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Islam in Central Asia

New Amendments Target Parents Seeking Islamic Education for Children in Uzbekistan

New Amendments Target Parents Seeking Islamic Education for Children in Uzbekistan

By Niginakhon Saida
If enacted, a new draft law will add fines and possible jail time for parents that seek illegal Islamic education for their children. 

How Authoritarian Oppression Breeds Religious Extremism in Central Asia

How Authoritarian Oppression Breeds Religious Extremism in Central Asia

By Kashif Hasan Khan and Marin Ekstrom
The overwhelmingly authoritarian governments in Central Asia have utilized severe repression against Islamist movements – extremist or not.
What’s Behind Central Asia’s Umrah Fever?

What’s Behind Central Asia’s Umrah Fever?

By Niginakhon Saida
As long as people have limited opportunities in the socioeconomic and political arenas, and adherence to a religious lifestyle is restricted, pilgrimages will remain as an accessible means of self-fulfillment. 

Uzbekistan’s Imams Stand in Solidarity With Palestine, Caution Against Propaganda

Uzbekistan’s Imams Stand in Solidarity With Palestine, Caution Against Propaganda

By Niginakhon Saida
Solidarity with and concerns about Palestine are not a new development among Uzbeks, but there have been a variety of responses to the escalating conflict in the Middle East.

How Is the Israel-Hamas War Being Framed in Central Asia?

How Is the Israel-Hamas War Being Framed in Central Asia?

By Colleen Wood
Journalists, influencers, and religious teachers are using social media to inform Central Asians about the Israel-Hamas war.

What’s Driving Taiwan’s Mass Protests?
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What’s Driving Taiwan’s Mass Protests?

Measuring the Power and Legitimacy of Uzbekistan’s Islamic Leaders

Measuring the Power and Legitimacy of Uzbekistan’s Islamic Leaders

By Niginakhon Saida
The popularity of religious figures in Uzbekistan is tied to their legitimacy, itself derived from their formal positions within government-affiliated religious institutions.

The Hujra Phenomenon: How Do Uzbekistan’s Children Learn About Islam?

The Hujra Phenomenon: How Do Uzbekistan’s Children Learn About Islam?

By Niginakhon Saida
The apparently increasing number of hujra, clandestine religious classrooms, in Uzbekistan indicates a growing need for formal religious education that is not attainable for many at present.
It’s Karimov Era 2.0 for Muslims in Uzbekistan

It’s Karimov Era 2.0 for Muslims in Uzbekistan

By Madina Amin
A new wave of arrests in Uzbekistan have centered on religious lectures, songs, and social media posts, calling up memories of the not-so-distant Karimov era.

The Importance of Female Islamic Activism in Kyrgyzstan

The Importance of Female Islamic Activism in Kyrgyzstan

By Aksana Ismailbekova
The international community, in seeking to pursue cooperation in the region, ought to look to Muslim women as a vital set of partners.

Uzbekistan’s Islamic Revival, Online

Uzbekistan’s Islamic Revival, Online

By Niginakhon Saida
The content of state-sanctioned Islam conveyed online does not differ from what is published in books, but the delivery makes a difference.

The Revival of Islam in Turkmenistan

The Revival of Islam in Turkmenistan

By Merdan Amanov
Although Islam has been a part of Turkmen culture for centuries, public practice of Islam was largely suppressed during the Soviet Union and in the early independence era, too.
Uzbek Justice Ministry Sounds Alarm Over Divisive Religious Messaging

Uzbek Justice Ministry Sounds Alarm Over Divisive Religious Messaging

By Umida Hashimova
The Justice Ministry is alarmed about religious figures whose teachings blur the line between religion, their personal moral views, and the law.

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