Friday, December 15, 2023

Jadidism ‘Firm Foundation for Building a New Uzbekistan,’ Mirzizoyev Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 11 – Addressing a two-day international conference in Tashkent on “The Jadids: Ideas of National Identity, Independence and Statehood,” Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirzizoyev said that the ideas of the jadids, the Uzbek modernizers in the Russian Empire today serve “as a firm foundation for the construction of a New Uzbekistan.”

            “The Jadids … felt the awakening of peoples and their liberation from the yokes of backwardness and ignorance could be achieved only by the dissemination of knowledge and enlightenment and by secular development,” the president said. Because of conditions before 1914, they weren’t able to achieve their goals. But now Uzbekistan can (

            According to Mizizoyev, “our present-day reforms for the formation in the New Uzbekistan of a just, free and flourishing society, a prosperous life, a truly popular government where the dignity of the individual and his interests are the highest goal completely correspond to the noble ideas and programs of the Jadids.”

            “Therefore,” he continued, “we devote particular attention to keeping alive the memory of our ancestors who gave their lives for the freedom of the people and the enlightenment of the Motherland, to the study and popularization of their activities and heritage through the prism of new thinking” and to rehabilitating those repressed by Soviet power.

            At the end of his speech, Mirzizoyev thanked Timur Kocaoğlu, the descendant of an Uzbek Jadid who worked at Radio Liberty’s Uzbek Service for many years and who has contributed his collection to what will be a new Bukhara museum on Jadidism in Uzbekistan (

            Other speakers at the meeting, including the president’s daughter and advisor, picked up on these themes, a sign that the Uzbek president plans to put Jadidism at the center of his emerging ideological vision for his country ( and

            To the extent that proves to be the case, it will put Uzbekistan even more at odds with Moscow and will help promote Jadidist ideas among Muslims both in Central Asia and more generally. But because the Jadidist heritage is more complicated than most think, the exact impact of this remains to be seen. (For a discussion of this complexity, see

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