These groups are not only leading Tajiks away from their traditions and threatening the civil basis of the state, but they are using their influence to collect money and recruits for terrorist activity both in other countries such as Afghanistan and Uzbekistan and in Tajikistan as well.
And they are expanding not only because of these efforts but also because of the failure of the Tajik authorities to take them seriously and because of widespread poverty and injustice. “About 70 percent of Tajiks like below the poverty line, more than two million work abroad,” and many feel a spiritual vacuum as a result of market reforms.
In general, Gritsenko says, “the worse life is, the more rapid Islamization; the more unjust the judges, the more often people go to mosques … [and] the more corruption and bribery abound, the more people seek an ideological alternative in Islam.” That is what is happening in Tajikistan and other countries as well.
At present, he concludes, society in Tajikistan “is not offering anything in opposition to religious consciousness. Instead, it is politicizing it.” And that is dangerous not only for Tajikistan but for its neighbors and Russia where so many Tajiks now work as gastarbeiters.