Cover Osteuropa 4/2016

In Osteuropa 4/2016

Reformers or “Wahhabis”?
Political Islam as a Postcolonial Movement

Tim Epkenhans

Deutsche Fassung


Postcolonial interpretations of Central Asian Soviet history have gained significance only recently. Already in the late 1980s, the Tajik intelligentsia criticised Soviet rule as colonial. In the phase of national reorientation, the Party of Islamic Rebirth (PIW) emerged. It connected, “classical” elements of political Islam with Tajik nationalism and went on to become a leading extra-parliamentary opposition party. In 1997, Tajikistan’s devastating civil war, which had broken out in 1992, was settled by an agreement between the government and the united opposition under PIW leadership. Using the pretext of combating terrorism, the regime has exerted growing pressure on the PIW since the 2000s. This repressive policy threatens to tear open old wounds.

(Osteuropa 4/2016, pp. 95–107)