(Council of the Clergy), a counterrevolutionary pan-Islamic organization in Turkestan in 1917 and 1918.
Shura-i-Ulema, which was formed when a split occurred in the organization Shura-i-Islam, comprised the higher Muslim clergy, local feudal lords, and the most reactionary segment of the national bourgeoisie. At its congress of Sept. 17–20,1917, in Tashkent, the delegates declared their opposition to the soviets and demanded Turkestan’s secession from Russia, the unification of all Muslims in a single Muslim state under the aegis of Turkey, and the creation of branches of Shura-i-Ulema in cities throughout Turkestan.
At the third congress of the soviets in the region, which was held in 1917, the Ulemists opposed the establishment of Soviet power in Turkestan; they subsequently helped organize the counterrevolutionary Kokand Autonomy and inspired the Basmachi revolt. In their struggle against Soviet power the Ulemists acted in concert with Russian White Guards and foreign imperialists.