Authorities of the Kyrgyz Republic Matter are concerned with religious security not for the first year. However, measures taken by officials have no results. Attempts to curb endemic radicalization of the population, particularly in the south, have failed. The President Almazbek Atambayev said it yesterday, speaking at a meeting of the Defence Council.
"The idea of Islamisation - manipulation of Kyrgyz people. It is already clear that some mullahs and policies tend to rampant Islamisation of the country. If they manage to lead the people, the day when the religious fanaticism will be established in the country is not far," the head of state said.
In his words, "a person must show by his behavior not the clothes, that he is a believer." "Man can't instantly become a Muslim, grew a beard, wearing wide trousers and formally reading prayers. On the contrary, very often there are instances where some bearded men in the name of the Almighty, create chaos, which is difficult to be accepted by normal person: innocent are being killed, raped, girls stolen," Almazbek Atambayev said.
In this regard, the President suggested the Defence Council to support a new document - the concept of public policy in the religious sphere for 2014-2020. Will the regulation of written there be able to return "the lost" to a normal life?
24.kg news agency asked respondents how to stop the religious radicalization of the country.
Kadyr Malikov, jurist of Islamic law:
- Hard ban on hijab and wide trousers won't protect society from Islamization. On the contrary, it will create even greater surge of discontent among the religious. After all, the problem is not that someone is wearing traditional Muslim clothes, but that initially the state didn't have religious policy. Islam and Muslims represent two different planes, and the gap between them increases. In Kyrgyzstan, Islam is characterized by a lack of culture, education - both secular and religious. There is a blind copy, so Islam is preached with Arab and Pakistani specifics that is a threat to national identity. Moreover, the authority of the government falls because of rising commodity prices, fuel, electricity tariffs, and all it generates growth potential for protest. And in this regard one should be extremely careful in order not to provoke tensions and conflicts in society. The basic meaning of religious concepts, which I developed as well, is not in denial and interdiction, but in regulation. The main objective - to lay the foundations for the formation of religious and secular values based on the national community.
Zhamal Frontbek kyzy, chairman of the public association of progressive women "Mutakallim":
- The first thing to pay attention is education, especially concerning women, about what kind of knowledge they gain about Islam, from whom and where. According to recent study, which was held by the 10th Directorate of Internal Affairs, the number of women in religious extremist organizations has increased by 23 percent. This is connected with the fact that women in Kyrgyzstan are, so to say, free in Islam. That is, she can't get answers to the questions from its competent sources, so her views, eventually, acquire a shade of radicalism.
As for clothes, then, again, here we throw from one extreme to another. Yes, I agree with President Almazbek Atambayev in the part where he says that not everyone who wears a hijab and wide trousers are devout Muslims. According to the Koran, men don't need to wear wide trousers. This is not a creed, it is enough just to cover the so-called infamous places. They are already doing it. Our men don't walk in shorts in the city. But women professing Islam must wear special clothes, as stated in the Koran in two ayats. Another thing is that today this message of the president about apparel can be wrongly perceived by our officials, and instead of paying attention to education, eradicate obscurantism in matters of faith, will trample on the rules of law on freedom of religion, ripping off hijab from Muslim women. Therefore, I say that we shouldn't throw from one extreme to another. Avoid radicalization is possible not by banning the wearing of religious clothing, but only by increasing the quality of education is in the field of religion.
Igor Shestakov, an expert:
- Raised by the president questions are relevant. Supporters of radical Islam are active in Kyrgyzstan for not less than 15 years. And government agencies allowed these processes take their course, except for security forces, which frustrated attempts of activities of radical organizations.
Militancy movement of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant demonstrate that extremists - is not just a bunch of fanatics who seek to sow terror and professionally trained paramilitary units. They have military equipment and funding to achieve the goal of creating a state borders of which will penetrate beyond Middle East. Plus there is an active recruitment of supporters of radical ideas in social networks.
Kyrgyzstan also has become a country where these processes are present. Citizens of the Republic are fighting as part of terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq. In this regard, the State must have a road map in the form of the Concept of state religious policy until 2020. However, it is important not just to have the document, but also to implement it. Particular attention should be paid to young people, creating corresponding infrastructure in the regions. Here one shouldn't "reinvent the wheel". It's enough to recall, that in Soviet times, various youth clubs successfully operated. And now exactly this vacuum is just trying to be filled by the religious radicals. Where the state falls short of its target in terms of ideology, opponents will work. It is also necessary to control financial flows, which are invested in a radical religious activity. Once extremist ideas remain without means, they immediately will go into decline, and the number of their supporters will fall sharply.
