27 march 2015

Central Asia news

Rashod Kamalov: A respected imam or “chief Islamist” in Kyrgyzstan?

Rashod Kamalov: A respected imam or “chief Islamist” in Kyrgyzstan?

13.02.2015 14:31 msk Analytics Ferghana Valley Human Rights Religious life Central Asia Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan

Rashod Kamolov, a relatively young but very popular and respected imam, was arrested in Southern Kyrgyzstan. Mr. Kamolov is the son of a local influential theologian, who was assassinated by secret services during former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s term in office eight years ago. The current Kyrgyz authorities claim that they collected solid evidences that Mr. Rashod Kamalov recruited and sent people to participate in the civil war in Syria, by making such propaganda that allegedly made his parish think like “zombies.” Meanwhile, Mr. Kamalov’s lawyers maintain their client’s innocence and police actions’ illegality. It is difficult to make sense in this story, but one thing is certain: Law-enforcement and judicial bodies continue completely forgetting about human rights and respect for appropriate procedures in their chase for success in “combating extremism.”

The West and the modern “Islamisms”: Who is behind the conflict designing?

The West and the modern “Islamisms”: Who is behind the conflict designing?

04.02.2015 01:00 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Central Asia

We are continuing to discuss the question of Islam and Islamophobia—a discussion which began quite a long time ago, but which became louder following the cruel terrorist attack which took place in the centre of Paris. In an article written specially for Ferghana and which we are offering our readers here, the orientalist Bahodir Sidikov argues that Islamophobia is artificially encouraged by and in the West and that it is instrumentalized as a ‘bogey for domestic purposes’, as a stabilizer and catalyser of national development.

US military vehicles: Expensive gift for Uzbek President or non-disposable “garbage”?

US military vehicles: Expensive gift for Uzbek President or non-disposable “garbage”?

29.01.2015 17:51 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Interview Central Asia Afghanistan Uzbekistan

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central Asia Daniel Rosenblum told the Voice of America that over 300 modern military machines would be granted to Uzbekistan in the next few months. According to the representative of the Department of State, Washington is certain that Uzbekistan is in need of these defensive armoured vehicles to combat terrorism and drug trafficking. “They are intended to protect personnel, crews and passengers in areas that there might be explosive devices, mines, so on,” Deputy Assistant Secretary Rosenblum says. He further clarifies that these particular vehicles “are not coming from Afghanistan” as was previously expected, but “are coming from other places.” Obviously the fact in question raises at least two questions: 1) How would these vehicles benefit (or harm) Uzbekistan and the region? 2) Does this fact mean that Washington is thus expressing its unequivocal support of Islam Karimov ahead of the presidential elections in March?

Is Central Asia afraid of ISIS?

Is Central Asia afraid of ISIS?

12.11.2014 17:57 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Interview Central Asia Afghanistan China Iran Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Pakistan Russia Tajikistan Turkmenistan Turkey, Republic of Uzbekistan

Several weeks ago ISIS (also known as ISIL and Islamic State) forces reached Turkey’s borders, destroying all ‘infidels’ in their path, by which they mean both Christians and Muslims belonging to other branches of Islam. Support for ISIS has also extended beyond its region: Afghan and Pakistani members of the Taliban have already begun to swear allegiance to this new radical Islamist movement. Specialists in politics and international relations, regional specialists, politicians and informed observers were asked what they think about the subject.

Rabeya Kadeer: “The USSR’s fate awaits China”

Rabeya Kadeer: “The USSR’s fate awaits China”

09.11.2014 00:42 msk Human Rights Politics Religious life Central Asia China Kazakhstan

The Xinjiang Autonomous Region (XUAR) has been unstable over the last several years: Some in the local Uighur population are unhappy with the way the Chinese authorities are handling the region and are demanding independence from Beijing. Armed clashes between the Uighur population of the region and the Chinese authorities often take place in XUAR. But who actually is behind all these terrorist acts? Could one be expecting a Hong Kong-style scenario in XUAR and Tibet? Rabeya Kadeer, the currently exiled leader of the Uighur opposition, spoke with a reporter of the Kazakh weekly magazine ADAM bol (Guljan Yergaliyeva, editor in chief) over the phone from Washington D.C., USA.

