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Islamist Stirrings in the 'Stans

The Muslim republics of Central Asia may be far from the currents of mainstream Islam and the Islamist revival, but as James Pickett argues here, fundamentalist doctrines have found their way to the high peaks and plateaus of the region some affectionately refer to as The 'Stans. Pickett, a contributor at the excellent neweurasia.net website, explains how the region's traditional brand of Sufi and Buddhist-influenced Islam, already railroaded once by the Soviets, is now facing a new and more pervasive challenge...

The plot of David Ignatius's Cold War thriller Siro revolves around a group of CIA agents determined to overthrow the Soviet Union by striking at a vital weak spot: masses of restless Central Asian Muslims just waiting for the opportunity to throw off their atheist oppressors. In reality, the Soviet assault on religion in Central Asia was to a great extent successful: they eliminated the region's entire Islamic judicial and theological infrastructure, which dated back centuries and played a central role in governing daily life.

Religion was essentially pushed into the private realm and became a part of national culture as envisioned by the Soviets. These earth-shaking changes altered the very meaning of the term "Muslim" within the Soviet space. Adeeb Khalid's recent work Islam after Communism opens with a personal anecdote in which one Central Asian Muslim proposes a vodka toast to celebrate his recent acquaintance with a fellow Muslim. Alcohol is outlawed under Islamic law, but Russian drinking culture has had a powerful impact in most corners of the former Soviet Union.

During my research in the 'Stans this past summer I, too, encountered vodka-toasting Muslims, usually of an older generation that still clearly remembers the days of the USSR. But for much of the younger generation, Islam plays an increasingly important role in daily life. For instance, only two years ago there were fifteen shops selling liquor to inhabitants of a small Ferghana town in southern Kyrgyzstan. Now drinking is shunned in the community and the sole remaining liquor store has mysteriously caught fire twice. The owner commented that if he takes any more such losses he too will be forced to close his doors. Though extreme, this example is indicative of the direction society is heading in much of Central Asia. Even in Dushanbe, Tajikistan's comparatively cosmopolitan capital, some Western-educated Tajiks are becoming more and more cautious about where they are observed having a beer - a consideration that only became necessary in the last couple years.

What accounts for this increasingly polarized religious landscape in Central Asia? One of the most basic and important trends of Islam in the modern era is the drive to look to the original scriptures, the Qur'an and Hadith, as the only true sources of religious doctrine. This form of fundamentalism is not so different from the motivations underpinning Protestant Reformation in Christianity. Though this doctrine has proven lasting and influential in countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, it has not gone uncontested everywhere. Especially on the fringes of the Islamic world - in places like sub-Saharan Africa and Central Asia - Sufi missionaries brought with them a faith that was adaptable to local conditions. Hence, in the territories that make up contemporary Senegal, Indonesia, and Central Asia, Islam was historically highly particularized. In Senegal and Indonesia, not only have traditional forms of Islam persisted, they have become entrenched and politicized, sometimes morphing into political parties and often opposing fundamentalist incursions from elsewhere in the Muslim world.

You might expect to find local incarnations of Islam dominating in Central Asia. After all, the region is the birthplace of famous Sufi orders like the Naqshbandiyya and the site of a synthesis between pre-Islamic traditions such as Zoroastrianism and shamanism. Instead, most young Muslims seem to be turning back to the direct word of God - the Qur'an - and the life of the Prophet as recorded by his contemporaries. In this respect, they have much more in common with their peers in the heartlands of Islam than in other Islamic territories of the periphery.

The explanation lies in the peculiarities of the Soviet experience. Although communism was philosophically opposed to religion in all forms, some varieties were worse than others. In the Soviet mindset, superstition and demagogy were among the worst manifestations of the "opiate of the masses," and hence Sufi Ishans (leaders of mystical orders) in particular were targeted as exploitative and traditional practices - such as pilgrimages to shrines - were discouraged or banned. The Soviets even went so far as to put in place Muftis (government-appointed religious leaders) who favored sober, scriptural interpretations of Islam when the USSR was forced to cede some ground to religion during World War II. Moreover, passing on textual learning was a practice that could be performed in private; rituals were much easier for the government to regulate. Scholars like Martha Olcott have even traced the incursion of some fundamentalist ideas from the Middle East - which were passed on in secret by local clerics returning from the Hajj - back to the late 1970s.

