The period from World War II to the collapse of the USSR witnessed a remarkable interaction between the Soviet Party-state and Central Asian Muslims. Over the course of these five decades, an institutional foundation came to define relations between the Muslim population and Islamic scholars on the one hand, and the region's atheist rulers on the other. Soviet bureaucrats committed to liquidating Islam, and the legally recognized Islamic scholars in Soviet Central Asia devoted to its renewal, articulated a viable way of explaining their reliance upon one another. This entailed finding common ground between two worldviews, Communist and Islamic, that fundamentally differed on so much. As the intensity of war-era memories diminished somewhat by the early 1950s, an argument about Islam's political utility was added to the refrains of patriotism and sacrifice. Both Muslims and bureaucrats justified a legitimate role for Islam in Soviet conditions by emphasizing the authority of a centralized, legal Islamic institution or muftiate, known by the Russian acronym SADUM. Khrushchev's anti-religious campaign of 1959-1964 only partially marked a departure from this trend, for by this point in Soviet history it was impossible to envision an officially tolerated Islam in Soviet Central Asia devoid of the muftiate's central presence. Throughout the Brezhnev era, the Islamic scholars staffing this institution enjoyed the full confidence of the Soviet leadership. SADUM's prominence in Soviet political life in the 1970s and 1980s was a reflection of the broader stability and predictability of Muslim life in Central Asia, and of relations between Muslims and the state. Only the democratization of the late 1980s would call this stable pattern into question once again.
|School Location:||United States -- Massachusetts|
|Source:||DAI-A 71/07, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||History, Middle Eastern history, Russian history|
|Keywords:||Central Asia, Institutionalization, Islam, Muslims, Russia, Soviet Union|
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