chapter  6
25 Pages

Journey in the homeland

After being branded as extremist and anti-Soviet during the Soviet period, the Naqshbandiyya tariqa has been rehabilitated by the post-Soviet Uzbek government: state funding has been used to restore shrines related to Naqshbandi avliyo and aspects of the Naqshbandiyya teaching are elevated as representing true Uzbek ‘Muslimness’ as an antidote to Islamic extremism and terror. Moving beyond the common engagement with aspects of the Naqshbandiyya teaching and with Naqshbandi shrines and into the realm of social practice, however, the relationship between the post-Soviet Uzbek state and the Naqshbandis becomes more awkward: although they seek to accommodate to the social and political realities of post-Soviet society, the Naqshbandis hardly feel that true Uzbek ‘Muslimness’ is manifested in this society. Furthermore, they suffer on account of political measures allegedly directed at extremists whose version of Islam they can in no way identify with.