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Volume :10 Issue : 1 1982      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Islamic revival: The Case of the Soviet Moslems

Auther : Mohamed Al sayed Salim

Since the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Islamic world has been undergoing a process of religious resurgence. The process is noted for its pervasiveness. It has been occurring virtually in every Islamic society or community including Islamic minorities such as the Islamic minority in the Soviet Union. The revival of Islam among Soviet Moslems evolves around the quest for an Islamic identity based upon the cultural values of Islam. It is particularly manifested in three basic forms: i)Traditional revivalism as exhibited in the noticeable increase in the practice of Islamic rituals and religious education.(ii)Islamic cultural revivalism as manifested in the evolution of a culturally distinct Islamic way of life. Even though the majority of Soviet Moslem does not observe the rituals, the civil life of soviet Moslems increasingly revolves around the cultural values of Islam. The persistence of the traditions of marriage divorce, birth and Islamic cultural historiography are just by few examples; and (iii) the resurgence of the Islamic identity ad exhibited in the trend to ward the de-Russification of Islamic communities for instance, there is a noticeable decline of the percentage of Soviet Moslems who consider Russian as their native tongue.

The revival of Islam among Soviet Moslems may be attributed to several factors, which distinguish Islamic revival in Islamic society from Islamic revival among Islamic minorities. Foremost among these factors is the emergence of an Islamic elite, which finds that the revival of Islamic ethos and the integration of the Islamic peoples of Central Asia-along the lines of Islamic values provide it with an advantageous power base. Further, the Islamic society in the Soviet Union as a pre-social mobilization society is still receptive to the traditional values of Islam.

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