Reviews

In this paper, the author continues his ongoing meditation (see the previous review) on the social sciences of Islam in Central Asia.  Distinguishing two types of terrorism in Uzbekistan in the early 2000s, one committed “sporadically” in the name of Islam, the other carried out on a daily basis by state authorities, R.Z. denounces the political utilisation of identity groups singled out for removal or elimination, throughout the former Soviet domain.  He also calls anthropologists for taking into account the wide range of motivations and different influential experiences that push a number of people, devout or not, to be willing to take extreme actions.  Among the key factors of the recent expansion of social and political violence in Uzbekistan, the author mentions material deprivation, “especially as it affects family men who cannot take care of their children and wives according to the normative models in which their parents were raised.”  On the political level, R.Z. points out that the Uzbek leadership bears a big responsibility for the recent expansion of parties such as the Hizb al-Tahrir all around Uzbekistan, since the Tashkent administration has been forcing many pro-religious and antigovernment individuals to seek relative safety in a neighbouring country where devout practitioners are not yet routinely arrested and beaten.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: I-5.3.D-495