Islam Without a Veil


Islam Without a Veil

Kazakhstan's Path of Moderation

Claude Salhani

228 pages


June 2011


$33.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

June 2011


$29.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic in Central Asia that has been under the leadership of President Nursultan Nazarbayev since independence in 1991, has proven that a mostly Muslim nation can be active on the international scene. Its leaders have worked fervently to bridge the ugly schism that has developed since the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent invasions of Arab and Muslim lands byWestern forces.

How has Kazakhstan been able to maintain its Muslim heritage yet remain on track toward modernization while other Muslim countries have imposed strict Shari’a law upon their citizens, clamped down on individual freedoms, and persecuted all who do not adhere to the diktat of the ruling theocracy?

Claude Salhani examines the successful phenomenon of Kazakhstan today.He looks at the progress it has attained in just two decades since independence. While there is no doubt as to the Muslim identity of the country,Kazakhstan is living proof that there can be a “kinder, gentler” mode of Islam, in which one can live at peace with oneself and with one’s neighbors, despite their differences.

Author Bio

Claude Salhani is a political analyst specializing in the Middle East, Central Asia, politicized Islam, and terrorism. Salhani is a senior associate with the Institute of World Affairs and a member of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies. He is the author of Black September to Desert Storm: A Journalist in the Middle East (University of Missouri,1998) and While the Arab World Slept: The Impact of the Bush Years on the Middle East (Xlibris Corporation, 2009), and he served as the editor of the Middle East Times from 2006 to 2010. He lives in Fairfax, Virginia.


“One of the key questions facing the international community is whether religion can serve the cause of peace. The answer is definitely yes if we read Islam Without a Veil. The message is loud and clear: Kazakhstan’s Islamic tolerance and modernization efforts contribute to regional and global stability and prosperity. This extraordinary study should commend the attention of policymakers, academics, and the general public.”—Yonah Alexander, professor emeritus, State University of New York, and director of the Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies

“Is Islam compatible with modern life and peaceful international relations? Claude Salhani shows us a brand of Islam that can be, in his study of the two decades of Kazakhstan since its independence in 1991. Kazakhstan’s domestic and international policies prove that a Muslim country can interpret Islam in a moderate and peaceful way, without losing its religious identity. Salhani’s work is a real contribution to our understanding of how Islam can be a strong supporter, rather than an enemy, of peace at home and between nations.”—Tolga Yazici, chairman, Riva Foundation, and president, EGL Holdings RGDS

"Islam Without a Veil represents a valuable contribution to understanding how and why Kazakhstan has avoided the radicalization of its Muslim youth, and acts as a template to be followed elsewhere in Central Asia as the region grapples with such potentially sensitive security issues. Salhani's extensive research in this vital area unravels much of the mystery surrounding Kazakhstan's largely successful handling of this critical area."—Roger McDermott, honorary senior fellow, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent

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