Interesting from a methodological viewpoint, this two-hand correspondence by a leading Uzbekistani historian of Islam and a leading North-American political scientist is an answer to a prospective publication by the German politician Arne C. Seifert and of the Russian political scientist I. D. Zviagel’skaia on the “reconciliation of Europe and Islam in Eurasia.”  Babadjanov and Olcott have had no difficulty to underline the naivety of the vision by Seifert and Zviagel’skaia of the Party of the Islamic Revival of Tajikistan as a model for a dialogue between Islamists and secularists in Central Asia.  Such a salutary critic would have showed more efficient, however, would it not have gone to the other extremes—which consist in a harsh denunciation of the intrinsic “extremism” and poor taste for negotiation of the Islamic parties created in Central Asia since the late 1980s.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: I-5.3.D-463