Few hundred Chinese, jihad and deserted square – entire village population

Few hundred Chinese, jihad and deserted square – entire village population

13.10.2014 13:40 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Central Asia Tajikistan

On 10 Oct 2014, a protest rally was planned in Dushanbe per announcements the leader of the oppositionist Gruppa 24 Umarali Kuvvatov made on social networks. The group’s plans included people taking to streets and waving “Tajikistan demands changes,” “Tajikistan without Rakhmon,” “Fair elections,” “Life with dignity” slogans.

Hendrick, Joshua: Gulen. The Ambiguous Politics of Market Islam in Turkey and the World

Hendrick, Joshua: Gulen. The Ambiguous Politics of Market Islam in Turkey and the World

14.09.2013 13:14 msk Books Religious life Central Asia Turkey, Republic of

Following the demise of the Ottoman Empire in 1925, the country that has emerged on its ashes—the modern Turkey—has chosen the republican form of governance. Mustafa “Ataturk” Kemal ruled with an iron hand for a little over a decade and worked hard to eradicate any form of monarchy in the country’s governance and its religious basis; those who shared Ataturk’s ideals followed suit. However, the political reforms and societal changes that occurred in the country following World War II have paved way for pluralism of not only political nature, but of religious as well. Professor Joshua Hendrick has spent a lengthy period of time to research into one of such societal phenomena—the Gulen Movement, which has a profound impact on the Turkish society’s life at so many different levels, and has eloquently told about it in his book entitled “Gulen. The Ambiguous Politics of Market Islam in Turkey and the World.”

Catherine Fitzpatrick: Uzbek nation entitled to all rights as others, but not right to extremism

Catherine Fitzpatrick: Uzbek nation entitled to all rights as others, but not right to extremism

31.05.2013 00:26 msk Human Rights Politics Religious life Migration Interview Central Asia Uzbekistan

The US-based independent expert on Eurasia and Russian translator Catherine Ann Fitzpatrick answered Fergana editor-in-chief's questions. The interview was on the recent arrest of another former Uzbek citizen in the United States, Fazliddin Kurbanov. The expert is certain that there were most serious justifications for Kurbanov's arrest and there can be no excuse for terrorism and extremism. Catherine also believes that the several isolated incidences of arrests of Uzbek nationals is not a reason to speak of trends at all.

Sait Nursi and Fethullah Gülen: Religious and educational activities between Turkey and Central Asia 20 years after the end of the USSR

Sait Nursi and Fethullah Gülen: Religious and educational activities between Turkey and Central Asia 20 years after the end of the USSR

27.01.2013 23:40 msk Analytics Religious life Central Asia

The so-called "Turkish schools" and lyceums came to Russia and CIS countries in early 1990s. Some of them were closed for various reasons and others continue thriving to date, having achieved fame and respect in the field of education. Fergana's editor in chief had a lengthy interview with the well-known researcher of Turkish Islamic groups, Mr. Bayram Balci, on the principles and ideas behind the movements inspired by Fethullah Gulen and Said Nursi. The interview also sheds light on the two-decade-long experience the schools gained in Central Asia.

Kazakhstan: Refugee Protestant arrested and could be extradited to Uzbekistan

Kazakhstan: Refugee Protestant arrested and could be extradited to Uzbekistan

14.09.2012 16:26 msk Religious life Kazakhstan

Makset Djabbarbergenov – a Protestant pastor wanted in his home country of Uzbekistan for "illegal" religious teaching and literature distribution – has been arrested by the authorities of Kazakhstan, where he sought refuge in 2007. He was detained after police held his sister-in-law for two weeks to find his whereabouts, family members told Forum 18 News Service. A court ordered on 7 September Djabbarbergenov be held in detention until Kazakhstan's General Prosecutor's Office decides whether to send him back. "As a person I can say this is not right," Daniyar Zharykbasov of Almaty's Bostandyk District Prosecutor's Office told Forum 18. "But we have to follow the rules." In June the United Nations Committee Against Torture condemned Kazakhstan for sending back 28 Uzbek Muslim refugees and asylum seekers in 2011. They were arrested on their return and at least some received long prison terms.

