Mediating Mobile Traditions: The Tablighi Jama'at and the International Islamic University between Pakistan and Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan)

Dietrich Reetz


This paper will discuss how Muslim networks from South Asia contributed to the reconstruction of religious, cultural, and social belonging as they created new modes and formats of regional interaction and connectivity with actors and institutions in Post-Soviet Central Asia. This will be shown here on the examples of the activities of the conservative preaching groups of the missionary movement of the Tablighi Jama’at (TJ) and the related Deoband tradition of Sunni Islam, on one side, and of the comparatively modern International Islamic University in Islamabad (IIUI), Pakistan, and its graduates, on the other. After explaining their approach to Central Asia, it will discuss forms of expansion and local adaptation of their networks, practices and concepts, focusing on the cases of Kyrgyzstan for the Tablighis and Tajikistan for the IIUI. Their mobility is a larger process of regional transformation, where two-way secular interaction with South Asia is also involved. 


muslim globalities; Post Soviet Central Asia; belonging; mobility;transregional interaction; globalization

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