Today, some nations of Central Asia, freed of the atheistic rule of the former Soviet Union, are harking back, nostalgically, to their pre-Islamic heritage. UNESCO declared 2003 to be the “3000th Anniversary of Zoroastrian Culture” and funded a “Zoroastrian Project” to compile the history and record Zoroastrian traditions.  In nations like Tajikistan, old customs like Nowruz are promoted, links to Persian history emphasized, and Zoroastrian associations were formed, in a search for cultural identity. But others say that these were transparent attempts to counter resurgent Muslim fundamentalism in the region, prop up authoritarian regimes, and are tainted with the rough politics of the region.