The head of Kyrgyzstan's security services talks about the creation of the Islamic Movement of Kyrgyzstan

03.05.2011 18:26 msk Religious life Kyrgyzstan

Speaking last Friday, April 29, National Security State Service chief Keneshbek Dushebyaev said in an address to parliament that 400 citizens of Kyrgyzstan, mainly ethnic Uzbeks, are currently training in terrorist camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They went after the June events in southern Kyrgyzstan, said Dushebyaev, who described them as “separatists”.

Adeeb Khalid: To speak of “Islam” as a homogenous phenomenon is analogous to speaking of  “Christianity”  as a single whole

Adeeb Khalid: To speak of “Islam” as a homogenous phenomenon is analogous to speaking of “Christianity” as a single whole

05.03.2011 19:07 msk Religious life Central Asia

How do we explain the political motivations of Muslims? Today when so much of the news concerns conflicts based in and around Muslim societies, the temptation is great to simply see all the causes of those conflicts and all motivations of the actors involved as emanating from Islam itself. The motivations of Muslims are then seen as simply internally defined having no connection with the world that they are part of. Then we can safely proceed to the conclusion that all Muslims are alike because they all take their inspiration from the same scriptures, and they all represent a danger to “us.” This is the path taken by Mikhail Kalishevskii in his recent article on this site, and this is the argument of many commentators from the right (and not just the right) in Europe and North America. Simplification has its virtues, but does it help us understand a reality that is much more complex than such arguments make it seem? Can the actions of Muslims really understood only with reference to their religion? Can the most extreme expressions be taken as proof of the basic essence of global community? I raised some of these questions in my recent book, Islam after Communism: Religion and Politics in Central Asia (University of California Press, 2007), and present some of my arguments below.

Uzbekistan: The Church of Christ is suspended in Tashkent; eight members of it are brought to trial

20.05.2010 08:52 msk Religious life Uzbekistan

The Church of Christ is sealed in Tashkent while 8 of its workers and congregants were imposed charges or administrative arrest of 15 days. The reason of such actions became the statement of Tashkent resident that accused the Church workers of their illegal attempt to turn his 5-year son to Christianity.

Irina Zvyagelskaya: People come to Islamic radicals in despair

Irina Zvyagelskaya: People come to Islamic radicals in despair

20.03.2009 15:32 msk Religious life Russia

Today, the growth of religious tunes in Central Asia is viewed by experts as the time bomb and limited continuation of free development in these countries; even Soviet regime with its systematic atheism closed eyes to Islamic factor in Central Asian republics, viewing it as one of the public life regulators. Ferghana.ru interviewed the doctor of history sciences, professor, vice-President of Center for strategic and political research, chief research officer of Oriental Studies Institute, Irina Zvyagelskaya, on the reasons of religious influence growth in the region and possible hazards of Islamization.

People, accused for the affiliation to the “Nur” religious movement, are convicted in Uzbekistan

18.02.2009 10:21 msk Religious life Uzbekistan

Several people were arrested and sentenced to imprisonment for the terms from 6 to 6.5 years in Uzbekistan, convicted for the affiliation to the “Nur” religious movement (“Beam”). The campaign against “nurist” has been intensified in Uzbekistan since recently.

