Toward "Enlightened Islam"? Religion and the Secular State in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan has remained staunchly secular and taken a firm stand against extremist movements since independence. In recent years, however, Uzbekistan’s policies have shifted from a defensive to a more proactive approach. The recent surge of reforms has affected the religious area as well. Uzbekistan has taken major steps toward the promotion of what President Shavkat Mirziyoyev terms “Enlightened Islam” at home and on the world stage.

This Forum is part of CACI’s ongoing research on the relationship between politics and religion in Central Asia and the Caucasus, and coincides with the release of the Silk Road Paper “Religion and the Secular State in Uzbekistan”, by Svante E. Cornell and Jacob Zenn.

Speakers: Svante E. Cornell, Director, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at the American Foreign Policy Council

Moderator: Frederick Starr, Chairman, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute

 

Where: Middle East Institute: 1319 18th Street NW, 20036

When: Thursday, June 7, 2018 from 4:00 - 5:30 pm

RSVP: Click HERE to register

Published in Forums & Events

 Trans-Caspian Forum on Capitol Hill

The Trans-Caspian East-West Trade and Transit Corridor is a regional integrator, trade facilitator and viable transit connector between Europe and Asia. Comprising of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey to the west, and Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan Uzbekistan and Afghanistan to the east of the Caspian Sea, this corridor brings together more than 200 million strong market and 400 billion in overall trade while connecting economies of the European Union and China along with access to Russia, Iran, Pakistan and India.

The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute invites you to join members of Congress, Congressional Staff and the delegates from the Trans-Caspian countries, to discuss emerging geopolitical importance of the bourgeoning energy and transportation network, as well as U.S. commercial interests arising from it.

Speakers:

Dr. Mohammad Humayon Qayoumi - Chief Advisor of the President of Afghanistan
Mr. Elmir Valizade - Deputy Minister of Transport and Communication, Azerbaijan
Mr. Genadi Arveladze - Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Georgia
Mr. Fatih Metin, Deputy Minister of Economy, Turkey
Deputy Minister of Investment, Kazakhstan (name TBC)

Moderator: Fred Starr, Chairman, Central-Asia Caucasus Institute at AFPC

 

Where: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2167, 45 Independence Ave. SW 20515

When: Monday, May 17, 2018 from 9:30 am - 11:00 am

RSVP: Click HERE to register

Published in Forums & Events

Coming in July 2018:

Uzbekistan's New Face

Edited by S. Frederick Starr and Svante E. Cornell
Rowman & Littlefield, 2018

1805-UZbook-Cover

Contents

1. The Center of Central Asia: Uzbekistan in Regional and International Politics
Svante E. Cornell ...........................................................................................................5

2. Continuity and Change in Uzbekistan, 1991-2016
S. Frederick Starr...........................................................................................................18

3. Uzbekistan’s New Foreign Policy: Change and Continuity under New Leadership
Richard Weitz................................................................................................................ 41

4. The Economic Modernization of Uzbekistan
Mamuka Tsereteli ......................................................................................................... 82

5. Judicial and Governance Reform
Mjusa Sever................................................................................................................. 115

6. Political Reforms: Elections, Political Parties, Civil Society
Anthony Bowyer ..........................................................................................................146

7. Religion and the Secular State
Svante E. Cornell and Jacob Zenn .............................................................................193

8. Foreign Coverage and Reaction to Uzbekistan’s Reforms
John C.K. Daly.............................................................................................................220

9. Looking Ahead
S. Frederick Starr and Svante E. Cornell....................................................................237

Published in News

 

By S. Frederick Starr and Svante E. Cornell
Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst
May 12, 2018

 

1805UZ-coverDramatic and important changes are taking place in Central Asia.  For more than a year the region’s historic core and geopolitical focal point has been immersed in a whirlwind of reform without precedent in the region. At a time when one-man rule has been reinforced in China and Russia, when the rule of law is in abeyance in countries as diverse as South Africa and Venezuela, and when most Muslim majority societies appear to be receding into a new authoritarianism informed by religious ideology, Uzbekistan has instituted reforms that are ambitious in aim and extensive in scope.

It is far too early to say how it will all come out, or even how far it will go.  But there is little doubt that that the current reforms are all organized around solid commitment to the rule of law, the rights of citizens, elective governance, an open market economy, religious tolerance, cordial relations with the great powers without sacrificing sovereignty, and a new embrace of the Central Asian region itself as an actor on the world state. It’s time for the world to take stock of this startling development.

Click here to keep reading

 Opening in Uzbekistan: A Preview of President Mirziyoyev's Visit

Please join the Atlantic Council and the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute of the American Foreign Policy Council for an event entitled Opening in Uzbekistan: A Preview of President Mirziyoyev's Visit on Monday, May 14, 2018 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Atlantic Council headquarters (1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower Elevators).

This May, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan will visit Washington, DC at the invitation of US President Donald J. Trump. The new government under President Mirziyoyev announced political and economic reforms to open Uzbekistan for international cooperation and foreign direct investments. The new regional policy of Tashkent in Central Asia has given dynamism and prospects to solve old issues like border demarcation, a fair share of water resources, extremism and terrorism, and peace building process in Afghanistan.   

The Atlantic Council and the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute of the American Foreign Policy Council are convening a panel to discuss and evaluate President Mirziyoyev’s visit to the White House, along with implications for US-Uzbekistan relations, broader international and regional issues, and overall stability in the region.

We hope you can join us for this timely discussion.

Speakers:

Senator Sodiq Safoev
First Deputy Chairman
Senate of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Dr. Akmal Saidov
Director; Chairman
National Human Rights Centre of the Republic of Uzbekistan; Committee on Democratic Institutions, Non-Governmental Organizations and Citizens' Self-Governing Bodies Committee of the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis 

Ambassador Ismatulla Irgashev
Special Representative of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Afghanistan
Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Mr. Eldor Aripov
Director, Information and Analytical Center for International Relations
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan 

Ms. Lisa Curtis
Deputy Assistant to the President 
and Senior Director for South and Central Asia

National Security Council

Dr. Frederick Starr
Founder and Chairman 
The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and the Silk Road Studies Program

Moderator:  Ambassador John Herbst
Director, Eurasia Center
Atlantic Council

 

Where: The Atlantic Council, 12th Floor (West Tower Elevators), 1030 15th Street, NW

When: Monday, May 14, 2018 from 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

RSVP: Send to Atlantic Council

Published in Forums & Events

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