“The Impact of Russia’s Annexation of the Crimea on the Central Eurasian Islamic World” with Charles Weller from ACMCU on Vimeo.

CHARLES WELLER speaks at the ALWALEED BIN TALAL CENTER FOR MUSLIM-CHRISTIAN UNDERSTANDING(At GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY) (recorded on March 19, 2015): 

Dr. Weller’s talk focused on four main, interrelated dimensions of the impact of the Crimean and Ukrainian Crises on the Central Eurasian Islamic World: (1) The response of the Crimean Tatar community and impact on Russo-Tatar relations within the Crimea religiously, socially, and politically; (2) Responses among related Turkic Muslim groups of Central Eurasia, particularly the Turks of Turkey, the Volga Tatars within the Russian Federation, and the Kazakh Muslims of Kazakhstan, with related reflections upon the impact of the crises upon Russo-Turkish relations politically, Russo-Volga Tatar relations socially and politically within Tatarstan, and Russo-Kazakh relations socially and politically within Kazakhstan; (3) the (potential) impact upon Russo-Chinese relations politically in connection with the Uighur independence movement; and (4) Responses from across the broader Muslim world, particularly the Middle Eastern and Western worlds.

The presentation argued that the Crimean and Ukrainian crises have provoked and, if maintained, will continue to provoke a predominantly negative reaction against not only Russia and Russian expatriates living in Central Eurasian states which are significantly populated by Muslims, but will serve to reinforce Muslim views of ‘The (Christian) West’ as imperialist and exploitative world powers, in spite of condemnation of the action by a large number of Western powers internationally, since Western condemnation is concerned primarily with safeguarding Ukraine as a pro-Westernizing force (and not the Crimean Tatar cause). This study drew primarily from scholarly works on historical and historiographical issues pertaining to Ukraine and the Crimea as well as published newspaper, magazine, and journal articles in Turkish, Tatar, Kazakh, and English which have appeared in response/relation to the issue.

 

Charles Weller is a history professor at Washington State University and a non-residential visiting researcher at Georgetown University. He received his Ph.D. from Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Almaty, Kazakhstan, working in the Kazakh language. His life’s work includes over 20 years of focus upon Central Asia (in relation to Russia, the Middle East, the Islamic world, and the West), with eight total years of residence in the region engaging in research, teaching, and translation. He has a number of publications in both English and Kazakh. His latest articles include: “Religious-Cultural Revivalism as Historiographical Debate: Contending Claims in the Post-Soviet Kazakh Context” (Journal of Islamic Studies, Vol 25, No 2, May 2014: 138-177) and “Modern Reform and Independence Movements: Central Asian Muslims and Koreans in Comparative Historical Perspective, 1850-1940” (Journal of American - East Asian Relations, Vol 21, No 4, Dec 2014, 343-372). He was a visiting fellow at Yale University (2010-11) before becoming a full-time faculty member for the Roots of Contemporary Issues World History and WSU Asia programs at Washington State University in 2011. 

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