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Dialogue and Mediation

Since 2001 CORE has conducted dialogue and mediation projects in Central Asia. After a dialogue between secular and moderate Islamist forces in Tajikistan the project was extended from 2007-2008 to the regional level with roundtables at the Kazakh and Kyrgyzs Institutes for Strategic Studies. Representatives of secular and Islamic intellectual elites from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and as well as from the Russian Federation met to discuss commonalities and divergent interests between secularism and Islam

Dialogue and Publication Project 2008

Die kirgisische Bildungsministerin Prof. Ischengul Boljurowa und Arne Seifert, CORE

”Good Governance in Secular States with Muslim Majorities in Central Asia“

With a roundtable in Bishkek on 15/16 November 2008, CORE continued its series of dialogues on the secular-Islamic relationship in Central Asia. The Bishkek workshop, organized together with the Institute for Strategic Analysis and Prognosis of the Slavonic University of Kyrgyzstan and funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, brought together participants from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Russia and Germany. Discussion focused on politically relevant questions such as the mutual relation between rights and obligations of state agencies and religious organizations, or religious education.

Contact: Dr Arne C. Seifert, Dr des Elena Kropatcheva

Dialogue und Publication Project 2007

“Détente in the Secular-Muslim Relationship in Central Asia”

During the last 15 years, nation states with a secular self-perception have emerged in Central Asia. However, the majority of the population are Muslims in a number of these countries. This makes it impossible for the secular state power to get into a confrontation with a Muslim majority. On the other hand, it will be difficult for Islamic politicians to maintain Islamist doctrines strongly influenced from outside if they do not want to risk isolation in the "national question". Consequently, co-operative relations between the secular state and Islamic representatives have become a key factor in domestic stability.
The project, which is supported by the Federal Foreign Offices, aims at facilitating a dialogue between secular state officials and religious representatives, starting with the question of common interests in the common state. Which common or convergent interests are perceived? Where are priority areas? Which concrete tasks can be solved?
These questions were discussed by about 25 participants from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Germany at a workshop in Almaty on 30 November 2007. As a basis, the participants had written essays, which are to be revised in the light of the discussions. Publication of these essays is planned.

Contact: Dr Arne C. Seifert, Dr des Elena Kropatcheva

Dialogue und Publication Project 2001-2003

“Creating a Peace-Building Dialogue between Moderate Islamist and Secular Forces in Tajikistan”

The project “Creating a Peace-Building Dialogue between Moderate Islamist and Secular Forces in Tajikistan” was funded by the German MFA in 2001-2002 and jointly by the German and Swiss MFAs in 2003. Its objective was to create a common forum for representatives of the secular government and of political Islam – as the follow-up of the peace process was officially terminated in 2000. The participants of the dialogue project were mainly former members of the Commission for National Reconciliation who were involved in the post civil-war compromise process. Towards the end of 2003, both sides agreed on a document entitled “Confidence-Building Measures”, consisting of principles for a peaceful co-existence.

Publications

  • Jean-Nicolas Bitter / Fréderique Guerin / Delia Rahmonova-Schwarz / Arne C. Seifert (eds), From Confidence Building Towards Co-operative Co-existence. The Tajik Experiment of Islamic-Secular Dialogue, Baden Baden 2005.
  • CORE/PSIO, Confidence-Building Measures adopted by the participants of an informal secular-Islamic dialogue in Tajikistan. Document in english, russian and german language, CORE Working Paper No. 12, Hamburg 2004
    (download document)
  • Kreikemeyer, Anna/Arne C. Seifert (Eds), Zur Vereinbarkeit von Islam und Sicherheit im OSZE-Raum, Baden Baden 2002.

Contact: Dr Arne Seifert, Dr Anna Kreikemeyer