Tajikistan Map

Bomb Scare in Isfara

Isfara, Tajikistan — Yesterday’s bomb scare in Isfara has derailed my efforts to meet with religious leaders and other local sources. With the city now crawling with officials from the Interior Ministry (MVD) and State Committee for National Security (SCNS), my contacts concluded that this was an inauspicious time to meet with Americans writing books…

Urunboy Usmanov

The Trials of Urunboy Usmonov

Khujand, Tajikistan — This afternoon I met with a source who has been following the recent arrest of BBC correspondent Urunbay Usmonov. Two days ago, a Tajik government advisor told me that the arrest was an unfortunate error on the part of local authorities and would be quickly resolved. Yet here in Khujand, regional security…

Mosque, State, and Tajik Society

Dushanbe, Tajikistan — Tajik researchers indicate that structural poverty, entrenched corruption, and growing tensions between the Rahmon regime and opposition parties contribute to widespread public resentment. These conditions also provide a foil for radical Islamist groups like Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HuT), which sees the imposition of Shari’ah law as the cure for Tajikistan’s malaise. Addressing these socio-political…