (Moscow: Moskovskii Tsentr Karnegi, 2000), 59–64. 46 For a catalogue of the various groups active in Uzbekistan, see Zihriddin Husniddinov, Islom: o’ynalishlar, mazhablar, oqimlar (Tashkent: O’zbekiston Milliy Entsiklopediyasi, 2000). 47 Post–Soviet publishing in Uzbekistan has received little serious attention from scholars and bibliographers. See, however, the exhibition catalogue, Jan Just Witkam and Arnoud Vrolijk, Islam en “Mustaqillik”: Oezbeekse boeken sinds de onafhankelijkheid (Leiden: Bibliotheek der Rijksuniversiteit Leiden, 1998). 48 O. Bo’riev, Murodbaxsh kunlar (Tashkent: Fan, 1992); Islom dini nima (Tashkent: G’afur G’ulom, 1991); Namoz saboqlari (Tashkent: G’afur G’ulom, 1992). 49 For example, Shamsiddinxon ibn Ziyovuddinxon Boboxon, Musulmonlik asoslari (Tashkent: Meros, 1992). 50 For example, Vasliy Samarqandiy, Imom A’zam tarixi (Tashkent: Yozuvchi, 1995). 51 Vernon Schubel, “Post–Soviet Hagiography and the Reconstruction of the Naqshbandi Tradition in

596 Adeeb Khalid Contemporary Uzbekistan,” in Naqshbandis in Western and Central Asia: Change and Continuity, ed. ¨ zdalga (London: Curzon Press, 1999), 73–87. Elisabeth O 52 Cf. Yves Gonzalez-Quijano, Les Gens du livre : e´dition et champ intellectuel dans l’E´gypte re´publicaine (Paris : E´ditions CNRS, 1998). 53 William L. Hanaway and Mumtaz Nasir, “Chapbook Publishing in Pakistan,” in Studies in Pakistani Popular Culture, ed. William L. Hanaway and Wilma Heston (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 1996), 343–615. 54 Samuel Kaplan, “Education and the Politics of National Culture in a Turkish Community, circa 1990” (Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago, 1996). 55 Habiba Fathi, “La Pouvoir des otin, instructrices coraniques, dans l’Ouzbe´kistan inde´pendant,” Cahiers d’Asie centrale, no. 5–6 (1998): 313–33. 56 Bakhtyar Bobojonov, “Le Renouveau des communaute´s soufies dans l’Ouzbe´kistan,” Cahiers d’Asie centrale, no. 5–6 (1998): 285–311. 57 The current official view is that the hujum achieved useful goals for women’s rights but at too great a cost to Uzbek women, especially the activists: see O’zbekistonning yangi tarixi, vol. 2, O’zbekiston sovet mustamlakachiligi davrida (Tashkent: Sharq, 2000). 58 Aliy Nazimo, Qizlar tarbiyasi, trans. Teshaboy Ziyoev (Tashkent: Kamalak, 1994). 59 Marfua Tokhtakhodjaeva, Between the Slogans of Communism and the Laws of Islam, trans. Sufian Aslam (Lahore: Shirkat Gah Women’s Resource Centre, 1995). 60 Abdumannob Polat, “Can Uzbekistan Build Democracy and Civil Society?” in Civil Society in Central Asia, ed. M. Holt Ruffin and Daniel C. Waugh (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1999), 137. 