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Tashkent 2017. Illustration from “History of the Civil War in the USSR:” (OGIZ, 1935).

Radical Muslims in Tashkent: Anticolonialism, Communism, and Muslim Solidarity in the Age of the Russian Revolution

Lecture by Adeeb Khalid, Carleton College

Thursday, January 24, 2019
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Royce 243

For a brief period between 1919 and 1922, Tashkent was a revolutionary hotspot where radically inclined Muslims from several countries (India, Iran, the Ottoman Empire, as well as Turkestan) congregated. Their radicalism was anticolonial and it was inspired by the Russian revolution in which they saw the hope of overthrowing the colonial order and of liberating the “Muslim world” from the hegemony of the European powers that had triumphed in the Great War. The “Muslim World” had only recently emerged as a concept and was for many a node of political, not religious, solidarity. Communism was read as national liberation, not class struggle, and the nation was often “Muslim.” The geopolitical uncertainty caused by the collapse or dislocation of empires in the war allowed these connections to be made. We glimpse possibilities of thought and action that were not realized. Post-war stabilization allowed orthodoxies to reassert themselves and many of the ideas that were afoot in Tashkent in 1919–22 were forgotten and came to be misrecognized. This talk will explore the possibilities inherent in the revolutionary politics of Tashkent in this period.

Sponsor(s): Program on Central Asia, Center for European and Russian Studies, Center for Near Eastern Studies, Slavic Languages and Literatures