Valentina Gritsenko, the Head of "Justice" human rights organization in Jalal-Abad province:
- The question should be addressed to the clergy. It is good that there are documents aimed at regulation of religious sphere. But imams shouldn't forget to educate believers - radical and moderate, who attend mosque, and guide them to the true Islam. One concept can't solve the problem. How much of such documents and programs were adopted! We must fight in practice. After all, radical, having learned from the press that the concept was adopted, won't shave off his beard and won't cease to be a fanatic.
Recently, the number of those who wear Islamic clothes increases and it is not only in the south, but also in Bishkek. Radical forces influence these people, taking advantage of difficult situation in the country, saying that the authorities do not work, and it often has the result. Especially among young people.
If we talk about the competence of imams, it also leaves much to be desired. It so happened that kazi were removed in Jalal-Abad region, who is very educated, speak several languages. It is alarming: why are literate people removed and random people, who do not really know the Koran, are appointed instead of them?
Suiun Omurzakov, the Chief of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Head Department in Osh:
- President is rights that actually now there are a lot of bearded people who wear Islamic clothes, go to the mosque on Fridays, but believers actually absent. Religiosity is proved not by clothing or appearance, but actions. Faith - is in heart.
We're all over the place and day to day work on identification of radical citizens. Intelligence agencies should be involved in this activity, with the assistance of local authorities, who are aware of the situation on the ground. In addition to the document, one must take real action and not wait until society completely get lost in pseudo-religion.
Roman Veytsel, the expert of the Institute of Strategic Analysis and Prognosis under KRSU:
-We should oppose religious radicalization comprehensively. The implementation of some measures in absence of work on other issues will give half of the effect. In the long term is necessary to solve two basic problems. Firstly, to improve level of knowledge and as a result, authority of clergy of the Kyrgyz Republic. It is necessary to conduct regular appraisal, training courses, update staff composition and address issues of financing of ministers of religion. Secondly, work on improving socio-economic conditions in the country, that is, to find the political will to fight against corruption, use more than $1 billion in Russian funds for establishment of local production facilities and infrastructure, and not for "discord" between officials.
In the short term, we must greatly intensify and conduct regular outreach meetings in the villages, universities, schools, markets with employees, groups of NGOs to explain the true foundation of propaganda of religious radicalism and extremism. We should create a public reception and hotline on these issues. We need arguments relying on the Quran and the Sunnah, we should show that believers in the ranks of extremists are only participants of distemper, fitnah among Muslims. Killing each other, weakening the Ummah, they multiply lawlessness, against which they are allegedly fighting. The most interesting questions and answers advisable to broadcast on television and radio. The most important things here are not only the immediate agitation of youth, but also work with people of the older generation. They tend to be less susceptible to ideological influence and are more likely to report that their children or relatives have intention to leave or have already left the country to take part in hostilities. In addition, it is necessary to find a consensus on the definition of boundaries of manifestation of secularism and religiosity in society, on hijab, daavat. Disagreements on these topics internally weaken our society and give the grounds for criticism of extremists. And also we should be more proactive in closing access to extremist websites. Strengthen cooperation with antiterrorist centers in neighboring states in this matter.
Zakir Chotoev, the expert of the State Commission for Religious Affairs:
-Radicalization of society in Kyrgyzstan can be countered by increasing level of religious education, literacy and clergy. We need to clearly draw the line between religious and extremist movements. Clearly understood that religion - it is a good thing, and radicalism - bad. It is necessary to carry out information work among the faithful, as now there is an information war. And it involves the most advanced technology and most powerful resources. Our citizens are recruited to Syria through available online channels. Necessary resources and active support of the state are required for stopping this phenomenon. It is necessary to conduct a series of complex events, including training for imams, we should develop a conceptual approach. As for the president's statements about the clothes, I can say that it is reasonable. But then we must understand that not everyone who wears a hijab or wide trousers is a radical.
Most likely, this is related to the clothes, but not religion, and it happens from illiteracy and ignorance. Long shirt and baggy trousers - a traditional Arab clothing, not Muslims, they are the inhabitants of desert, and so they close face. The Koran does not prescribe what clothes to wear. Only some parts of the body should be closed. But now, as you can see, the garment became less. The Spiritual Directorate of the Muslims of Kyrgyzstan has been working in this direction. Devout Muslims of Kyrgyzstan may wear the traditional clothing of the Kyrgyz, not necessarily dress in long shirts and hijabs. This is not a creed. Now there is, as I said above, a breakaway from such clothes.
Ikbol Mirsaitov, the expert on religious security:
- Let's start with the fact that hijab and wide trousers can't stop radicalization, on the contrary, it will only cause protest. Radicalization can be opposed having special program, that of national scale. We need prevention among the population. As for hijab and wide trousers, the appearance - it's an indication that people change their attitude to the form of religion, but not to its content. And, of course, we need a reform to optimize Islamic education in order graduates of Islamic institutions can find a job here, in Kyrgyzstan.