عنوان مقاله [English]
The Central Asian region, with a significant population of Muslims, has, as part of the Islamic world, embraced various Islamic currents and movements that have always been of particular importance to the political and social developments in the region. Today in this region, some Islamic groups and movements act as an opposition to their current governments, and while challenging their legitimacy, are demanding a fundamental change in the status quo; although they have different ways of achieving this goal. The spread of the ideology of secularism, liberalism, and Western culture, and the lack of social justice as well as the obvious political and economic discrimination in Central Asia are all among the key factors that have led to issues such as a crisis of legitimacy and an efficiency crisis in these countries, and provides grounds for popular uprisings and radical actions, based on Islamic ideas. The existence of some political and economic problems and the ineffectiveness of political systems in these areas and also the emergence of many problems among Islamic parties and groups that often have extremist and terrorist practices, shows the prospect that the ground for the infiltration and expansion of the activities of fundamentalist and radical groups such as ISIS in these areas has been provided. Also by exploiting the situation in the area, ISIS seeks to expand its presence in Central Asia, which will have important strategic implications for the region and neighboring countries.
There are two hotspots with a high-tension capacity in the Central Asian region for the exploitation of extreme groups: First, the Fergana Valley, a region between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, which will be most damaging to the interests of Western countries in the event of unrest and destabilization. The second point of instability is the northern border of Afghanistan with Central Asian countries, especially Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, where the crisis threatens the security of the region. In addition to these issues, it should be emphasized that ISIS's main strategy is to recruit from among Islamic countries, especially among radical Muslims, and they have designed special programs to achieve this goal. Hence, the main question of the present study is: what are the preconditions that have made Central Asia the focal point for the Takfiri terrorists of ISIS? To find the appropriate answer to this question, the research will test the following hypothesis: The diversity of ethnic groups and radical Islamist parties that engage in historical and ideological conflicts, and in particular the political ineffectiveness of the governorates of this region, has led to the growth of radicalism and the exploitation of the ISIS Takfiri terrorist group, and strengthening and expansion of its presence and influence in the five Central Asian countries.
This paper examines multiple Islamist parties, radicalism and extremism, the ISIS group, as well as the political ineffectiveness of the governments in Central Asia. It should be noted that the method of research in this paper is descriptive-analytical and the research is an applied one. The main emphasis of this research is that the existence of suitable fields such as ethnic-religious tensions and the structural weakness of the state in Central Asian countries have led to the gradual emergence and evolution of numerous fundamentalist streams in this region. From this perspective, the existence of extremist thoughts and currents leads to the emergence and attraction of other new radical groups and parties in these areas, including the Takfiri terrorist group of ISIS, which is currently active in Syria and Iraq. In a futuristic view based on the available reasons and evidences, it can be said that due to the availability of suitable platforms for the growth and influence of this group in the Central Asian region, the near future will see the consolidation of ISIS presence in the countries of the region, in a way that will raise security threats, especially for the countries of the region, and particularly for China, Russia and Iran. Because of the many internal problems in the governments and societies of Central Asian countries (such as disadvantages and Social Problems, tension between the elites, the weakness and inefficiency of the state structure and the lack of proper mechanisms for gaining power), the realm for crisis and tensions have been provided to extremist groups such as ISIS, and the ground has been prepared for crises. These groups have tried to achieve their goals by exploiting these issues and by recruiting forces from these communities, as a result creating the ground for gaining political power and social influence in Central Asia. Thus, in a long-term perspective, it can be induced that these issues have contributed to the spread of tensions within these areas, the rise of religious extremism and the growth of militarization in Central Asia, and even the intensification of rivalry between major powers in these regions.
Studies of this research as well as current trends show that the five Central Asian countries, (due to ethno-religious variations and the existence of fundamentalist parties such as Hizb ut-Tahrir, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Al-Nusra Party, and other parties of this kind, which have a terrorist nature and are essentially a promoter of violence and extremism and have close and effective relations with other fundamentalist organizations such as al-Qaeda in neighboring countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan,) can be a good place to carry out ISIS terrorist activities. In addition, the weakness of the political structure of the governments, the inability to provide social justice, and the distribution of resources and equal economic opportunities between community members, are the basis for promoting extremist thoughts and handling violent acts by terrorist groups such as ISIS in the five countries of Central Asia. More importantly, the existence of evidences of the presence of Central Asian nationals among ISIS terrorist troops has provided a conductive platform for the formation of an Islamic caliphate government in these countries. Therefore, the anticipation of this study is that, in the near future, ISIS, with the help of citizens from Central Asian countries, will first consolidate the foundations of its thinking in these countries and then turn Central Asia into the focus of its terrorist activities. Because of this, there will be considerable security and geopolitical threats in this region, as well as for neighboring countries, especially for Iran, due to its common borders.