Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12389/20093
Title: Shaping an Islamic identity : religion, Islamism, and the state in Central Asia
Authors: Gunn, T. Jeremy 
Corporate Authors: Emory University 
Association for the Sociology of Religion 
Subject Keywords: religion or belief ; freedom of religion or belief ; intolerance ; religion or belief ; religious or belief groups ; Muslims ; Muslims ; religious or belief groups
See Also: religion or belief
Key Issues: Freedom of religion or belief ; Intolerance against Muslims
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: Association for the Sociology of Religion
Publication Country: United States 
Publication Place : Holiday
Material Type: article
Language: English
Host item: Sociology of religion 
Host item vol.no: 64:3, p. 389-410
Country: United States 
URL display: http://socrel.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/64/3/389.pdf
Abstract: The vast majority of Central Asians consider Islam to be part of their social identity - as it has been for centuries. Yet seventy years of official Soviet atheism decimated Islamic institutions of learning leaving both, imams and the population largely unfamiliar with traditional Islamic teachings. There is now a struggle within the five formerly Soviet republics of Central Asia between Islamists and governments to reconstruct Islam and to capture the allegiance of the population. Central Asia is not now engaged in a clash of its Islamic civilization with a Christian West or an Orthodox North - and far less a Confucian East. Rather, it is struggling to construct its own Islamic identity (or identities) on the foundation of a glorious ancient past, a harsh recent past, and a bleak economic and political future. This paper discusses the different aspects of religion in Central Asia (including Sunni Islam of the Hanafi school, Sufism, Shi'ism, popular Islam, and Islamism), and describes political efforts to control (or manage) religion - particularly the Islamist threat. Such governmental efforts, however, appear to be exacerbating the very Islamist threat that they seek to contain.
Physical Description: 22 p.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12389/20093
ISSN: 1069-4404
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