The stage was set for the growth of fundamentalist Islam well in advance of the breakup of the USSR in 1991, which opened the floodgates to foreign ideas and funding. Thousands of Central Asians are traveling abroad each year, primarily to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, and Pakistan, often with all or most expenses paid for by Islamic charities and government-funded institutions. Turkey has a formal arrangement set up with the government of Kyrgyzstan to provide multidisciplinary training (including secular as well as religious subjects) for Kyrgyz students both in Ankara and Osh (a city located in southern Kyrgyzstan). Students from this program often return to participate in Kyrgyzstan's religious board or to teach in the Islamic department of the Kyrgyz state university. Those who gained their education in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or the Gulf States (the latter of which are awash in oil money, allowing them to fully support a vast quantity of students) are more likely to teach at a private mosque or start their own study groups. As each of these foreign-educated Muslims takes on his own students (often over fifty at one time), it is hard to overemphasize the impact of international currents of Islam on discourse in Central Asia.

But, the region's Islamic revival is not just down to foreign hands. While international connections are everywhere, the sparks have generated a phenomenon locally rooted, even if its themes have resonated from abroad. For instance, a Kyrgyz Muslim educated at Al-Azhar University in Egypt on the government of Kuwait's dime founded an Islamic organization called Adep Bashati. The organization's funding is one hundred percent local, drawn from pious, wealthy Kyrgyz businessmen. Founded only in 2004, the organization already boasts over 1000 members and devotes itself to educating people in the basic tenants of Islam, hosting well-attended seminars about issues at the forefront of people's minds - like alcoholism, the role of women in society, and the acceptability of traditional practices. Adep Bashati also translates religious literature from Middle Eastern languages, but with modifications and additions to make them relevant to the Kyrgyz context in particular. Their framework and vision is clearly influenced by their founders' education in Egypt, but is also quite local to the Kyrgyz context.

Central Asian governments find the rise in piety and alternative power structures in the mosques threatening - not to mention Russia and the United States. But so far the response of local governments has been muted. As elsewhere in the Muslim world, regimes are coming to terms with how to use Islamism to entrench their power. For the present, the governments of the 'Stans remain nominally democratic police states where one party rule is dominant. But they may yet come to struggle with rising numbers of disaffected Islamists, as Ignatius's thriller once predicted.

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Comments (28)

abhab Author Profile Page:

Re:Islamic science
Ali Siddiq claims
“The Quran tells it ALL about life on Earth , we only lack deep Understanding of this Holy Book , Genetics , Nuclear power, biotechnology , food & health , Geography & History etc.”

The one who wrote the Quran cannot add fractions:
A man leaves behind a wife, a daughter , a father and mother. The inheritance shares are as follows:

Wife 1/8 = 3/24
Daughters 2/3 = 16/24
Father 1/6 = 4/24
Mother1/6 = 4/24
Total = 27/24
When you add all these fractions the sum is more than the total of inheritance.

Does not know Astronomy.
Asteroids are missiles to drive away the Jinn from listening to the council of Allah.

Q. 37: 6/10
”We have indeed decked the lower heaven with beauty (in) the stars,
(For beauty) and for guard against all obstinate rebellious evil spirits,
(So) they should not strain their ears in the direction of the Exalted Assembly but be cast away from every side,
Repulsed, for they are under a perpetual penalty,
Except such as snatch away something by stealth, and they are pursued by a flaming fire, of piercing brightness.

Does not know history.
Glory to (Allah)
Who did take His Servant for a journey by night,
From the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque.
-- Quran 17:1

This alleged trip took place during one night whereby Mohammad flew on a winged mule from Mecca to Jerusalem and from there to the seven Heavens.

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 636:
Narrated Abu Dhaar:
I said, "O Allah's Apostle! Which mosque was built first?" He replied, "Al-Masjid-ul-Haram." I asked, "Which (was built) next?" He replied, "Al-Masjid-ul-Aqs-a (i.e. Jerusalem)." I asked, "What was the period in between them?" He replied, "Forty (years)."
Muhammad’s alleged Mi’raj took place around the year 622 while the Masjid al Haram was built in 691 AD. How do Muslims reconcile that discrepancy?

