This piece at the jihadist Kavkaz Center site is interesting for its denial that the Tajik Civil War of 1992-1997 was an “interethnic conflict,” as most analysts assume. It also predicts that Tajikistan will become the base for jihad in Central Asia. Note the characterization of proponents of a secular state as kafirs (unbelievers).
Modern history of Tajikistan is interesting by the fact that here you can observe the first example of Jihad in the post-Soviet space after the collapse of the USSR (1991). Historians from among the unbelievers know about this Jihad as the Tajik Civil War of 1992-1997. They were assuming that the opposing forces in this war were ‘Communists’ and ‘Islamists’. Others were claiming that the war was an ‘interethnic conflict’ between regional clans. …
The first side can be called the Kafirs (infidels). They have been represented by three regional groups, which founded the bloc: tycoons from Hojent, Kulyabians and Gissarians.
Hojent oligarchs represent the regional Communist elite and the corps of directors of the most Russified industrialized and densely-populated city, which used to be called Leninabad during the Soviet times (now the city of Hojent). During the Civil War they were the main sponsors of the army of Kafirs.
Kulyabians are natives of cotton-growing regions in the South. They were the main strike force of the Kafirs. Positions of criminal elements are too strong in Kulyab. They were the ones who provoked the Anti-Islamic Mutiny in June 1992. Many prominent field commanders of the army of Kafirs were Kulyabians, and so is the current president of the Republic, Emomali Rakhmonov.
Gissarians are natives of Gissar Valley near the Uzbek border, ethnic Uzbeks and intermediaries between Tajik Kafirs and Uzbek neo-communist regime of Karimov.
There is a reason why they are called Kafirs (infidels, unbelievers), for they all were supporters of a secular state. And Kulyabians were demanding that the calls to prayer over the radio are banned. They were also practicing burning the mosques of their opponents.
The second side can be called an army of Mujahideen (fighters). They were based exclusively in eastern regions: in Karategin (Garm) and Pamirs. Active participation of Pamirians showed that the Civil War was no ‘interethnic conflict’, for the Pamirians are no ethnic Tajiks at all. They are descendants of the ancient natives of Central Asia and are cognate more to the Afghan Pashto. Besides, Islamic units of Uzbek armed opposition were spotted in Karategin after the Civil War, when they showed themselves in 1999 while trying to cross into Uzbekistan through the territories of Kyrgyzstan (Kirgizia).
The only thing that Tajiks, Uzbeks and Pamirians had in common was Islam, which they were trying to revive in Tajikistan. Islamic revival started since 1979, when the Islamic Revolution started in Iran, and when units of Mujahideen (fighters) started to be formed in Afghanistan in response to the invasion by the ‘limited contingent’ of the Soviet Army. Moreover, the units of Tajik Mujahideen were not the least in the Afghan Resistance. For obvious reasons back then the youth of Tajikistan started joining Islam not only in the eastern parts of the country, but in the capital Dushanbe as well. Not all of the youth of course. Some young men depraved by the atheistic propaganda kept joining the ranks of criminal groups and they only saw a threat that reviving Islam was posing to their criminal activities. …
It may seem that the Mujahideen in Tajikistan had lost. The Rakhmonov regime is still in power. The Tajik people are still separated by Russian customs. But it’s not all as easy as it seems to be. There are two facts that allow claiming that the Tajik Jihad was successful, even though not all of its consequences seem to be obvious.
Fact number one: mutiny by Colonel Hudoiberdyev in Hojent, November 3-10, 1998, which was openly backed by the Uzbek regime of Karimov. The mutiny was suppressed by the government, which in turn was backed by Tajik Mujahideen.
Fact number two: 1999, the attempt of units of Uzbek Mujahideen under the command of Emir Namangani to enter Uzbekistan from the Tajik territories (Karategin) through Kyrgyzstan.
All of it points at the power of Islamic democratic opposition in Tajikistan, at its ability to put up resistance to the influence of the Karimov regime and to have its own influence on the situation in Uzbekistan. So Tajikistan may quite possibly become the outpost of the Islamic Revolution in Central Asia.