Islam after Communism: Religion and Politics in Central Asia

By Adeeb Khalid | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7
The Politics of
Antiterrorism

In the National Museum of the History of Uzbekistan in Tashkent, a blown-up photograph of the World Trade Center in flames looms large over displays celebrating national achievements since independence. This display has the title “Uzbekistan: The Struggle against International Terrorism.” At the foot of the photograph lies a collection of weapons confiscated from “terrorists” in Uzbekistan itself. To the left of the photograph is a tableau of scenes from the devastation caused by the bombs of February 16, 1999, along with portraits of “sons of Uzbekistan,” mostly police officers, who have lost their lives in the struggle with local terrorists. To the right of the World Trade Center photograph is a picture of Islam Karimov, the president of Uzbekistan, embracing Henry Kissinger at a ceremony in New York, where he received an award “on behalf of the American public and non-governmental organizations for his outstanding contribution to the struggle against international terrorism.”

Since the end of the Cold War, with ideological conflict gone (and even the Communist regime in China in a deep embrace with capitalism), opposition to religious extremism, or “fundamentalism” (the most common term used to describe the phenomenon) has come to provide a universal language that allows all kinds of regimes to position themselves on the side of Reason, Enlightenment, and Secularism, and against fanaticism, obscurantism, and reaction. Although we may recognize many fundamentalisms as threats, Islamic fundamentalism occupies a special place in our imagination and provides the new villains of the age. This anti-

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Islam after Communism: Religion and Politics in Central Asia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Maps and Tables ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - Islam in Central Asia 19
  • Chapter 2 - Empire and the Challenge of Modernity 34
  • Chapter 3 - The Soviet Assault on Islam 50
  • Chapter 4 - Islam as National Heritage 84
  • Chapter 5 - The Revival of Islam 116
  • Chapter 6 - Islam in Opposition 140
  • Chapter 7 - The Politics of Antiterrorism 168
  • Conclusion - Andijan and beyond 192
  • Afterword 204
  • Glossary 211
  • Notes 213
  • Select Bibliography 235
  • Index 243
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