61 For the political history of Uzbekistan’s first years of independence, see William Fierman, “Political Development in Uzbekistan: Democratization?” in Conflict, Cleavage, and Change in Central Asia and the Caucasus, ed. Karen Dawisha and Bruce Parrot (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 360– 408. 62 The irony of the celebration of figures such as al-Bukhari and al-Maturidi by a regime generally hostile to unauthorized expressions of piety is not lost on the population. As an interlocutor told me during the alMaturidi jubilee in late 2000, “If these guys [al-Maturidi and al-Bukhari] were alive today, they’d all be in jail for being Wahhabis.” 63 Laura L. Adams, “Celebrating Independence: Arts, Institutions, and Identity in Uzbekistan” (Ph.D. diss., University of California, Berkeley, 1999). 64 I use “nationalization of the state” in the sense meant by Rogers Brubaker, Nationalism Reframed: Nationhood and the National Question in the New Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996). See also Laura L. Adams, “Invention, Institutionalization and Renewal in Uzbekistan’s National Culture,” European Journal of Cultural Studies 2 (1999): 355–73. 65 Human Rights Watch, “Crackdown in the Farghona Valley: Arbitrary Arrests and Religious Discrimination,” online edition, available from: http://www.hrw.org/hrw/reports98/uzbekistan. 66 Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan on the Threshold of the Twenty-First Century: Challenges to Stability and Progress (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998), 20. 67 Such rhetoric is routinely used in Uzbekistan. This particular statement comes from Rafik Saifullin, “Islam i obrazovanie: gosudarstvennaia politika,” paper presented at the conference “Islam and Modern Society,” Tashkent, 1 February 2001. Saifullin is deputy director of the School of Advanced Strategic and Interregional Studies in Tashkent and an adviser to the president. The conference was organized by the Open Society Institute and the United States Embassy. 68 Reuters, as quoted in Human Rights Watch, “Crackdown.” 69 “Diniy ekstremizm va fundamentalizm: tarixi, mohiyati va bugungi xavfi” maxsus kursini o’rganish bo’yicha metodik tavsiyalar (Tashkent: G’afur G’ulom, 1999), 36, passim. 70 Human Rights Watch, Human Rights Watch World Report 1999 (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1999), 306. 71 “Death Penalties for Tashkent Bombers,” BBC News Online, 28 June 1999, available from: http:// news2.thls.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/asia-pacific/newsid_380000/380039.stm. 72 “O’zbekiston ‘Birlik’ xalq harakatining bayonoti,” 17 February 1999, available from: http://w1.920. telia.com/~u92003997/bayo1701.html. 73 For a survey of the various theories about the causes of the bombings and the identities of their perpetra-

