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Islamic Radical Group Bides Time on the Sidelines of Kyrgyzstan’s Revolution

Islamic radicals, namely those associated with Hizb-ut-Tahrir, remain on the sidelines of Kyrgyzstan's revolution, preoccupied with internal squabbling over the underground group's strategy and tactics. Nevertheless, Hizb leaders remain hopeful that the revolution will ultimately lead to the expansion of the Islamic movement's influence, especially in southern Kyrgyzstan.

Publicly, Hizb remains committed to the non-violent overthrow of Central Asia's existing political order and its replacement with a pan-regional Islamic caliphate. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. The Kyrgyz revolution on March 24 has yet to produce a noticeable change in the group's pattern of activity, now largely limited to the clandestine circulation of leaflets containing Hizb's position on current affairs. However, political observers in southern Kyrgyzstan -- the focal point of Hizb's actions in the country -- believe revolutionary developments in Bishkek are intensifying an ongoing internal struggle over the group's strategic and tactical direction.

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Alisher Khamidov Alisher Khamidov is a PhD Candidate at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of Johns Hopkins University in Washington D.C. Alisher Saipov is an independent journalist based in Osh and a frequent contributor to Ferghana.Ru information website

Islamic Radical Group Bides Time on the Sidelines of Kyrgyzstan’s Revolution

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