Does not know History
"This is your god, and the god of Moses, whom he has forgotten.") ... Moses said, "And thou, Samaritan, what was thy business?" ...
– Quran 20:85-88, 95
Samaria was built by King Omri in 870 BC, while Moses lived 1400 BC. How could a Samaritan be talking with Moses and his people?

Medicine
The prophet advised people to drink camel urine for all stomach ailments
Genetics
The prophet preached that gender of a newborn is determined by whoever of parents climaxed first. If it is the man then it is a boy etc. I give the last two items as free tips to the American Medical Association.

I hope Muslims stop this nonesense and simply admit that their book is not a science or math book.

abhab Author Profile Page:

Usama rationalizes:
“And if the Egyptian Christian monarchy was NOT a vassal state of the Roman Christian emperor, most likely it would have peaceful relations too. Incidentally, the Muslim forces only fought the Roman troops stationed in Egypt and retained good relations with the Egyptian Christian leaders for centuries. So peace and peaceful relations ARE a possibility between the West and the Muslim world WITHOUT the West dominating us.”
Moi:
Who are the desert nomads of Arabia to determine who should the Egyptians have relations with? If peace and good relations are possible with a country without dominating it, as you assert above, why the Hijazi nomads dominated the vastly more civilized country of Egypt as well as many other countries?
The Ghassanide dynasty and people were originally from Yemen, and have migrated into Greater Syria during the 2nd Century AD after the Ma’reb dam had collapsed. Those people were happy living outside the Arabian Peninsula and had no designs on the arid and godforsaken Hijaz. It was the nomads of central Arabia who pushed into Syria and not the other way around.
Rewriting history to defend the indefensible is a clear sign of guilt as well as of moral bankruptcy.

“So as the Muslim world wakes up to awareness and seeks to advance by throwing off the yoke of Western imperial domination and without following the West, Western powers will attempt to retain their control and power over the Muslim people through violence and force (exemplified by the increase of Western military forces throughout the Muslim world, including NATO, US, French, Russian forces). “
Moi:
The Ottoman Turks had subjugated the Muslims of the Middle East and North Africa for over 400 years. During which time they have taxed them back into the Stone Age. This during the time the West was moving from the Dark Age to the Industrial Revolution Age. Had it not been for the France and England along with their allies, the Turks would still be there. Do you hear any complaint about them from the Muslims? No! Because the Turks were allegedly Muslims. France and England ruled the countries of the Middle East for few decades during which they opened them up to the world and established in them the institutions of modern societies, and instead of showing even a bit of gratitude, they assign all their shortcomings and failures on the West. They and their mullahs have nothing but contempt for all what the West stands for yet they risk life and limb to get to their shores. They feel there is something wrong in their situation but could not figure it out.

Usama1 Author Profile Page:

Abhab, you miss the point.
Actually your response represents the point.
The legacy of Roman militarism cultivated the relations between those of Roman heritage and beliefs, ie. Byzantine empire and the Christian kingdoms of the Holyland as exemplified by Harith al Ghassan, and those who interacted with them.

The Prophet Muhammad (saaw) sent several emissaries. Most were met with diplomacy and exchange of emissaries, even gifts. The Abyssinian and Egyptian Christian monarchs responded this way. Moreover, at that time, it was known throughout the Holyland that Judaic Christian prophecies as well as mystic soothsayers foretold of a new prophet to emerge. But those rulers who percieved that THEY were God's gift to mankind, that they were special, as in the Ghassani king who likely percieved himself the best Arab and the rightful representation of all Arabia, were in denial and disbelief that an illiterate Arab man from Makka could emerge as the long awaited prophet of God and leader of men.

As for today, yes Islam IS an ideology. But it is NOT Communism or Nazism nor Capitalism. These 3 ideologies, which are really 2, are all manmade and composed of fluctuating and interchangable systems. Communism includes democracy (the Politburo composed of Communist party representatives who voted for a chancellor/ president to lead the government- same with the Chinese Communist government), and Capitalism includes authoritarianism (Capitalist powers utilize authoritarianism as a means to transition and culture nations into the free market democratic capitalism, but can keep people under authoritarian rule until their choosing). Both include nationalism which equates with Nazism. Both include socialist theories. [Incidently, a recent counterpunch.com article reveals the rise of Zionist fascism amongst Israeli settlers eventhough Israel is dependent on foreign aid and borrowing from America and Europe]

European empires obtained advanced ideological enlightenment at a time when the Muslim world had declining, backwards thinking. The European empires succeeded in invading, conquering, occupying, and altering the Muslim world to serve them- and this is where we are today.

