The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Council of Islamists), a counterrevolutionary bourgeois-nationalist organization in Turkestan in 1917 and 1918.

Shura-i-Islam, founded in early March 1917 in Tashkent, was the de facto representative of the Turkestan Committee of the Provisional Government. Headed by the Jadidist leader M. K. Abdurashidkhanov, the organization comprised members of the national bourgeoisie, the bourgeois-nationalist intelligentsia, the feudal aristocracy, and the Muslim clergy. By the end of March 1917, branches of Shura-i-Islam had been formed in nearly every city in Turkestan.

Reflecting the interests of local capitalists and landowners, Shura-i-Islam advocated national and religious autonomy for Turkestan, which it wished to remain part of bourgeois Russia; it stood for the preservation of private ownership, including the private ownership of land. The organization’s congress of Apr. 16–23, 1917, which was attended by delegates from 42 branches, adopted a resolution on cultural and political self-government for Turkestan and declared its support for the Provisional Government. At the congress, the Regional Council of the Muslims of Turkestan was elected.

From its inception, Shura-i-Islam was plagued by a struggle for leadership between the Jadidists and the Ulemists, or higher clergy; in June 1917 the Ulemists split from the organization and formed their own group, Shura-i-Ulema (Council of the Clergy). After the October Revolution of 1917, Shura-i-Islam resisted the establishment of Soviet power—its leaders helped organize and direct the counterrevolutionary Kokand Autonomy.

In late 1917 and during the first half of 1918 the Council of People’s Commissars of the Turkestan Republic and local soviets disbanded all organizations of Shura-i-Islam for engaging in anti-Soviet activity. The leaders of Shura-i-Islam went underground and, in alliance with Russian White Guards, Ulemists, and foreign imperialists, continued the struggle against Soviet power (seeBASMACHI REVOLT).


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.