BISHKEK. The Kyrgyz government commission on religious affairs will continue its cooperation with the Kyrgyz muftiyat (leadership of Kyrgyzstan's Muslim community) in propaganda against ideas of such streams as Khizbu-t-Takhrir, a representative of the commission told RFE/RL today.
The head of the commission, Omurzak Mamayusupov told RFE/RL yesterday that the commission and muftiyat held joint meetings recently with students of several universities in the South, including Osh State University and Kyrgyz-Uzbek State University in Osh. They appealed to students to be far from, as they put it, dangerous religious sects like Khizbu-t-Takhrir.
Mufti Murataly Juman-uulu in a separate interview with a correspondent of RFE/RL told yesterday that Kyrgyz Muslims don't want a Muslim state based on a sharia law. Juman-uulu rejected criticism by Khizbu-t-Takhrir that the secular Kyrgyz government is oppressing them.
The Kyrgyz government commission and muftiyat are planning to continue their efforts to propagate their ideas against 'untraditional' Muslim streams. As Mamayusupov put it, the government will not interfere in the religious affairs of Muslims but will be on the muftiyat side when as long as it is against the illegal activities of some underground religious groups. State-funded regional newspapers in every region are regularly publishing articles against Khizbu-t-Takhrir.
Some human rights activists are cautious that such joint activity of the muftiyat and government commission will lead to a repression of the followers of non-Muslim and non-Orthodox Christian religious groups.
Compiled and translated by Tyntchtykbek Tchoroev and edited by Bruce Pannier and Charles Carlson in Prague