Tajikistan is a 98% Muslim country in Central Asia. It is also a very mountainous and landlocked country that lies to the north of Afghanistan. The population of this country is 7.6 million of which 80% are Tajik and 15% are Uzbek by ethnicity.
Not withstanding all these, I’m very sad to see Tajikistan today been governed by a staunchly anti-Islam and anti-Muslim dictator called Mr. Emomalii Rahmon who calls himself President of Tajikistan. He has been the leader of the country since 1994.
This anti-Muslim dictator Emomalii Rahmon and his regime now determines where mosques can be built and how many, and where Muslim sermons can be given, and even has censorship authority over religious literature (including material from abroad) and control over children’s religious education. Any faith group in Tajikistan must register with the state and get government permission to contact foreign religious groups. The anti-Islam Tajik regime relies heavily on investigations, arrests, and convictions to squelch all kinds of Muslim religious activity.
Furthermore, not only do our Tajik Muslim brothers and sisters suffer from the repression of their God given freedom to practice their religion but their country’s economy and their individual financial situations are also very bad. According to Wikipedia, Tajikistan was the poorest republic of the Soviet Union and is still poorest country in Central Asia as well as in the today independent 15 or so former Soviet Union countries.
Human Rights Watch on Religious Freedom in Tajikistan
The below excerpts from the 2013 World Reports about Tajikistan published by the Human Rights Watch (HRW) proves the case about the current dictatorial Tajikistan Governments war against the practicing of and the revival of Islam in Tajikistan.
HRW says, “The government persisted in 2012 with enforcing a repressive law on religion, and introduced new legislation further restricting religious expression and education.”
“The steady tightening of state controls led rights groups, religious groups, and international bodies in 2012 to continue to criticize the highly controversial Parental Responsibility law, which President Emomali Rahmon signed in August 2011. The law stipulates that parents must prevent their children from participating in religious activity, except for state-sanctioned religious education, until they are 18 years old.”
“In May (2012?), authorities closed the Muhammadiya mosque, one of Tajikistan’s most popular, which is run by the family of Haji Akbar Turajonzoda, a theologian and charismatic leader during the country’s civil war in the mid-1990s.”
Below are some extracts from the HRW’s 2011 Report About Religion in Tajikistan.
Hewing to a new religion law adopted in 2009, the state continued its repression of faith groups. Tajikistan has long curtailed freedom of religion and, under the pretext of battling terrorism, has banned several peaceful Muslim organizations. Certain Christian denominations, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, continue to be banned in Tajikistan. At this writing the law bans all religious activity by unregistered religious groups.
“In January a Dushanbe criminal court convicted Imam Sirojiddin Abdurahmonov (known as Mullo Sirojiddin), a leader of the banned Salafi Muslim religious movement, and six other followers. An Islamic Revival Party leader told Forum 18, an independent religious news service, that Sirojiddin received a seven-year prison term, and his six co-defendants received prison terms of up to six years for “arousing national, racial, local or religious hostility.”
“In April 2009, about 92 followers of the banned Jamaat Tabligh Islamic group were arrested. In March 2010, according to Forum 18, a group of 56 of them were convicted by the Supreme Court and were sentenced on charges of “organisation of banned extremist religious organizations.” 23 defendants were given prison terms of between three and six years, and the other 33 defendants were fined between 25,000 somonis(US$5,340) and 50,000 somonis ($10,680), astronomical sums for the average Tajik.
“In May the remaining 36 Jamaat Tabligh defendants were convicted and received comparable prison and financial penalties. Rights groups in Tajikistan maintain that Jamaat Tabligh is peaceful and the ban on it was never published.
“In May 2010, criminal investigations by the state secret police against 17 Jehovah’s Witnesses in Khujand were reopened. The group was arrested, interrogated, and threatened in September 2009, but the cases had been suspended after the group complained to the prosecutor general.”
On another front 98% Muslim Tajikistan’s income depends a lot on foreign revenue which is precariously dependent upon remittances from migrant workers overseas and exports of aluminium and cotton, so the economy is highly vulnerable to external shocks. The current economic situation in Tajikistan remains fragile, largely owing to corruption, uneven economic reforms, and economic mismanagement by this evil, anti-Muslim and anti-Islam, anti-freedom government of Emomalii Rahmon.
Tajik government and its war against Islam on Sunni News