Islamic education in Post-Soviet Tajikistan: A tool in creating and sustaining the nation state

Document Type

Book Chapter




Malini Sivasubramaniam and Ruth Hayhoe


Oxford studies in comparative education

Publication (Name of Journal)

Religion and education: Comparative and international perspectives


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


Symposium Books




Central Asia has become a site not only of Islamic revival, but also of a heated contestation between diverse local and international interpretations and versions of Islam and Islamic education. Islam, and subsequently Islamic education, are key highlights of post-Soviet development all across Central Asia. This chapter takes Tajikistan as a case study, because it is in this country that Islamic education became most prominent in the initial post-Soviet landscape. The chapter takes the reader on a brief journey into the continuity and changes in Islamic education over the last 30 years since Perestroika (1985), when a window for religious education in Central Asia opened up as the country emerged from the Soviet Union’s collapse, survived five years of civil war, began its market-oriented development trajectory and internal political and social consolidation as an independent state, as well as carved a space for itself in the global geo-politics. The chapter speaks to the purpose, forms, pedagogy, content and challenges of Islamic education in post-Soviet Tajikistan.

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