Staunton, Feb. 28 – Many post-Soviet analysts and officials have argued that Sufism, the mystical trend in Islam, can serve as a powerful bulwark against followers of political Islam and have even urged that their governments support Sufi orders as allies in the struggle against Islamism.
(For background on such advocacy, see windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2022/03/view-that-sufism-represents-stabilizing.html, windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2021/05/sufism-offers-spirituality-traditional.html, windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/10/sufism-most-effective-means-to-counter.html and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2016/07/sufism-better-than-state-as-bulwark.html.)
But that attitude and the policies that arise from it are beginning to change, as ever more observers recall the role of militant Sufis in the 19th century and deal with the problems, often greater than those posed by Islamist groups, that some Sufi orders present across the post-Soviet space.
(For examples of such problems, see windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2022/12/kadyrov-raising-military-unit-based-on.html, windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2022/11/chechnyas-kadyrov-takes-up-cause-of.html and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2022/11/russian-officials-accuse-influential.html.)
Now, Bakhtiyar Babadzhanov, a scholar at Tashkent’s Institute of Oriental Studies, has attacked as “a cognitive mistake” the view that Sufism in principle is “apolitical” and warned officials in Uzbekistan and elsewhere that Sufism is a militant threat (ia-centr.ru/experts/iats-mgu/ostanetsya-li-sufizm-v-tsentralnoy-azii-vne-politiki-/
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