But the Muslim people are waking up from their slumber to realize that Islam has its own ideological enlightenment and guidance and there is no need to follow Europe/America as subservient pawns. Nor is there a need to adopt nihilistic, chaotic, militant methods in the very imperious presumption that in order to save ourselves, we must destroy ourselves literally.
Muslim people are waking up to the reality that Islam's power lies in its thought.

So as the Muslim world wakes up to awareness and seeks to advance by throwing off the yoke of Western imperial domination and without following the West, Western powers will attempt to retain their control and power over the Muslim people through violence and force (exemplified by the increase of Western military forces throughout the Muslim world, including NATO, US, French, Russian forces). For example, the American support for the Ethiopian dictator to invade and dominate Somalia and rule by secular, ethno Christian authoritarianism over a majority Muslim region despite the humanitarian consequences and contradiction with the theories of democracy.

Likewise Western support for Russian repression over Muslim Chechnya and Dagestan (America turned a blind eye to bloody Russian repression of the region). And duplicitous allegiance for Israel as regional primacy in the Holyland ( Israel violates almost every facet of international law in its relations with its neighbors. Israel has so far refrained from attacking its neighbor with nuclear warheads though. But the rise of fascist Zionist forces in Israel could lead to this, God forbid).

In the end, the Prophet Muhammad (saaw) had peaceful relations with the Christian kingdom of Ethiopia which were honored by succeeding caliphates for centuries. And if the Egyptian Christian monarchy was NOT a vassal state of the Roman Christian emperor, most likely it would have peaceful relations too. Incidently, the Muslim forces only fought the Roman troops stationed in Egypt and retained good relations with the Egyptian Christian leaders for centuries. So peace and peaceful relations ARE a possibility between the West and the Muslim world WITHOUT the West dominating us. Sadly, I suspect the Western powers will never surrender their illegitimate control over the Muslim world until they foment war and destruction to some end.

May God save us from the evils fo men.

abhab Author Profile Page:

Usama pontificates:
“The Arab Christian king Harith al Ghassan and the Roman Christian emperor Heraclius rejected peaceful relations, opting for war and invasion.”

Now it is the fault of the Ghassanide king that the whole of the Middle East and North Africa is dominated by Muslims.

If King Harith provoked war by refusing to submit to a bunch of desert nomads, why was he put in that situation in the first place? What business the desert dwellers have in Greater Syria? What provoked all the wars with almost the rest of the people of the known world at the time?
Let us face it. Islam is a political ideology wrapped with a religions’ shroud. Like the ideology of Nazism, or Communism , it has a global outreach. Its strategy is to dominate the word through propaganda if possible or through war if necessary. Its ideology is not appealing to enlightened thinking people and its adherents are too weak to conquer anyone. The way things are they will do great just to keep what they have now.

You are calling now for the sharing of Jerusalem only after the Jordanians lost it in war. The Mufti of Jerusalem should have accepted this business of sharing when it was offered to him and not after the fact. I do not know where are you from, but I get disgusted by those who are shedding crocodile tears over the plight of the Palestinians now, when they had not lifted a finger to help them. Talk and more talk is all what the Palestinians get. The Arab and Muslim countries are using them and their refugee camps as a prop for panhandling from the rich nations while some of their next door neighbors are swimming in a sea of petrodollars.

Que?:

What does all this have to do with the topic of the article: The Muslim republics of Central Asia?

SM:

Jerusalem is occupied right now... it will be liberated. How can you say that outsiders can come and claim that land as their own when they havent lived there for any time of their lives... If you are smart and understand you would say we can share it... thats the best that can be done. Otherwise in a numbers game you cant beat the Muslims...

Usama:

Why not go to the historical point when Islam emerged on the regional scene?

The Christian Roman empire out of Byzantium controlled Jerusalem and Palestine. Once the Prophet Muhammad (saaw) signed a peace treaty with the Makkan tribes, he sent emissaries to surrounding empires and kingdoms, including the Roman empire to which he sent 2 emissaries.

