Religious Texts. Dushanbe, Tajikistan. © Christopher Swift 2012

Radicalization & Religious Education

Khujand, Tajikistan — Today’s meetings concluded with a lengthy discussion on the evolution of Central Asian Islamist movements with a historian from Khujand State University. Like my other interviewees, he argued that groups like IMU and HuT tended to attract younger followers—particularly those with high levels of unemployment and low levels of religious education. Each…

Central Square, Khujand, Tajikistan.  © Christopher Swift 2012

Two Imams, One Message

Khujand, Tajikistan — Today’s interviews with two local Imams underscore the generational and demographic diversity within Tajikistan’s religious establishment. The older Imam leads an urban mosque in Khujand. His younger counterpart heads a congregation in a rural Uzbek community. Yet each man expressed similar concerns over the infiltration of foreign Salafi ideology. And each offered…