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July 30, 2014  |  About the Berkley Center  |  Directions to the Center  |  Subscribe
 
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Uzbekistan Uzbekistan

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Uzbekistan
Situated along the Silk Road in the fertile plains of Transoxania, the area now known as Uzbekistan has maintained a long history of multiculturalism and religious...

RELATED RESOURCES: AFGHANISTAN

Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan

The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) is an Islamic militant organization established in 1991 that aims to create an Islamic state governed by Sharia law in Uzbekistan. Following the Tajik civil war, IMU co-founders Tohir Yo’ldoshev and Juma Namangoniy decided to continue operations in Uzbekistan and formed the IMU. The IMU maintains close relations with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and were granted a training base in northern Afghanistan. Although the IMU adopts a pan-Islamic message, filled with anti-American and anti-Israel rhetoric, the organization is primarily motivated by local issues, specifically the anti-Islamic policies of Islam Karimov’s Uzbeki government. The IMU has only conducted a few operations over the years. In 1999, it was blamed by the Uzbek government for a series of bombings in Tashkent that killed 16 people. The IMU has also kidnapped a number of foreigners and murdered several government workers. With its majority of the IMU leadership killed in Afghanistan by U.S. forces, most analysts conclude that the IMU has relatively little influence and operational capability today. Yet, that has not prevented Islam Karimov’s government from using the organization as a pretext for systematized use of censorship, torture and arrests against Muslims in the name of Uzbek security.