Speaker: Mukaram Toktogulova, Anthropology Department at American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Organiser (s): Halle-Zurich Centre for Anthropological Studies on Central Asia (CASCA)
Location: Small Seminar Room, MPI for Social Anthropology and Seminar for Social Anthropology, Halle (Saale)

The Translocal Tablighi Jama’at (TJ) Network that emerged in India and Pakistan in the early twentieth century began to expand its missionary activities in Central Asia in the 1990s. Its aim was to bring post-Soviet Muslim society back to Islam through a revival of religious practice by travelling lay missionary groups with a Davat program, a local term for daw’a (Call, Invitation). Although the Tablighi Jama’at is currently banned in all Central Asian countries and Russia, with the exception of Kyrgyzstan, the movement has gradually increased its impact on the region and significantly contributed to what is called “alternate localities”.

The paper aims at examination of Translocal Tablighi Jama’at Network (TJ) as one of actors, which significantly contribute to Re-Islamisation of the society, that involves diverse actors, including Islamic activists, muftiat ( Spiritual Board of Muslims), tengirchiler (practitioners and supporters of ancient belief “Tengirism”) , Islamic educational institutions etc. We will explore the ideas, sources and image of Islam which are channeled through Tablighi Jama’at Networks. Focusing mostly on two groups: young davatchys ( preachers) and masturat (female preachers) and analysing their stories , narratives and metaphors we will discuss how Islamic practice is recovered and reconsidered in a new way.

Muklaram Toktogulova is a visiting research fellow of the Crossroads Asia competence network, currently based at Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin. She is an Associate Professor of Anthropology Department at American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Her main research interests are Islam in Central Asia, Language Ideology in Kyrgyzstan, Traditional Knowledge and Oral Literature of the Kyrgyz People. Her current research focuses on the development of the Tablighi Jama’at Network in Kyrgyzstan.