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Intorno all’Afghanistan

27 agosto 2009

Islamic fundamentalism in the Ferghana Valley

Wednesday, August 19 3:32 pm EST

The NY Times notes the rise of Central Asians, especially those from the Ferghana Valley, crossing into Afghanistan to fight alongside the Taliban. Many have been killed by security forces upon their return home. While at first glance, one would be concerned, upon deeper investigation, the likelihood is low of a Taliban-style insurgency forming and succeeding in Central Asia.

First of all, the Taliban is rooted in the Pashtun ethnic group. Second of all, the vast majority of the population adheres to secularism and forms of Islam less concerned with the letter of the law.

But that doesn’t stop the Central Asian and Russian governments from using fears of a Taliban insurgency to keep themselves in power. Russia has secured for itself a base in Kyrgyzstan partly relying on that excuse. President Bakiyev trumped up the concerns on his way to re-election. Eight militants were recently killed in the Kyrgyz part of the Ferghana Valley. Security forces say they were foreign-trained terrorists, but there is no way to independently confirm that.

Government corruption, government-controlled drug trafficking and the lack of freedoms are much more likely to increase fundamentalism than the Taliban or anything else foreign. However, the small but real threat of terrorism is too useful to the status quo to actually rout out of the region.

Fonte: Central Asia Blog Network

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