Harmonious religious relations are a very sensitive and relevant topic today for Kazakhstan. Assylbek Izbairov, director of the institute for geopolitical studies, professor of the institute for diplomacy, religious scholar, told about the regulation in this sphere and how to build a system of religious relations in the interview to cabar.asia.
In mid-February, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan, Sirojiddin Muhriddin, said that the country had begun the work on returning its citizens from Syria and Iraq. In recent years, nearly two thousand people departed for there. However, the situation in the country is uneven: in some districts, a large number of people join the ranks of extremists, and in other districts, there is not a single person who has departed. (more…)
A journalist based in Tashkent, Louiza Atabayeva, was wearing a headscarf for a week and told what it was like to hold business meetings, travel by underground, meet boyfriend’s friends and hear personal insults when you wear a headscarf.
«To achieve the goals set by the authorities of Kazakhstan, religious studies in schools should not become an ordinary school subject for the sole purpose of acquiring new knowledge, but should lead to an increase in tolerance among the youth and unity through diversity», – notes an independent researcher Meruert Seidumanova in her article written specifically for analytical platform cabar.asia.
“Last year Kazakstan adopted many legislation amendments, including law on media, which recognises some statements as propaganda. It means that journalists preparing some material now should think whether it will be taken as propaganda,” said Gulmira Birzhanova, lawyer of Legal Media Centre, in the interview to cabar.asia.
A bill banning hijabs wearing in public and private institutions is being developed in Tajikistan. Experts say this initiative interferes with people’s rights and freedoms and that “secularism” is not so much about the external form, as about content.
According to the Open Doors international organisation, which serves persecuted Christians worldwide, Kazakstan, along with three other Central Asian states, has been listed as a country where it’s “most dangerous to follow Jesus”. Meanwhile, Astana positions the country as a “model of religious freedom and tolerance”.
Buddhism in Uzbekistan is the fourth largest religious group by the number of followers in the country after Islam, Christianity and Judaism. It is practised by 0.2 per cent of the population. This is the only place in Central Asia with the functioning Buddhist temple.