On 16 February 2023, within the project IIIT lectures series for CIS countries, Zilola Khalilova, PhD, doctoral student at the Beruni Institute of Oriental Studies of the Academy of Sciences gave a lecture on "From 'old-method' madrasah to Soviet school: secularism as a form of institutional adaptation in Soviet Uzbekistan".

During her lecture, Zilola Khalilova focused on questions about state-Islamic policies during the Soviet years and their impact on the lives of believers. In particular, the lecturer described how Muslim students perceived socio-cultural and modernisation processes in education, and the place of secular sciences in a conservative religious landscape as a madrasa, about Russian classes in madrasa and the formation of a loyal "Soviet Imam". One of the important issues during the lecture considered religiosity among Muslims and its combination with Soviet patriotism. 

The participants could see rare examples of textbooks in madrasahs of 1946-1950s, documents, which were received by the graduates of madrasahs, and other testimonies of their studies.

Participants also learned about the impact of 'perestroika' on Islamic education. In those years, many politicians in the Muslim areas of the USSR, having thrown away their party tickets, tried in every way to show their sincere devotion to Islam as the traditional faith of their ancestors. A kind of competition between them began for the fastest possible pilgrimage to Mecca. They were actively encouraged to publish the Qur'an in large print runs and a number of books and reference books on "Muslimism".
In 1990-1991, the old system of state control over religions ceased to exist. A new, post-communist period in the history of domestic Islam had begun.

More than 40 participants from Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, and Azerbaijan registered for the lecture. Participants asked many questions about the organization of Islamic education and shared their country's experience. 

A recording of the lecture is available on the Institute Of Knowledge Integration's YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rwwh9tghs5o&t=10s