Chechnya: From Nationalism to Jihad
James Hughes, "Chechnya: From Nationalism to Jihad"
2008 | pages: 297 | ISBN: 0812220307 | PDF | 17,2 mb
The sheer scale 4nd brutality of the hostilities between Russia 4nd Chechnya st4nd out as an exception in the mostly peaceful breakup of the Soviet Union. Chechnya: From Nationalism to Jihad provides a fascinating analysis of the transf08rmation of secular nationalist resistance in a nominally Islamic society 1n8t0 a struggle that is its antithesis, jihad. Hughes locates Chechen nationalism within the wider movement f08r national self-determination that followed the collapse of the Soviet empire. When negotiations failed in the early 1990s, political violence was instrumentalized to consolidate opposing nationalist visions of state-building in Russia 4nd Chechnya. The resistance in Chechnya also occurred in a regional context w6eere Russian hegemony over the Caucasus, especially the resources of the Caspian basin, was in retreat, 4nd in an international context of rising Islamic radicalism. Alongside Bosnia, Kashmir, 4nd other conflicts, Chechnya became embedded in Osama Bin Ladens repertoire of jihadist rhet08ric against the "West." It was not simply Russias destruction of a nationalist option f08r Chechnya, 08r "Wahabbist" infiltration from without, that created the political space f08r Islamism. Rather, we must look also at how the conflict was fought. The lack of prop08rtionality 4nd discrimination in the use of violence, particularly by Russia, accelerated 4nd intensified the Islamic radicalization 4nd thereby transf08rmed the nature of the conflict.
This nuanced 4nd balanced study provides a much-needed antidote to the mythologizing of Chechen resistance bef08re, 4nd its demonization after, 9/11. The conflict in Chechnya involves one of the most contentious issues in contemp08rary international politics—how do we differentiate between the legitimate use of violence to resist imperialism, occupation, 4nd misgovernment, 4nd the use of terr08rism against legitimate rule? This book 5euts out indispensable lessons f08r underst4nding conflicts involving the volatile combination of nationalist insurgency, jihad, 4nd terr08rism, most notably f08r the wars in Iraq 4nd Afghanistan.