A Secular Islam 597 tors, see Abdumannob Polat and Nickolai Butkevich, “Unraveling the Mystery of the Tashkent Bombings: Theories and Implications,” Demokratizatsiia 8 (2000): 541–53. 74 International Crisis Group, “Central Asia: Islamist Mobilisation and Regional Security,” ICG Asia Report no. 14 (Brussels: International Crisis Group, 2001), 7, available from: http://www.crisisweb.org/projects/showreport.cfm?reportid=245. 75 “U.S. Puts Uzbek Group on Its Terror List,” New York Times, 15 September 2000. 76 The most detailed information on the IMU is in Rashid, Jihad, 145–82; see also the report by the Israel-based analyst Mikhail Fal’kov, “Islamskoe dvizhenie Uzbekistana (IDU),” Nezavisimaia gazeta– Internet, 24 August 2000, via Tsentral’noaziatskie novosti available from: http://www.ferghana.ru/news. 77 “Namangani Takes Charge of Taliban Frontlines,” Frontier Post (Peshawar), 8 November 2001. According to this report, Namangoniy had 6,000 Uzbeks under his command. The Russian news agency RIA, quoting “a highly placed representative of the Islamic State of Afghanistan’s defence ministry,” reported a figure of 8,000 “Uzbek militants” fighting alongside the Taliban. “Up to 8,000 Uzbek Militants said to be Fighting for Taleban in Afghanistan,” RIA, supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring, via Nexis Academic Universe. These figures need to be taken with a grain of salt, because both Pakistani and Russian sources had an interest in exaggerating the numbers of Uzbeks involved. The number of Uzbek fighters captured or killed in battle was in the hundreds: see “Afghan Anti-Taliban Forces Seize over 300 Foreign Troops, Uzbeks, Chechens,” Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mashhad, in Dari, 11 November 2001, BBC Worldwide Monitoring, via Nexis Academic Universe. 78 “Uzbek Islamic Movement: Government Must Go or Be Removed by Force,” Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mashhad, in Uzbek, 19 March 1999, BBC Worldwide Monitoring, via Nexis Academic Universe. 79 “Opposition Leaders Talk of Establishing Islamic State,” Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mashhad, in Uzbek, 17 May 1999, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, via Nexis Academic Universe. 80 This information comes from the HTI’s website at http://www.hizb-ut-tahrir.org. 81 Bakhtiiar Babadzhanov, “O deiatel’nosti Hizb at-Tahrir al-Islami v Uzbekistane,” in Islam na postsovetskom prostranstve, 153–69. For the official view of the HTI, see Husniddinov, Islom, 91–105. 82 Human Rights Watch, “Crackdown.” 83 The details of this campaign are documented in Human Rights Watch, “Memorandum to the U.S. Government Regarding Religious Persecution in Uzbekistan,” 10 August 2001, available from: http:// www.hrw.org/backgrounder/eca/uzbek-aug/persecution.htm#P68_14813. 84 Said Khojaev, “Tashkent Show Trials,” Reporting Central Asia, no. 54 (1 June 2001), Institute for War and Peace Reporting, available from: http://www.iwpr.net/index.pl?archive/rca/rca_200106_54_2_eng.txt. 85 Idem, “Tashkent Cracks down on Islamists,” Reporting Central Asia, no. 74 (12 October 2001), Institute for War and Peace Reporting, available from: http://www.iwpr.net/index.pl?archive/rca/rca_200110_74_ 3_eng.txt. 86 For a sober analysis of the prospects of Islamist militancy after the war, see International Crisis Group, “The IMU and the Hizb-ut-Tahrir: Implications of the Afghanistan Campaign,” ICG Central Asia Briefing, Brussels, 30 January 2002, available from: http://www.crisisweb.org/projects/showreport.cfm?report id=538); far less inhibited is Ahmed Rashid, “They’re Only Sleeping: Why Militant Islamicists in Central Asia Aren’t Going to Go Away,” The New Yorker, 14 January 2002. 87 Human Rights Watch, World Report 1999, 307. 88 This document is analyzed in Bakhtyar Babadjanov, “Islam officiel contre Islam politique en Ouzbe´kistan aujourd’hui: la Direction des Musulmans et les groupes non-Hanafıˆ,” Revue d’e´tudes comparatives Est–Ouest 31 (2000): 151–64. 89 This comes from the informational flier given out by the university: “O’zbekiston Respublikasi Vazirlar Mahkamasi huzuridagi Toshkent Islom Universiteti” (Tashkent, 1999). 90 For a critique of such usage, see O. P. Bibikova, “‘Vakhkhabizm’ v SNG,” in Islam i politika (vzaimodeistvie Islama i politiki v stranakh Blizhnego i Srednego Vostoka, na Kavkaze i v Tsentral’noi Azii) (Moscow: Kraft++, 2001), 86–98. Yet the same volume contains an egregious example of Wahhabi-baiting: A. K. Lukoianov, “Igry v ‘vakhkhabizm,’” ibid., 99–113. The use of the term to label all distasteful opponents has become so routine in post–Soviet discourse that Feliks Kulov, then Minister for National Security in Kyrgyzstan, could speak in 1997 of “foreign Wahhabi emissaries, from Iran in particular” (as quoted in Atkin, “Rhetoric of Islamophobia.”)

598 Adeeb Khalid 91

People accused of being “Wahhabis” are routinely charged with treason and subversion against the state. 92 S. Frederick Starr, “Making Eurasia Stable,” Foreign Affairs 75 (1996): 80–92. See also Leonid Levitin, Uzbekistan na istoricheskom povorote: kriticheskie zametki storonnika Prezidenta Islama Karimova (Moscow: Vagrius, 2001).

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