The first reached the Roman emperor Heraclius. He declined peaceful relations or even diplomatic exchanges with the Prophet Muhammad (saaw).

The second was intended to the Christian kingdom in Syria, a vassal state of the Byzantine Roman empire. The Muslim emissary was sent to the Arab Christian king Harith Ghassani. His family had migrated out of Arabia centuries before.

How the Roman empire responded to these 2 emissaries would determine whether there would be peace between the Muslims and Christians of the Holy Land, or not.

The Ghassani Christian Arab king responded: 'who is this man' and threatened war on the Muslims. He then killed the Muslim emissary Shuja bin Wahb (rah) and prepared war on the Muslims. And de facto, the Roman Heraclius supported his vassal king, allowing Roman troops to support the Arab Christian king's war efforts.

As a result, the Ghassani Arab Christian king planned an invasion of Arabia along with Roman troops. Word of this reached the Prophet (saw) in Madinah and he sent an expeditionary force of 3000 to north Arabia to gather more intelligence and confront the Ghassani Arab Christian king who MADE AN ACT OF WAR BY KILLING THE MUSLIM EMISSARY. Except when the Muslim force arrived the area, they discovered that the Ghassani Arab king and the Roman Heraclius gathered 100,000 men in preparation of invading Madinah. This battle was called the battle of Mutah. Many Muslims died, including the Prophet's cousin Jafar and his once-adopted son Zaid. But the Muslim force was able to retreat and the Roman invasion of Arabia was thwarted.

This marked the beginning of relations between the Roman Christians who controlled the Holyland and the Muslims. The Arab Christian king Harith al Ghassan and the Roman Christian emperor Heraclius rejected peaceful relations, opting for war and invasion. And this becomes more obvious when one realizes that Roman culture had supported war and violence for 1000 years. Meanwhile Christian kingdoms in Egypt and Abyssinia had peaceful relations with the Muslims, even Abyssinia enjoyed 100s of years of peace with the Muslims.


In contras

Observer:

SM
In that long rambling there was nothing to refute my claim that Jerusalem was invaded by the Arabs of Hijaz in 638, and has been dominated by one form of Muslim rule or another except for the Crusade period. This is until 1967 when it was liberated by the Israelis.
As the mode of Muslim rule over the indigenous population of the greater Syria, Iraq and North Africa, it was a outright shameful. To get a feel of how shameful peruse the Omar Pact that codified the sentiments of your prophet and his followers towards the other.
Sample
“We shall not build, in our cities or in their neighborhood, new monasteries, Churches, convents, or monks' cells, nor shall we repair, by day or by night, such of them as fall in ruins or are situated in the quarters of the Muslims.
We shall keep our gates wide open for passersby and travelers. We shall give board and lodging to all Muslims who pass our way for three days.
We shall not manifest our religion publicly nor convert anyone to it. We shall not prevent any of our kin from entering Islam if they wish it.
We shall show respect toward the Muslims, and we shall rise from our seats when they wish to sit.
We shall not seek to resemble the Muslims by imitating any of their garments, the qalansuwa, the turban, footwear, or the parting of the hair. We shall not speak as they do, nor shall we adopt their kunyas.
We shall not mount on saddles, nor shall we gird swords nor bear any kind of arms nor carry them on our- persons.
We shall clip the fronts of our heads.
We shall always dress in the same way wherever we may be, and we shall bind the zunar round our waists
We shall not take slaves who have been allotted to Muslims.
We shall not build houses overtopping the houses of the Muslims. “
Etc. etc.
http://www.bible.ca/islam/islam-kills-pact-of-umar.htm

SM:

Observer:
Wikipedia Notes: THIS IS THE REAL HISTORY. LEARN IT.

"Jerusalem shifted from Roman to Persian rule and returned to Roman dominion once more. Following Sassanid Khosrau II's early seventh century push into Byzantine, advancing through Syria, Sassanid Generals Shahrbaraz and Shahin attacked the Byzantine-controlled city of Jerusalem.

In the Siege of Jerusalem (614), after 21 days of relentless siege warfare, Jerusalem was captured and the Persian victory resulted in the territorial annexation of Jerusalem. After the Sassanid army entered Jerusalem, the holy "True Cross" was stolen and sent back to the Sassanian capital as a battle-captured holy relic. The conquered city and the Holy Cross would remain in Sassanid hands for some fifteen years until the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius recovered them in 629.

