The Islamic Jihad Union, an offshoot of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, advocates the systematic internationalisation of "Holy War" and has aligned itself with the Taliban in Afghanistan and al-Qaida at international level.
Since the publication in the early 1990s of "Between the Slogans of Communism and the Laws of Islam: The Women of Uzbekistan" to today, Marfua Tokhtakhodjaeva reflects on how circumstances have changed for women and activists in modern Uzbekistan.
A revolt in the eastern town of Andizhan in the mainly Muslim Ferghana Valley was crushed by Uzbek troops, who opened fire on thousands of protesters, many opposing President Islam Karimov's autocratic rule.
Shaken by revolutionary developments in Ukraine and Georgia, Uzbekistan is turning away from the West. Officials increasingly see the democratic ideals espoused by the USA and the European Union as "alien" and destructive for Uzbek society.