Jihad by Ahmed Rashid
The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia

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The terrorist attacks of September 11th have turned the world's attention to areas of the globe about which we know very little. Ahmed Rashid, who explored Afghanistan's Taliban regime in a previous work, here turns his skills as an investigative journalist to the five Central Asian republics adjacent to Afghanistan. Central Asia is coming to play a vital strategic role in the war on terrorism, but the region also poses new threats to global security. The five Central Asian republics - Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan - were part of the Soviet Union until its collapse in 1991. Under Soviet rule, Islam was brutally suppressed, and that intolerance has continued under the post-Soviet regimes. Religious repression, political corruption, and the region's extreme poverty (unemployment rates exceed 80 percent in some areas) have created a fertile climate for militant Islamic fundamentalism. Often funded and trained by such organizations as Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda and the Taliban, guerrilla movements like the IMU (Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan) have recruited a staggering number of members across the region and threaten to topple the governments of all five nations. Based on research and numerous interviews, this text explains the roots of militant rage in Central Asia, describes the goals and activities of these militant organisations, and suggests ways in which this threat could be neutralised by diplomatic and economic intervention. Rich in both cultural heritage and natural resources - including massive oil reservoirs - Central Asia remains desperately poor and frighteningly volatile. In tracing the history of Central Asia and explaining the current political climate, Rashid demonstrates that it is a region we ignore at our peril.

About Ahmed Rashid

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Pakistani journalist and bestselling author Ahmed Rashid was born in Rawalpindi in 1948. He was educated at Malvern College in England, Government College in Lahore, and Fitzwilliam College in Cambridge. He works as a correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review and the Daily Telegraph and writes for the Wall Street Journal, The Nation, and academic journals. His titles include Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia, and Descent into Chaos.
Published January 1, 2002 by Orient Black Swan. 272 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Travel, Religion & Spirituality, War. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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As the events of September 11 showed, neglected areas of the Islamic world are feeding grounds for international terrorism. And as Rashid, author of the best-selling Taliban

Jan 14 2002 | Read Full Review of Jihad: The Rise of Militant I...

Publishers Weekly

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The story line Rashid skillfully weaves is relatively straightforward: Islamist groups, barely tolerated during the waning days of the U.S.S.R., experienced a revival after Communist strictures against religion were lifted.

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Project MUSE

What the author attempts to accomplish with this huge slice of Central Asian history is draw attention first to the importance of Central Asia as a platform for change in the political history of Islamic civilization and second to how Russian and Soviet administrations of the largely Muslim regio...

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India Today

Led by the charismatic Juma Namangani-a Mullah Omar - like figure who was killed in Mazar-e-Sharif last year - and Tohir Yuldeshev, the IMU used the safe haven of Taliban Afghanistan to harass the Karimov regime and preach jehad.

Feb 25 2002 | Read Full Review of Jihad: The Rise of Militant I...

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