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Radical Islam in the former Soviet Union


This is a wide-ranging and informative collection of papers, mainly focusing on the political aspects of Islamic radicalism in the former Soviet Union.  The volume considerably expands the geography of our knowledge about what is commonly referred to as radical Islam by focusing on both more familiar (to the Western reader) locations, such as Chechnya (Vahit Akaev), Dagestan (Kaflan Khanabaev), and Azerbaijan (Rufat Sattarov), and less known places, such as North-West Caucasus (Domitilla Sagramoso and Galina Yemelianova) and the Volga-Urals region (Rafik Mukhametshin).   Zumrat Salmorbekova and Galina Yemelianova focus on the Fergana Valley, a region in Uzbekistan that has seen violent clashes between the local version of Hizb ut-Tahrir and the republic’s government.   The contributions differ in their understandings (implicit rather than explicit) of the concept radicalism and of the kind of issues that are associated with it in different political settings – from nationalism in Tatarstan, to resistance to authoritarianism in Uzbekistan – which points to the complexities of and problems with the use of this term.  They also provide useful material for reflecting on the relationships between global and local radical Islamic discourses and politics.

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