Amid the recent tragic events - crash of the Russian airliner A321 and a series of terrorist attacks in Paris - people all over the world started talking about the increased threat of terrorism, pushing forward ISIL and striving of its adherents to destroy the states in the Middle East and Central Asia. About 5,000 fighters concentrated in the north of Afghanistan. Is Kyrgyzstan ready to repel a terrorist attack? And whether the country is able to counter terrorism and religious extremism? 24.kg news agency asked the respondents.
Kubanych Sarybaev, ex-Chief of Staff of the Border Troops of Kyrgyzstan:
- It is not fully ready. And there are some indicators of it. Number of border guards is insufficient. Two sections of the border are not demarcated, and when we look from the legal side, there are so-called free passes on the border. Intelligence and counterintelligence work is not properly conducted. Has anyone heard a border guard, calling for jihad? And we had such a case in April 2015 in Ala-Buka border guard detachment. There was another incident when all officers of the frontier outpost went to the mosque to read the prayer. There are also glaring facts - Dawah right on the border. What it demonstrates? It demonstrates the complete unpreparedness of our troops. Borders, in fact, are not really protected. Look, how many strange persons with beards walk through our cities. What kind of prevention are you talking about, when all these bearded men already preach there? The first step is to close the borders, to strengthen border troops, to focus on the eradication of harmful ideas among the servicemen. Only in this case we can talk about some kind of readiness.
Adakhan Madumarov, ex-speaker of the Parliament:
- I think that the country is not ready. The recent developments with the fugitive prisoners are the proof. How many civilians were killed during an operation to eliminate these terrorists? And where are our specialists who flaunt awareness and skills? If at the end of the Second World War it was known who should take Berlin, then was it impossible in the pursuit of the murderer Altynbek Itibaev to determine who should seize him to avoid the victims? It shows a chaos in the law enforcement system. There is lack of coordinated actions. But to be fair, I note that no country alone is ready to confront terrorism and fight against this evil. Look, France is well equipped but it failed to protect its people. Israel is carrying out an unceasing battle, but there also occur acts of terrorists and their accomplices. And Kyrgyzstan looks like a child in this regard.
Kadyr Malikov, an expert- theologist:
-It is necessary to create in Central Asia a system of ideological values of Islam. ISIL, like a virus, is spreading among the protest part of the population, the young people. All the recent events demonstrate the global threat which the world faced. The threat is underestimated, it is not so much military as the ideological one. Our countries formed a perfect breeding ground for radicalization. There is a drop in the level of education, and the state takes traditional measures - tightens laws. But we are not ready for the ideological challenges.
I am a proponent of tough measures. Kyrgyzstan should introduce the death penalty for terrorism. But the authorities should not raise the issues of hijab, beard. It is necessary to offer an alternative. The goal of ISIL is creation of a caliphate. Today, every devout Muslim is faced with problems of self-identity of Islam, he begins looking for them in the political side of Islam. The young people do not perceive democracy and its values in the Muslim worl . We are facing a crisis of secular values, and the recent events in Paris will lead to an increase in Islamophobia.
Kyrgyzstan should pay serious attention to religious education.
Omurbek Abdyrakhmanov, ex-deputy of the Kyrgyz Parliament:
- If even the great powers can not withstand the terror, there will be many tragedies when terrorist come to us. When a few terrorists came to Batken, our army destroyed them with heavy losses. Then we lost 30 soldiers. Terror is spreading all over the world ...
In the last month, there have been terrible terrorist attacks of the Islamic State militants with numerous casualties: Russian plane crash in Egypt, bombings in Turkey and Lebanon, which killed hundreds of innocent people. Now, more than 130 people were killed in Paris. Thousands of people were left disabled. What's the matter? Who is guilty? In my opinion, Egyptian President Abdul-Fattah Sisi is right here, who accused the Muslim theologists and told about necessity of the revolution in the Islamic religion. In the Middle Ages, the Christian radicals were also terrorists. Their crusades were accompanied by massacres.
Poverty and lack of education are pushing people to radicalism. And there are many radical believers in our country. They are ready to "kill" anyone for a single comment. They are intolerant to other opinions.
According to law enforcement bodies, more than 500 people from Kyrgyzstan became terrorists and fight for the Islamic State. Many of our leaders are flirting with religion. They approve the religious deeds of young children, support wearing hijab in schools. Our country is constitutionally secular. Government and religion are separated. But we have the people and the officials, who want to unite the power of the state and religion. For example, a mosque was opened in the parliament building at the initiative of the Speaker of the Parliament. The society is developing normally when the state and religion go hand in hand. As soon as they come into contact, there is a "short circuit". Democracy guarantees people freedom of religion. At the same time, the state is obliged to prevent radicalism in Islam and in any other religion. Otherwise, terror can come in our house.
Egamberdi Kaboulov, freelance correspondent:
- No, not ready. It depends, first, on the work of intelligence services, police and other law enforcement agencies, which, as the escape of prisoners, destruction of terrorists in Bishkek showed, are unprofessional. Secondly, the level of corruption, nepotism, tribalism are the reasons for the low, more precisely, the lowest efficiency of the authorities. Thirdly, it is not a secret that most of the recruits, leaving for Syria, are unhappy not with religious oppression but ethnic persecution. That is, the country has second-class citizens.
What measures do we have to take? For example, when the border was protected by the Russian border guards, the flow of drugs was minimal. And now? If we talk about the army as a tool to counter terrorists, everything is much better here.
Orozbek Moldaliev, head of the State Commission on Religious Affairs:
- The State National Security Committee deals with the fight against terrorists and extremists. And judging by the way they manage to prevent terrorist attacks, neutralize radical followers, they succeed in it. We have to fight the ideological extremism. Now our specialists go round the regions and meet with young people, explain to them what is Islam and what is radicalism. It is good, that international organizations help us with our travels. Another thing, when the adherents of these movements come to pray in the mosque. It is necessary to educate people in the field of theology at the state level. There is the concept of religious policy and we have to act according to it. But, unfortunately, we have lost the time.
Felix Kulov, a former member of Parliament of Kyrgyzstan:
- Recent events have shown that none of the countries in the world is ready to repel terrorist attacks. We also need to quantitatively and qualitatively strengthen the security services, especially the National Security Committee and the Interior Ministry. As for promotion and anti-promotion, it requires careful approach. For example, Tablighi Jamaat movement is considered to be extremist in a number of countries, it is banned, but our State Commission on Religious Affairs saw nothing radical in its followers. I also had to talk with some representatives of this movement, and I must say - they stand exclusively for peaceful Islam. Another thing is that radicals can hide under the guise of peaceful movements. We have to diligently identify them. We have to carry out a special work with those who have returned from Syria, not to arrest them immediately, but to detect recruitment canals and identify local adherents of extremist Islam with their help.