Al-Tahrir Party and its influence in Central Asia

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor of Political Science, Shahid Beheshti University of Tehran

2 University of Shahid Beheshti


Different Islamic movements are active in the political geography of the Islamic world. Despite the differences in their approach to political and social issues, the ultimate goal of all of them is to establish an Islamic government. One of these Islamic movements is the Hizb al-Tahrir, developed in 1952 by Sheikh Taghi al-Din al-Nabhani, a Palestinian scholar. The movement seeking to establish an Islamic state based on the teachings of its founder was quickly disseminated in the Islamic world. From the very beginning of its activity, this Islamic movement has stated its ultimate goal to establish an Islamic state, revive the caliphate, restore Islamic life, and invite the world to Islam. Al-Tahrir states in his draft constitution that the main component of the government is the "caliph" and that he will be elected by a public department (Majles al-Ummeh) and its members will be elected by the people. Since its establishment, al-Tahrir has always sought to influence and dominate the political geography of the Islamic world. One of the places of interest is Central Asia including the republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Writing since the early 1990s, he was active in Central Asia and aimed to establish an Islamic state (caliphate). In this study, as a descriptive-analytical research, the data have been gathered from literature and the Internet. The purpose of this research is to examine the factors affecting the intents of the party for territory in the region. In response, it can be attributed to the party's ideology for establishing an Islamic state in Central Asia.
The main method of empirical sciences, including geography, is the deductive method. The deductive method or deductive reasoning reveals the scientific principles through the process of reasoning, and thus it is a logical method. In fact, logical reasoning supports and reinforces empirical ideas and impressions and synthesizes them by forming a thesis and antithesis. In this method, the methods of creating a rule that is the basis of its validity are examined.

Results and Discussions :
Central Asia is made up of three parts: West Turkestan, Transoxiana, and much of eastern Iran, strategically located between Europe, China, Russia, and Iran. The region covers the political territory of the republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. From the third century, the region became one of the main centers of Islamic culture and civilization. In the mid-nineteenth century, the Russians conquered Central Asia and established the government of Turkestan. During this period, Muslims in the region were able to protect their Islamic rites and continue Islamic believes. By the beginning of the twentieth century, Muslims in the region were looking for an opportunity to improve their position. The war between Russia and Japan took place in 1907 and was the opportunity that Muslims were looking for. As the Russia was defeated by Japan, the Muslims were able to use Russia's internal weakness to improve their position. With the beginning of Soviet rule, the struggle against Islam entered a new phase. But the Muslims' interest in Islamism in the region has made the government's efforts to destroy Islam fruitless.
Gorbachev declared religious freedom to reduce the challenges of the Soviet Union, and it was at this time that many current Islamist movements, such as the Hizb al-Tahrir in Central Asia, initiated to form in the early 1990s. They also officially announced their existence. Al-Tahrir, led by Yusuf Sheikh Abdul Qadim Zulum, developed its activities in Central Asia. The movement in Central Asia initially attracted its followers in Uzbekistan, but then Muslims of other states of the region also joined to the movement in the late 1990s. The target community in Central Asia is women, prisoners, students and intellectuals. Feelings of emptiness and lack of clear vision for the future in the eyes of the people of this region especially the youth, their poor economic conditions, the establishment of charities and the support of the poor by the station, existence of Marxist thoughts, weakness of the prevailing government to meet the public requirements and good organization of this movement in the region made it appealing for most people of the region. The Al-Tahrir pursues a different strategy in each state of the Central Asia in accordance with the specific social and political conditions of that country. Al-Tahrir in Uzbekistan seeks to spread its message to the people. In Tajikistan, he is competing with both government forces and other Islamic groups. In Kyrgyzstan, as a country's of relatively free space, it attempts to strengthen its ties with the people. In Kazakhstan, it is organizing forces and refusing to fight the government. Therefore, it can be said that the presence of this party in the region is the struggle for the Islamic awakening, the implementation of the rules and regulations of Islam and the establishment of the Islamic government (caliphate).
Central Asia in modern times includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. In the third century, this region used to be one of the main centers of Islamic culture and civilization. The Russians dominated the region and created Turkestan county there in the mid-nineteenth century. In seeking for an opportunity to develop their territory, the leaders of al-Tahrir made attempts to promote their position when the Russia defeated by Japan in 1907. The results have indicated that many Islamism movements, including al-Tahrir, in the region were initiated with the religious freedom thoughts by Gorbachev. It can be concluded that the most important factors in influence and dominance of the al-Tahrir Party in Central Asia are including collapse of Soviet Union, a favorable space with people interested in Islamic believes, and other political, social, and economic conditions.
Key Word: Hizb ut-Tahrir, Islamic Movement,Al Nabhani, Central Asia, Islamic Government


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