In 638, the Islamic Caliphate extended its dominion to Jerusalem. At this time, Jerusalem was declared Islam's third holiest city after Mecca and Medina, and referred to as al-Bayt al-Muqaddas. Later, it was known as al-Quds al-Sharif.With the Arab conquest, Jews were allowed back into the city. The Rashidun caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab signed a treaty with Monophysite Christian Patriarch Sophronius, assuring him that Jerusalem's Christian holy places and population would be protected under Muslim rule. Umar was led to the Foundation Stone on the Temple Mount, which he cleared of refuse in preparation for building a mosque. According to the Gaullic bishop Arculf, who lived in Jerusalem from 679-688, the Mosque of Umar was a rectangular wooden structure built over ruins which could accommodated 3,000 worshipers. The Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik commissioned the construction of the Dome of the Rock in the late 7th century.

In 1099, Jerusalem was conquered by the Crusaders, who massacred most of its Muslim inhabitants and the remnants of the Jewish inhabitants; the Crusaders later expelled the native Christian population. By early June 1099 Jerusalem’s population had declined from 70,000 to less than 30,000. The surviving Jews were sold into slavery in Europe or ransomed to the Jewish community of Egypt. Christian Arab tribes brought to Jerusalem settled in the Old City.In 1187, the city was wrested from the Crusaders by Saladin who permitted Jews and Muslims to return and settle in the city. In 1244, Jerusalem was sacked by the Kharezmian Tartars, who decimated the city's Christian population and drove out the Jews, some of whom resettled in Nablus. From 1250-1517, Jerusalem was ruled by the Mamluks, who imposed a heavy annual tax on the Jews and destroyed Christian holy places on Mount Zion."

It might be pertinent to note that David Ben Gurion also noted that the Golden Era of the Jewish Diaspora was Muslim Spain. It might also be relevant to mention that the Jews have historically been persecuted by the Christians in Christian Europe and only recently been the target of Muslims, after the establishment of Israel..

So get your facts straight and dont distort it like Bush did with regards to Iraq.

Observer:

SM
Why you want start history from the middle and not from the beginning. The Crusades were started in the tail end of the 11th Century after half a millennium of outright aggression, looting ,pillaging and subjugation of the Christian lands by the nomads of Arabia. Later in the 16thh Century the Turks began their incursions in what was left of Christendom. The Turks reached the gates of Vienna in the 1683 after subjugating the whole of Eastern Europe. Had they won then none of us will have any freedoms today.

SM:

Lets name the numerous times the Christian countries invaded from the Crusades to present times the entire world... Lets talk about that before we talk of the Muslim invasion. Almost 800 years of looting and plundering... starting with the Crusades and through the Colonial Ages and onto Iraq today... So the count is... The Christian world wins the number of invasions of foreign lands... as opposed to Muslim invasions.

Observer:

Asim asks indignantly:
"Muslim violence??????? Which countries have "those violent Muslims invaded and occupied????"

Below is a sample:
Syria and Palestine 635AD
Iraq 636 AD
Jerusalem 638 AD
Egypt 640AD
North Africa 644AD
Italy plundered 652AD
Spain Occupied715 AD
South of France 732 AD
Rome sacked 846 AD
Asia Minor occupied 1453 AD.

The fact is that they are not in Jerusalem or Europe is not because the Muslims repented. No! Not at all. It is because they got their behinds kicked out.

IslamvCommie:

Both doctrines are quiet intolerant of other views. Muslims have 57 Islamic nations, where they demean and insult non-minorities just by calling the whole nation Islamic.

But Islam goes one step further than Islam; its members are much more likely to be homicidal and suicidal.

denis arvay:

We can count the rollback of religion as one of the real accomplishments of the USSR. Time for a similar program here n America.

Ecrasez l'infâm!e

Center:


If the public does not feel it needs this dose or religion, they would not have gone for it. If this is what they want and some scholarship would pay for it, I say why not? It is not my tax $$.

