Catalogue


To Moscow, not Mecca : the Soviet campaign against Islam in Central Asia, 1917-1941 /
Shoshana Keller.
imprint
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2001.
description
xix, 277 p. : maps.
ISBN
0275972380 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2001.
isbn
0275972380 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
4585183
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2002-02-01:
This well-presented, erudite study examines the struggle in Central Asia between the atheistic Soviet communist regime and Islam's ancient religious and political traditions. The Soviets sought to undermine Muslim culture and religion and reform Central Asia's institutions on a Marxist-Leninist basis. However, the Soviet regime there, basically established by 1923, remained rather weak and inefficient even into the 1930s. By the time of the Nazi invasion of the USSR in 1941, the contending sides had reached a virtual standoff. Keller (history, Hamilton College) has utilized Russian and foreign published sources as well as many archival documents culled from Moscow archives and the Uzbek Central State and Party archives in Tashkent. An initial chapter on Imperial Russia's role in Central Asia notes that the Muslims' place in the empire was never adequately resolved. A series of chapters deal chronologically with the establishment of Soviet power and its campaigns against Islam in Central Asia. Keller notes that 1927 marked the start of brutal anti-Islamic policies, but vague instructions, inefficiency, and corruption hampered their implementation. She concludes that pre-WW II Soviet rule greatly damaged Islam in Central Asia, but that Central Asians found ways to assert their own goals and desire. Upper-division undergraduates and above. D. MacKenzie emeritus, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Reviews
Review Quotes
'œThis well-presented, erudite study examines the struggle in Central Asia between the atheistic Soviet communist regime and Islam's ancient religious and political traditions. Upper-division undergraduates and above.'' Choice
'œ...addresses the Soviet campaigns to suppress Islamic institutions in Central Asia in the period before the Second World War.'' Journal of Asian Studies
'œKeller's book is one of the first to explore the Soviet treatment of Islam in Central Asia in this period, the revolutionary first decades of Soviet rule....Keller's conclusions about the survival of Islam and traditional Central Asian identities are particularly perspicacious. Keller's book is an important contribution to the literature.'' Religious Studies Review
'œKeller's use of primary documents and astute scholarship shines through in this splendid work designed for professionals and advanced researchers.'' Political Science Quarterly
'œThese are broad issues that students of early Soviet Central Asia will have to grapple with as more works follow this pioneering study and benefit from the valuable contribution it makes to our understanding of a crucial period of modern Central Asian history.'' The Russian Review
'œThis substantial scholarly work traces the evolution of Tsarist Russian and Soviet policy toward Islam in Central Asia, especially the republic if Uzbekistan...Anyone who wants to understand the impact of Tsarist and Soviet policy on the place of Islam in Central Asian society should read this book.'' Middle East Journal
'œ[A] major contribution to the field of modern Central Asian studies, and also to the modern history of the Islamic world.'' The American Historical Review
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, February 2002
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Summaries
Unpaid Annotation
The clash between Communism and Islam in the Soviet Union pitted two socio-political systems against one another. This study examines the first decades of the struggle in Central Asia (1917-1941), where an ancient religious tradition faced an aggressive form of secular modernity. The Soviets attempted to break down Muslim culture and remold it on Marxist-Leninist lines. Central Asians played complex roles in this effort, both defending and attacking Islam, but mostly trying to survive. Despite Stalin's totalitarian aims, the Soviet regime in Central Asia was often weak even into the 1930s, and by 1941 the opposing systems had reached a standoff.
Long Description
The clash between Communism and Islam in the Soviet Union pitted two socio-political systems against one another, each proclaiming ultimate truth. This study examines the first decades of the struggle in Central Asia (1917-1941), where an ancient religious tradition faced an aggressive form of secular modernity. The Soviets attempted to break down Muslim culture and remold it on Marxist-Leninist lines. Central Asians played complex roles in this effort, both defending and attacking Islam, but mostly trying to survive. Despite Stalin's totalitarian aims, the Soviet regime in Central Asia was often weak even into the 1930s, and by 1941 the opposing systems had reached a standoff. The Communist Party pursued the destruction of Islam in stages, which reflected the development of Soviet political strength. The party developed propaganda that both attacked Islam and extolled the new Soviet culture. However, the entire process was plagued by inefficiency, ignorance, and disobedience. By 1941, the Communists had inflicted tremendous damage, but customs such as circumcision, brideprice, and polygyny had merely gone underground. Central Asians had not exchanged the fundamental identity of Muslim for Marxist-Leninist. Keller utilizes documents from Moscow and Tashkent, including the now-closed former Communist Party Archive of Uzbekistan.
Long Description
The clash between Communism and Islam in the Soviet Union pitted two socio-political systems against one another, each proclaiming ultimate truth. This study examines the first decades of the struggle in Central Asia (1917-1941), where an ancient religious tradition faced an aggressive form of secular modernity. The Soviets attempted to break down Muslim culture and remold it on Marxist-Leninist lines. Central Asians played complex roles in this effort, both defending and attacking Islam, but mostly trying to survive. Despite Stalin's totalitarian aims, the Soviet regime in Central Asia was often weak even into the 1930s, and by 1941 the opposing systems had reached a standoff. The Communist Party pursued the destruction of Islam in stages, which reflected the development of Soviet political strength. The party developed propaganda that both attacked Islam and extolled the new Soviet culture. However, the entire process was plagued by inefficiency, ignorance, and disobedience. By 1941, the Communists had inflicted tremendous damage, but customs such as circumcision, brideprice, and polygyny had merely gone underground. Central Asians had not exchanged the fundamental identity of "Muslim" for "Marxist-Leninist." Keller utilizes documents from Moscow and Tashkent, including the now-closed former Communist Party Archive of Uzbekistan.
Table of Contents
A Note on Transliterationp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Imperial Russia and Islamp. 1
Old Empire on a New Basisp. 31
Soviet Central Asia: Laying a Foundationp. 69
Discussing the Problemp. 107
Breaking Islamp. 141
Retrenchmentp. 175
Second Wavep. 213
Conclusion: Damaged but Not Destroyedp. 247
Glossaryp. 257
Bibliographyp. 261
Indexp. 271
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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