Other news

Media headlines

Diplomat Tough Outlook for Central Asian Economies, 26.03.2015

The National The long read: why Russia will see off China in Central Asia’s new great game, 26.03.2015

BBC Why Islam Karimov will win Uzbekistan's elections, 24.03.2015

OCCRP The Prodigal Daughter, 23.03.2015

New York Times Afghan First Vice President, an Ex-Warlord, Fumes on the Sidelines, 21.03.2015

Khaama Dozens of Uzbek fighters living with families in Faryab, 10.03.2015

BBC Five ways to stay in power in Central Asia, 10.03.2015

NHC NHC condemns murder of Tajik opposition leader, 09.03.2015

Al Jazeera Journalists decry lack of press freedom in Turkey, 09.03.2015

Forbes Islamic Extremism In Central Asia: Witch Hunt Or Genuine Threat?, 28.02.2015

Carnegie.Ru Why Did Nazarbayev Suddenly Call for Early Elections?, 26.02.2015

OSCE OSCE convenes first workshop in Central Asia on countering phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters, 26.02.2015

AP 3 nabbed in NY, Florida in plot to join Islamic State Group, 25.02.2015

openDemocracy Economic dystopia in Kyrgyzstan, 12.02.2015

Silk Road Reporters Tajikistan, frontline state against resurgent Taliban, 09.02.2015

Eurasianet Uzbekistan Bullish on Economy – But Do Numbers Add Up?, 03.02.2015

Long War Journal Pakistani Taliban emir for Bajaur joins Islamic State, 03.02.2015

WB Taking STEPs to Improve Employment Outcomes in Uzbekistan, 03.02.2015

Eurasianet Uzbekistan: With Gulnara on Sidelines, How Will Football Fare?, 29.01.2015

The Economist The Turkish prime minister rejects charges of being soft on the Islamic State and authoritarian at home, 24.01.2015

The Independent War on Isis: Flood of jihadi volunteers to Syria 'unstoppable', warns Turkish Prime Minister, 22.01.2015

The Guardian Russia’s rouble crisis poses threat to nine countries relying on remittances, 19.01.2015

The Diplomat ISIS Looks for Foothold in Central Asia, 19.01.2015

Eurasianet Central Asian States Still Cagey Bookkeepers, Says Washington, 16.01.2015

The Guardian How much do you know about ‘the Stans’ of central Asia? – quiz, 15.01.2015

HRW Tajikistan: Human Rights Lawyer Imprisoned, 14.01.2015

BBC Islamic State 'recruiting Afghan fighters', 13.01.2015

Eurasianet Uzbekistan: March Presidential Vote to Be One-Horse Race?, 12.01.2015

Foreign Policy "Islamic State": Women and Children for Sale, 11.01.2015

Bloomberg Kyrzbekistan Isn't Funny, 10.01.2015

Al Jazeera Torture and death for Uzbek Muslims in jail, 07.01.2015

The Diplomat Some Rare Good News for Central Asia, 07.01.2015

KTVB Prosecutors: Boise terrorism suspect wanted to target military base, 06.01.2015

NYT` Radical Islam, Nihilist Rage, 05.01.2015

The Long War Journal Taliban video highlights training camp, operations in Kunar, 03.01.2015

The Express Tribune Existential threat: The turning point in the fight against terrorism, 03.01.2015

Hurriyet Armed assailant detained near Turkish PM’s office in Istanbul, 01.01.2015

Khaama Press A threat to higher education in Afghanistan is the “Talibanization” of Nangarhar University, 28.12.2014

Al Arabiya Teen whose skull was broken by Turkey police canister gets jail term, 27.12.2014

Eurasianet Uzbekistan: Ruble’s Rout Breeds Uncertainty for Central Asian Migrants, 24.12.2014

The New York Times Taliban Push Into Afghan Districts That U.S. Had Secured, 23.12.2014

Long War Journal Taliban publicize training camp in northern Afghanistan, 22.12.2014

Al Jazeera The Girls of the Taliban, 21.12.2014

OpenDemocracy The cost of digital silence in Turkey: 40 million euros, 20.12.2014

Cihan What next for Turkey?, 20.12.2014

The Diplomat Central Asia’s Hydropower Spat, 20.12.2014

Press TV Turkish people gather in Istanbul to protest media crackdown, 19.12.2014

CNN ISIS: From beheading to hacking, 19.12.2014

Today's Zaman Citizens across country protest media oppression and detention of journalists, 18.12.2014

Hindustan Times Kabul should not slip away, 18.12.2014

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