What I believe the public needs also is more scholarship and funding to study science and medicine. Religion motivates people to be healthy, eat well etc. Motivation becomes frustration if the communities do not have qualified doctors and lab technicians etc to shore up the other side of the community needs.

simonsrook:

why do you use the word Islamist to describe these phenomenon despite that you have not indicated any negative impact of these? isn't islamist a bad term?

ratl:

Funny you'd object to fundamentalism when almost half of the American voters seriously consider a McCain/Palin presidency.

Robert 17:

Asim, San Antonio :

Insider,

U have not uttered a single word of truth and u are either profoundly ignorant or a paid propgnadaist.Your War mongoring Bush/Cheney/israel style is counterproductive.

Muslim violence??????? Which countries have "those violent Muslims invaded and occupied????" Are they occupying DC,London or Paris? HAve they signed over and set up a racist apartheid jewish theocracy in Chicago,Cologne,the HAgue or Houston?

Only some and in fact very few frustrated Muslims are reacting to the victimised Muslims every where:Palestine which has been occupied by the jews for over sixty years which created over six million Palestinian refugees-and the balance are under brutal jewish occupation of their home land ,historic PAlestine;

Iraq:all clear and no need to elaborate.

Bosnian Muslims who were massacred in a genocidal war by the Serb orthodox "christains;"

Kashmair Muslim majority occupied by india; Somali ogaden reigon and somalia proper are invaded and occupied by Ethiopia-the israel of the horn of Africa.

Also, oppressed Muslims in the majority of the Muslim world by ruthless dictators supported, nurtered and protected by the USA and israel.

So Muslims the world over are under attack from within and from without and the result is violnece:violnece begts violnece.

Solution: war on the root causes of the problem/violnece and not on violnece itself-its a symptom of the problem.

============

I'm surprised that you don't mention Sudan, a country where more Muslims are killed every year than the Israelis have killed in the entire history of their country. But I guess that would interfere with your victim fantasy which in turn fuels your sense of moral outrage and entitlement. And what's a Muslim without those?

Ibrahim Mahfouz:

Mr. Fairweather states:
“Instead, most young Muslims seem to be turning back to the direct word of God - the Qur'an - and the life of the Prophet as recorded by his contemporaries.”

If we ever thought Communism was a catastrophe this reverting of the people of Central Asia to the example of the prophet means even worse. It means turning to the culture of Jihad ; the pillaging, looting , killing the “others” and enslaving their women and children. It means the breeding of more Bin Ladens with all the filth associated with this class of characters.

Asim, San Antonio :

Insider,

U have not uttered a single word of truth and u are either profoundly ignorant or a paid propgnadaist.Your War mongoring Bush/Cheney/israel style is counterproductive.

Muslim violence??????? Which countries have "those violent Muslims invaded and occupied????" Are they occupying DC,London or Paris? HAve they signed over and set up a racist apartheid jewish theocracy in Chicago,Cologne,the HAgue or Houston?

Only some and in fact very few frustrated Muslims are reacting to the victimised Muslims every where:Palestine which has been occupied by the jews for over sixty years which created over six million Palestinian refugees-and the balance are under brutal jewish occupation of their home land ,historic PAlestine;

Iraq:all clear and no need to elaborate.

Bosnian Muslims who were massacred in a genocidal war by the Serb orthodox "christains;"

Kashmair Muslim majority occupied by india; Somali ogaden reigon and somalia proper are invaded and occupied by Ethiopia-the israel of the horn of Africa.

Also, oppressed Muslims in the majority of the Muslim world by ruthless dictators supported, nurtered and protected by the USA and israel.

So Muslims the world over are under attack from within and from without and the result is violnece:violnece begts violnece.

Solution: war on the root causes of the problem/violnece and not on violnece itself-its a symptom of the problem.

Valikhanov:

Usama wrote:

"submissive compliant sufi orders who bowed to colonial imperial dominion and silenced themselves before the grandiosity and pomposity of Western Order"

Might want take a history refresher course there, Usama. Sufi orders were hardly complacent collaborators in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Rather, they occupied a spot in colonial administrators' minds not dissimilar from "fundamentalists" or "extremists" today - precisely because they were behind so many revolts against the colonial order, from Abd al-Kader against the French in Algeria to the Mahdi uprising against the British in Sudan. And Central Asia was no exception, either: http://www.jstor.org/sici?sici=0036-0341(198707)46%3A3%3C267%3ACAUITN%3E2.0.CO%3B2-C

Usama:

Really, the message America and the West carry is:

'Democracy' is the license for corruption and injustice legalized by global powers who seek to profit and gain through their devices.

