21.09.2015 Author: Eric Draitser
Seventy years after the defeat of Nazi Germany, fascism has reemerged with a vengeance. This resurgence can be seen all over Europe and the former Soviet bloc, perhaps most notably in Ukraine where Nazism masquerading as nationalist patriotism has effectively embedded itself in the political and military institutions of the country, all with the backing of the United States and European Union. From racist rhetoric and xenophobia in Western Europe, to torch-lit parades with fascist iconography in Greece and Ukraine, this virulent disease is once again infecting the body politic of the European continent. Continue reading
• Monday, 23 March 2015
“Historical contradictions caused by the “Big Turkestan” project, unrealized in the 1920s, lie at the heart of today’s strained relations between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan”, wrote Parviz Mullojanov, a political analyst (Tajikistan, Dushanbe), in his article, written exclusively for CABAR.asia.
The relations between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are not so good today. Many observers and experts in this regard use the term “Cold War”, “Rail war”, “Transport blockade” and so on. At the same time, relations between Tajiks and Uzbeks at the household and interpersonal level are still quite far from mutual intolerance and rejection, which is not surprising. Tajiks and a significant part of Uzbeks trace their origin from the ancient Iranian-speaking population of Central Asia, and therefore, they have a lot of similarities in customs, traditions, culture, national psychology and character.
Martin W. Lewis on April 21, 2010
In August 2008, the New York Times described Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as being locked in a “cold war.” Recently, the conflict has warmed up. In early 2010, Uzbekistan imposed a partial blockade on Tajikistan, a much poorer country poorly tied into global transportation networks. Uzbek authorities have been holding freight cars at the border, stifling Tajikistan’s economy. Uzbekistan’s government counters that technical and logistical difficulties have merely slowed traffic over the border. But Tajik authorities are so concerned that they are considering taking the issue to international courts.
Assessment for Tajiks in Uzbekistan
Area: 174,846 sq. km.
Total Population: 23,783,000 (source: U.S. Census Bureau, 1998, est.)
701 – 800 Islamic Arabs conquered Central Asia and brought a new religion and culture. Under Arab rule, Central Asia retained much of its Iranian character and remained an important center of culture and trade for centuries.
801 – 900 Turks arrived in Central Asia.
Assessment for Uzbeks in Tajikistan
Area: 143,100 sq. km.
Total Population: 6,020,000 (source: U.S. Census Bureau, 1998, est.)
Risk Assessment | Analytic Summary | References
The risk of Uzbek rebellion appears to be low to moderate in the foreseeable future. Although protest has been low to nonexistent, Uzbeks do have a history of rebellion. There are significant concentrations of Uzbeks in northern Tajikistan, although they seem to exhibit fairly low levels of cohesion and very little organization. Factors contributing to the risks of rebellion include increased regime authoritarianism and persecution of Hizb ut-Tahrir followers, who are primarily Uzbek, in the north of the country. Further, Uzbeks are underrepresented in parliament and the administration and suffer from widespread societal discrimination. The government of Uzbekistan has tightened border controls in recent years to the discontent of Uzbeks in Tajikistan.
14 October 1992
The deep voice of the Tajik poet rose powerfully over the chattering throng at a wedding feast, singing of the pain and estrangement he felt in his native Central Asian city of Samarkand.
Listening intensely to the Persian stanzas were leaders of the Tajiks in this ancient city, whose rulers are now marking their first year of relatively successful freedom from the old Soviet Union as part of the independent republic of Uzbekistan.
Fired up with toasts to the bride and bridegroom, nationalists among the revellers were in no mood to hide their feelings. ‘We are ruled by fascists. They want to eliminate us or drive us out to Tajikistan,’ said one of their leaders. A lesser activist hissed that Uzbeks were ‘barbarian Turks, worse than the Mongols’.
Taken at face value, such statements might indicate that Samarkand could become Central Asia’s next ethnic flashpoint as the six- month-old civil war in neighbouring Tajikistan spins out of control. But, luckily, most people in Samarkand believe that Uzbek-Tajik conflict is unlikely any time soon.
February 24, 2011
Ask one of the million-plus ethnic Uzbeks living in Tajikistan how bad life is and he’ll quickly admit: It could be worse. Looking across the border into Kyrgyzstan, many give thanks they have been spared the pogroms suffered by Uzbek communities there twice in the last generation. But Uzbeks in Tajikistan often feel that state policy works against them, and sometimes it seems that the best keeper of the peace among ordinary people has been the deplorable poverty common to them all.
“Uzbeks are consistently marginalized and denied access to economic and political resources,” said Alexander Sodiqov, an instructor at the Russian-Tajik Slavonic University in Dushanbe. One reason is that Tajik officials see the minority — the country’s largest, at roughly 15 percent of the population — as a potential fifth column. “The ruling elite is afraid that [neighboring] Uzbekistan might try to use the ethnic Uzbeks living in Tajikistan to try to influence political developments and security in Tajikistan,” Sodiqov said.