CAP Roundtable on “Muslim Middle Class” vs the Islamic State: National Identity and Revolutionary Justice in Kazakhstan

11 May, 2018 @ 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Room 505
1957 E st NW
DC 20052

Noah Tucker
RFE/RL, CAP Associate

Zhuldyz Tuleouva
Kazakhstan Producer of “Not in Our Name,” RFE/RL project

Serik Beissembayev
Strategia Sociological Center, former CAP fellow

Aurelie Biard
NAC-NU Postdoctoral fellow, GWU

Wendell Schwab
Pennsylvania State University

This roundtable panel will present and discuss preliminary results from new fieldwork, focus groups and video interviews conducted in 2017 and 2018 at urban and rural sites on increasingly bitter and politicized religious divisions in Kazakh society, competing visions of religious authority and how Kazakhstan’s stark economic inequalities can be interpreted from an Islamic perspective.

Drawing on interviews and materials collected over multiple trips to Zhezkazgan, Satpayev, and Kengir, we will also explore why some residents from specific communities embraced the radical vision of violent “social justice” and separation offered by Jihadi Salafism and ISIS, why they left in surprisingly large numbers to fight in foreign civil wars in Syria and Iraq, and how the divisions that remain in these communities may lead to new conflicts in the future.


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