Is the Soviet Union Islam's Best Friend? Not Exactly

by S. Enders Wimbush, Alex Alexiev

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Discusses Moscow's treatment of Soviet Muslims from the Bolshevik revolution to the present. Despite recent Soviet efforts to characterize Moscow as Islam's only true friend, Soviet history reveals an uninterrupted tradition of persecution and discrimination against the sizable Soviet Muslim population. After reannexing Muslim territories after the Bolshevik revolution, Moscow systematically liquidated the entire Muslim cultural and religious elite. Stalin's special de-nomadization campaign against Central Asians assumed genocidal proportions. Muslim alienation led to mass defection to the Germans in World War II. Anti-Islam activity has intensified since then: Russification pressure and discrimination are widespread. Despite persecution, there are now signs of an "underground" Islamic revival.

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