Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan
in Gabriel Palmer-Fernandez, ed, Encyclopedia of Religion and War (New York: Berkshire/Routledge, 2003) pp 225-26
The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan is a pan-Islamic militant organization established in 1996 by Muslim extremist leaders in Uzbekistan to overthrow the regime of President Islam Karimov and replace it with an Islamic government. The IMU emerged as part of Islamic revivalism that engulfed Muslim Central Asia as soon as it became independent after the Soviet collapse in 1991. IMU followers in Uzbekistan included political dissidents, disaffected youth, and religious activists, some of whom had earlier played an active role in Islamic Renaissance Party's militant-political struggle against the government of Tajikistan. The Uzbek government repression contributed significantly to the rise of IMU. In June 2001, the IMU renamed itself the Islamic Party of Turkistan (however, the movement is still commonly identified with the old name) and expanded its goal to the creation of an Islamic state in the five Muslim Central Asian states (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) and China's Muslim majority province of Xinjiang. The movement initially operated largely in the Fergana Valley, which straddles the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border, or from sanctuaries in northern Afghanistan under the Taliban rule. Full Text