Events Calendar

Dec
1
Mon
2014
Police in Afghanistan: Continuing the Mission and Defining the Future @ Voesar Conference Room, Suite 412
Dec 1 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Police in Afghanistan: Continuing the Mission and Defining the Future @ Voesar Conference Room, Suite 412
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]with Major General Masood Ahmad Azizi, MoI Deputy Minister for Strategy and Policy

  • Police are the long-term security solution to targeting the enablers of insurgency and criminals
  • Securing the public’s trust by the police is essential to defeating insurgents
  • Securing and retaining the public’s trust requires continued police professionalization
[/vc_column_text][vc_button title=”Please RSVP” target=”_self” color=”btn-warning” icon=”none” size=”btn-large” href=”http://go.gwu.edu/Azizi” el_class=”align-center”][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Feb
3
Tue
2015
Shrine, State and Sacred Lineage in Modern Kazakhstan @ Voesar Conference Room, Suite 412
Feb 3 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Shrine, State and Sacred Lineage in Modern Kazakhstan @ Voesar Conference Room, Suite 412
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]with Ulan Bigozhin, Indiana University

Many scholars have argued that shrine veneration and respect for sacred lineages are essential parts of Islam in post-Soviet Central Asia because of their long history in the region; in other words, shrines and sacred lineages are important now because they were important in the past. In contrast Ulan’s research reveals contemporary influences. He argues that patron-client relationships and state ideologies shape contemporary shrine practices and sacred identity in important way. Ulan will discuss the relationships among the state, society, and religion, and how sacred lineages have been preserved and changed in the Soviet and post-Soviet eras.

Ulan Bigozhin was born in 1980 in Astana, Kazakhstan. He graduated from al-Farabi Kazakh National University (KazGU) in 2002 with a BA in History and Ethnography. In 2008, Ulan was awarded an MA by the Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University. His thesis examined nineteenth century Islam in the Kazakh steppe, as recorded in Russian-Kazakh colonial newspapers. Prior to beginning his doctoral studies in Sociocultural Anthropology at Indiana University in 2012, Ulan worked as a manager in the School of Social Science and Humanities at Nazarbayev University, in Astana. Currently ABD, Ulan completed his fieldwork in 2013, and is actively writing his dissertation, tentatively titled “State, Shrine, and Sacred Lineage in Post-Soviet Kazakhstan.”

[/vc_column_text][vc_button title=”Please RSVP” target=”_blank” color=”btn-warning” icon=”none” size=”btn-large” href=”http://go.gwu.edu/bigozhin”][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Feb
19
Thu
2015
Religion, Sta​te and Secularism in Eurasia… and Beyond @ Conference Room 505
Feb 19 @ 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Religion, Sta​te and Secularism in Eurasia… and Beyond @ Conference Room 505
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This seminar will explore state-sponsored secularism in the Eurasian continent, and how the authorities use the concept of the separation of state and religion to consolidate authoritarian policies. It looks at Russia, Central Asia and China, comparing them with the Middle-East. In the name of state secularism, Islamic communities are prohibited from interfering in politics, while the state strictly monitors religious activities, and interactions with the rest of the Ummah are looked upon with suspicion.

4:00pm Presentations

Alexsey Malashenko (Carnegie Moscow)

Sean Roberts (GWU)

Nader Hashemi (University of Denver)

5:15pm Discussion[/vc_column_text][vc_button title=”Please RSVP” target=”_self” color=”btn-warning” icon=”none” size=”btn-large” href=”http://go.gwu.edu/religion” el_class=”align-center”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Feb
23
Mon
2015
Syria Calling: Migration, Mobilization and the Transformation of the Central Asian Jihad @ Conference Room 505
Feb 23 @ 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Syria Calling: Migration, Mobilization and the Transformation of the Central Asian Jihad @ Conference Room 505
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]with Eileen O’Connor, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs

and Noah Tucker, Registan.net

Key points:
 Perhaps surprisingly, ISIS appears to be weak in its resources for online recruit-ing in Central Asian languages, but benefits disproportionately and in some un-intended ways from this resentment because of the ubiquity of its brand. Theevidence available through social media research conducted by this projectwould support and argument that there are several hundred Uzbek militantsparticipating in ISIS, but not larger numbers recently suggested by other report-
ing and Central Asian security services.
 Central Asians who support or are interested in ISIL appear to mostly be youngmigrant laborers who have little or no background in Islam as a religion butembrace Islam as an identity that offers solidarity, a sense of belonging and anexplanation for economic hardship and discrimination that they experience.
 Much of the discourse inside especially ISIS sympathizer circles among migrantlaborers in Russia builds not on religion, but resentment – and a resentmentstoked by the uniquely toxic media environment that has developed on Russia-based social networks filled with false information. 
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This discussion is off the record.
This event is co-sponsored by the Project on Middle East Political Science  (POMEPS) at the George Washington University. 
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