Islamic fundamentalism and the Clan System in Central Asia

by Anonymous on 8/10/2004 · 1 comment

This study with the title “Assessing the “War on Terror” in Central Asia” (PDF) by the Center for strategic and international studies in Washington has some insightful ideas, which, in my opinion, might shed some additional light at the nature of extremist groups and the clan system of administration in central Asia. To illustrate, the research says:

There are two primary factors that we need to focus on when looking at the future potential for instability in Central Asia…The second factor is clan networks.. Economic benefits are not evenly distributed throughout society but are instead distributed based on clan structure. There is some evidence that Islamism is very much centered in these impoverished rural areas that are not connected to the ruling clan structures. While there is potential for clan rivalry that may lead one clan to topple another, a challenge to the existing state is likely to come from those who are excluded from the clan structure. The implication of these two factors for U.S. policy is clear: concentrating on human rights or poverty reduction alone will not be enough if the goal is to stop anti-American resentment. When thinking about future terrorist attacks against the United States, the problem will come from the social strata who feel cut out of the economic relationship the United States has established with the ruling clans. Dealing with this problem will be difficult because we cannot just stop supporting the ruling clans or warlords; however, we should keep up the pressure on the governments to reach outside of the existing clan structures and pay attention to the disaffected people who believe that they have no hope of sharing in the state’s economic development…


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– author of 49 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Education 2003–2004 Master Degree in Developmental Studies (DESS “Gestion et dynamisation du développement”), The University of Pierre Mendès France of Grenoble, France 1998-2003 Bachelor Degree in International Economics, The University of World Economy and Diplomacy of Tashkent, Uzbekistan Work Experience 05/2004-08/2004 Researcher, The Economic Mission of France in Istanbul, Turkey 04/2003-09/2003 Research assistant and Translator in the UNDP project UZB 01/04 on institutional reinforcement of the Higher School of Business under the President of Uzbekistan 01/2003-04/2003 Interpreter, International Department, The Higher School of Business, Tashkent, Uzbekistan 09/2002-01/2003 English Language Junior Editor at the Journal “International Relations, Law and Economy” of the University of World Economy and Diplomacy, Tashkent, Uzbekistan 06/2002-09/2002 Intern, CIS countries Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan

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{ 1 comment }

Laurence August 10, 2004 at 10:28 am

Thank you for posting this, Nathan.

Interesting that Adolat Najimova from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty sounds somewhat like an apologist for Islamist extremists.

I lived in Uzbekistan for a year, heard lots of complaints about the government, corruption, lack of freedom, and so on. But I never heard a single complaint from an Uzbek about “persecution” of Muslims.

My landlady’s mother was very devout, wore a scarf (Uzbek-style), prayed regularly, fasted during Ramadan, and so forth. She didn’t much like Karimov–her preference was for Rashidov, who was less Islamic than Karimov, but provided a higher standard of living.

Najimova’s statement that NOT decertifying Uzbekistan would lead to a rise in terrorism is now, sadly, proven completely wrong. The most recent bombings occured just after the aid cutoff. It seems from this document that RFE’s analyses might even play into the hands of America’s adversaries, such as Russian academcian Oleg Zotov, who accuses the US of fomenting Islamist acitvity in Central Asia in order to tie Russia down.

I don’t think this is America’s intention. But through inattention, lack of a coherent policy, and RFE/RL broadcasts promoting Islamist perspectives, it might be what is happening…

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