Book Review: Islam after Communism: Religion and Politics in Central Asia. By Adeeb Khalid. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2007.
journal contributionposted on 01.01.2009, 00:00 by Marianne Kamp
In this volume, historian Adeeb Khalid presents an overview of Islam’s changing relationship to the state in Central Asia, from the time of Russian colonization (nineteenth century) through the post-Soviet period. The question that animates this book is whether Central Asian Islam presents a political danger to states or to wider interests. The author’s answer is no. Khalid rejects essentialisms that posit Islam as a font of terrorism, but more specifically, he argues that due to Soviet repression of Islam’s formal institutions in Central Asia, Islam became a locus of cultural identity, unconnected to intellectual trends elsewhere that established Islamism as a political effort to create Islamic states.