Ajk's Reviews > Islam after Communism: Religion and Politics in Central Asia

Islam after Communism by Adeeb Khalid
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's review
Jul 23, 12

bookshelves: non-fiction, turania
Recommended for: Pr' much everyone
Read in July, 2012

Quite honestly could be my favorite history book recently read. In only 200 pages, Khalid does a great job of doing a quick survey of Islamic Theology, a quick history of Central Asia, and a detailed explanation of Islam's history in the region from the beginnings of Bolshevik control up to the 21st century.

What really amazes me about this book is how Khalid uses just a few short sentences to explain a concept that I have trouble making clear in paragraphs. He explains the complexity of Islamic thought in the region, how clerics have interacted with state power, and how modern rulers of Central Asian Republics have used Islam as a shadowy boogeyman in foreign relations. And he does this all with just a few short keystrokes.

Although Khalid writes this book as a survey (it is endnoted, not footnoted), it may help to have some basic knowledge before you start. I'm sure if I gave this book to my mother she would have some questions about things that Khalid takes as assumed knowledge, but in this day and age, having wikipedia nearby is nearly always a good idea.

Read this book. If you're hearing about the spectre of Islam haunting Central Asia, if you think that life in the USSR was so bad that any alternative is a good alternative, if you think that "Islamicism" is a thing and that Islam stands as a monolith, read this book. There are hundreds of other reasons to read this book, too, but those are the ones I'll give off the top of my head.
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message 1: by Karen (new)

Karen Great review-you convinced me I should read it so I'm adding it to my to-read list.


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