Pickett fails to mention that the regimes of the 'Stans are controlled by former Soviet Communist elites. In fact, the governments of the 'Stans are tolerated by Russia, the regional power, and America, the global power, because these corrupt and oppressive regimes serve to keep the 'World Order'.

That is to say, the carving up of the Central Asian region was a result of the imperial ventures of Russia and Britain during the Colonial imperial incursions of the 18th through 20th centuries. The people of the region were forced into artificial 'Stans as a result of their Western imperial overlords who delt their fate like cards.

If the people are just sheeple, sheep that follow their shepherds to the slaughterhouse, then they quietly take it all in and swallow their pills and die the death of ancient nations now extinct.

But Pickett, apparently a Western Orientalist who laments the weakening of the submissive compliant sufi orders who bowed to colonial imperial dominion and silenced themselves before the grandiosity and pomposity of Western Order, clearly is frightened by the prospect that Muslim people refuse to be submissive and compliant with Western hegemonic order which reenforces corruption, injustice, hypocricy, hedonism, oppression.

Pickett and Fairweather CONVENIENTLY FAIL to mention that the Naqshbandi order of today is a friend and obedient institution of the Uzbekistan government led by Karimov. This same regime tortures and murders its own people, including boiling alive a young man who dared spoke out against corruption and injustice.

And America remained Karimov's friend like it was friends with so many murderous regimes before, until Karimov gunned down 100s of his own unarmed people and the publicity became too great that American was afraid its hypocritical support for a brutal oppressor might hurt its status as Hegemon of the World.

Usama:

The evil hypocricy lies in the West. America- Champion of Freedom and Justice for All- is the biggest supporter of oppressive regimes and corruption worldwide, bar none.

Justice for Americans, but the gun for the millions of people living in the Muslim world.
And God forbid the Muslim people actually have a say in self determination and forming their own governments.
Thus, America invades and supports proxy invasions and coups and countercoups for decades. WHY?

Because AMERICA WANTS TO BE NUMBER ONE, THAT MEANS NUMBER ONE in controlling the vital resources of the world- oil, gas, precious minerals like uranium, cobalt, etc. at the cost of spreading corruption and injustice.


American and Western led global dominion stunts the development of the Muslim world. It reenforces and rewards oppressive corruption and injustice and stifles the natural progress and development of the people.


Folks, America rules the world as evident by its 1000 military installations worldwide. Americans should point their devilish bony accusatory fingers at themselves and their own institutions FIRST AND FOREMOST.

SM:

Maulana Abdul Aziz, the main imam at the Red Mosque in Islamabad, who was arrested while trying to escape dressed as a woman last year at the Siege of Red Mosque was educated in Saudi Arabia on a scholarship given by King Fahd of Saudi Arabia in the 1980s. He was the radical clerk who lobbied the support gained by the Taliban in the corridors of power in Islamabad thru the 1990s. This is reality witnessed by this writer during the 90s first hand in Islamabad.

Borderman:

One thing that is always clear and pops, that is Saudi Oil money setting up hate shops all around the world particularly in Islamic countries. Saudi Arabia exports oil and Islamic extremism. Thanks to USA for making this possible. On the other hand, United States does nothing to counter Islamic extremism in its root before transforming into security threat to the USA.

The insider:

Islam is like an incurable disease that spreads everywhere with hatred and violence. Most nations (even in nominal islamic countries) see Islamism and their practioners with a feeling of hopeless and anxiety - the way a home owner sees the sign of termites. They wish they had been living in good old days where you can put all these people to the sword if these religious nuts use violence to challenge their rule and peace. How can you fight a war on terror without using terror - a moral dilemma that ultimately will destroy the West and West wannabes. America need a Putin kind of president.

full_of_wonder:

well i m not surprised . show me a place where islamic fundamentalism isn't displacing its prior manifestations .
the islamists are amused by western schlorarly stupidity that sounds off so many wonderful words of dissective analysis of social conditions, cultural attachments , democracy ...
recent events in pakistan show how it all goes finally the fundmentalist way . unless you recognize that only one thing can defeat islamic fundamentalism - relentless propaganda on the evils of " not 'live and let livving' "

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.