Islam and Dispute Resolution in Central Asia: The Case of Women Muslim Leaders

David E. Merrell


This quick study highlights the need for future research among Muslim leaders, especially women leaders (otinoyi singular; otinoyilar plural), on the neglected topic of how Islam influences dispute resolution in Central Asia. The post-Soviet countries of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) have Muslim-majority populations and secular governments. As such, Islamic jurisprudence is not a source of state law and official Islamic courts do not exist there as in many other Muslim-majority countries. Islamic courts and jurisprudence did prevail in Central Asia but they were abolished by the Soviet Union and replaced with secular Soviet laws and courts. Therefore, it is easy to assume that Islamic legal authorities no longer influence the resolution of interpersonal disputes in Central Asia. Before accepting this assumption, it is necessary to explore the role of Islam in non-state dispute resolution processes in Central Asia.

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ISSN: 2051-0861