The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia

Written by:

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780142002605
  • 320 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult


Ahmed Rashid, whose masterful account of Afghanistan’s Taliban regime became required reading after September 11, turns his legendary skills as an investigative journalist to five adjacent Central Asian Republics—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan—where religious repression, political corruption, and extreme poverty have created a fertile climate for militant Islam. Based on groundbreaking research and numerous interviews, Rashid explains the roots of fundamentalist rage in Central Asia, describes the goals and activities of its militant organizations, including Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda, and suggests ways of neutralizing the threat and bringing stability to the troubled region. A timely and pertinent work, Jihad is essential reading for anyone who seeks to gain a better understanding of a region we overlook at our peril.


Written by: Ahmed Rashid


Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Title – winner


“A complicated tale that becomes more so in the wake of America’s war on terrorism…and Rashid is the right person to tell it…. A nuanced picture of an increasingly important part of the planet.” —The Boston Globe

“Rashid has written another masterful commentary on the troubled region…. [Jihad] combines the research of a skilled investigative journalist with an academic’s clear-headed and weighty analysis.” —The Financial Times

“In an age when people are groping fo quick explanations and easy solutions, Jihad presents something more valuable: tools for understanding a problem of real complexity and incredible urgency.” —The Christian Science Monitor

Table of Contents

Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central AsiaPreface to paperback edition

1. Introduction: Central Asia’s Islamic Warriors

Part I: Islam and Politics in Central Asia, Past and Present

2. Conquerors and Saints: The Past as Present

3. Islam underground in the Soviet Union

4. The First Decade of Independance

Part II: Islamic Movements in Central Asia Since 1991

5. The Islamic Renaissance Party and the Civil War in Tajikistan

6. The Hizb ut-Tahrir: Reviving the Caliphate

7. Namangani and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan

8. Namangani and Jihad in Central Asia

9. The New Great Game? The United States, Russia, and China

10. Central Asia and Its Neighbors

11. An Uncertain Future

Appendix: The Call to Jihad by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan