Islam in the Soviet Union

From the Second World War to Perestroika

August 2000 9781850654032 775pp


This text provides a detailed historical study of Islam under post-war Soviet Communism. Yaacov Ro’i describes and analyzes all aspects of Islam which relate to the Soviet domestic scene, with the purpose of demonstrating how and why it survived in the face of Soviet repression and secularisation. The first part of the book deals with establishment Islam – the four spiritual directorates, the registered prayer houses and religious personnel. The second focuses on unofficial Islam: those groups and personnel which operated without any official registration. The third section surveys the Islamic practice and observation of fasts, festivals and rites of passage. The final part of the volume is devoted to the political – regime policy, its implementation in different regions, and the implications of Islam’s survival for the national consciousness of Muslim ethnicities.


Yaacov Ro'i is a Professor of History at the Cummings Center for Russian and Eastern European Studies , Tel Aviv University.

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