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Tajikistan, Islam in

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

    Tajikistan, Islam in

    With the collapse of the Soviet Union ( 1991 ), Tajikistan emerged as an independent state in Central Asia. The overwhelming majority of Tajikistan's population (6.5 million) belongs to historically Muslim ethnic groups: Tajiks 65 percent, Uzbeks 25 percent, and Tatars, Kyrgyzes, and Turkmens each 2 percent. Most are Hanafi Sunnis; a small percentage is Ismaili Shii. Sufism, particularly the Naqshbandi order, has strong historic roots in Tajikistan and adjoining republics, especially in the Ferghana Valley. In the early years of independence, Soviet anti-Islamic measures disappeared, and citizens became more openly religious. The presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are working together to quell radical Muslim unrest in the Ferghana Valley; the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) frequently crosses from its Afghani base into Tajikistan to conduct military activities.

    See also Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)

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