Volume 12, Issue 1, 2015
Allegories of Imperialism: Barbarians and World Cultures
Soon-ok Myong, Byong-soon Chun
Cultural Politics of Otherizing Hijabed Muslims in Kazakhstan
This paper intends to highlight how the Kazakhs, the indigenous ethnic group that emerged as the leading subject of society in Kazakhstan after independence
from the former Soviet Union, reclassify and remodel their self-culture in the new socio-political context. Despite the craving for resuscitating the Islamic tradition,
shrunk under colonial domination, rather the indigenous folklorized Islam came to be classified as a pure national tradition under the fear of radical Islamism,
causing the exclusion of the orthodox Muslims. This paper looks at hijabed Muslim women, considered to be outside the reclassified boundary of national tradition, and efficiently controlled and marginalized by the discourse produced by the ruling powers. The authors include field research and interviews from a number of participants, making visible the strategies of exclusion and the political narratives constructed around what people should remember and learn. These narratives recollect forms of imperialism which continue to be, in one way or another.