In Uzbekistan, Central Asia’s most populous country, Islam has been an ever-present factor in the lives of its people and a contentious force for political officials trying to build a secular government.

In the Whirlwind of Jihad
examines the intertwined and evolving relationships between religion, the state, and society in Uzbekistan from the late 1980s to today, encompassing the period from the collapse of the Soviet Union to the launch of the U.S.-led “war on terror” in neighboring Afghanistan. Martha Brill Olcott, the foremost expert on Central Asia, concludes that in an era of global communication and increased contact with international Islamic communities, a new role for Islam in Uzbekistan will ultimately emerge with implications beyond the country’s borders.