The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China is home to some 12 million indigenous Turkic speaking Muslims, primarily Uyghurs but also smaller numbers of Kazakhs and others. It is now one of the most heavily policed areas in the world. Inhabitants are controlled and monitored to an extraordinary degree and detained in extraordinary numbers. These extreme policies are justified by the claim that China is fighting Islamic radicalisation and extremism.
In August 5-7, 2013 Nazarbayev University hosted the 14th biennial conference of the European Society for Central Asian Studies in Astana. Since the conference has already been generally discussed by Diana Kudaibergenova and given the scope of our column (“Pray, pay and obey”), I would like to highlight some of the presentations that addressed various aspects of Islam in the region.
Continue reading From vernacular to global Islam? ESCAS conference discussions
While the debate continues over whether to try Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as an enemy combatant, he and his brother Tamerlan appear to have solidified that status in the American consciousness already, as evidenced by a recent magazine cover in which the Caucasian brothers are depicted with dark skin, thick eyebrows, and narrow, furtive eyes. The reference to Islamic terrorism in the title apparently necessitated these phenotypic modifications, just as the resulting visages seem to intimate terrorism, even without proof that the Tsarnaevs’ goal in bombing the Boston Marathon was to terrorize as a means to a determinable end. Continue reading Where are the Moderate Protestants? Reimagining Religious Identity in Boston and Bishkek
Welcome to our co-authored blog column, Pray, Pay, and Obey, in which we will address issues and research related to the intersection of faith, power and wealth in Central Asia. Continue reading Welcome Note