Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 8, No. 2, Summer 2009 53Globalization and the Role of Islam in the post-Soviet Central Asia Enayatollah Yazdani* Introduction The collapse of Communism at the turn of the twenty-first century attracted much interest in the affairs of the central Asian region, which was the Muslim area of the former Soviet Union. Since then, not only the Muslim world but also the Western world has been involved in this region. The re-emergence of Islam in the newly independent republics of Central Asia sparked the emergence of an ideological battle ground. Much debate is taking place among policy makers to discuss a return to civil society, but so far no one has come up with an acceptable variant. Yet, in addition to educational and cultural programs, the Islamic groups in the region are involved in political activities in the age of globalization. Like the rest of the world, the Central Asian societies have been deeply affected by globalization. The life of their peoples have been changed, as have their thought patterns, and sense of creative expression. One of the underlying causes of such anxiety has been a multifaceted cultural concern: how to protect a unique heritage in the face of global pressure; to uphold religious traditions; to preserve linguistic purity; to defend social institutions; and ultimately, to maintain a viable identity in the midst of a rapidly changing global environment. Here an important question is that: has Islam played a substantial role in the politics and society of post-Soviet Central Asia in the age of globalization? This paper aims to address this question. It explores how Islam has played role in Central Asia s affairs in the age of globalization. To this, investigation of the broader impact of globalization experience is essential for a proper understanding of the role of Islam in region. The paper will contribute to a clear understanding about the nature, direction and outcome of Islam in the republics under
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