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Negotiating Islam in Emerging Public Spheres in Contemporary Tajikistan


Nozimova, Shahnoza; Epkenhans, Tim (2013). Negotiating Islam in Emerging Public Spheres in Contemporary Tajikistan. Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques, 67(3):965-990.

Abstract

Over the past decade, the Internet has emerged as a new public sphere in the Central Asian republic of Tajikistan in particular for negotiating ‘Islam’ – religious belief, practice and morality. Whilst the authoritarian regime severely restricts the ‘traditional’ public spheres, the Internet has proven to be more resilient and elusive to government control. Blocked web pages move to other domains, and, in particular, labour migration has ‘denationalized’ public spheres. Additionally, the Internet has altered the form and content of how Islam is communicated due to the anonymity of the internet and its less formal customs of communication. After discussing some general theoretical and methodological implications, we chart how one of Tajikistan’s most prominent families within the religious elite – the three Turaǧon-brothers – negotiates landscapes of Islamic belief and practice within the context of the country’s political economy. Particularly, we present how the Turaǧon-brothers deal with religious, moral, and ethical queries addressed to them by Muslim women, and how they formulate alternative discourses about the role of women in society and religion contradicting the government’s conceptions.

Abstract

Over the past decade, the Internet has emerged as a new public sphere in the Central Asian republic of Tajikistan in particular for negotiating ‘Islam’ – religious belief, practice and morality. Whilst the authoritarian regime severely restricts the ‘traditional’ public spheres, the Internet has proven to be more resilient and elusive to government control. Blocked web pages move to other domains, and, in particular, labour migration has ‘denationalized’ public spheres. Additionally, the Internet has altered the form and content of how Islam is communicated due to the anonymity of the internet and its less formal customs of communication. After discussing some general theoretical and methodological implications, we chart how one of Tajikistan’s most prominent families within the religious elite – the three Turaǧon-brothers – negotiates landscapes of Islamic belief and practice within the context of the country’s political economy. Particularly, we present how the Turaǧon-brothers deal with religious, moral, and ethical queries addressed to them by Muslim women, and how they formulate alternative discourses about the role of women in society and religion contradicting the government’s conceptions.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:Journals > Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques > Archive > 67 (2013) > 3
Dewey Decimal Classification:Unspecified
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:18 Nov 2013 16:46
Last Modified:16 Feb 2018 18:24
Publisher:Schweizerische Asiengesellschaft / Verlag Peter Lang
ISSN:0004-4717
OA Status:Green
Related URLs:http://www.sagw.ch/de/asiengesellschaft/publikationen/Asiatische-Studien.html (Publisher)
http://www.peterlang.com/index.cfm?vID=86850&vLang=D&vHR=1&vUR=4&vUUR=11 (Publisher)

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