Soviet Muslims enjoy the fruits of the new religious tolerance, but demographics and pent-up resentment add new pressures of their own to the frayed Union KARL MARX MAKES ROOM FOR MUHAMMAD

"Sit down!" hissed members of the agitated crowd in front of Communist Party Central Committee headquarters in Dushanbe, capital of Tadzhikistan. Humiliated, the group of veteran Soviet combat officers and their men sank awkwardly to the ground when ordered to do so by the throng of 10,000 militant Tadzhiks. The troops then listened grimly as a mullah recited the Islamic call to prayer from atop one of their armored vehicles.

The startling display of religious assertiveness took place at the height of the revolt against Moscow's rule that broke out three weeks ago in Tadzhikistan, perhaps the most ardently Islamic of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!