ISLAMIC ORGANIZATIONS IN THE SOUTH OF KYRGYZSTAN
Ikbaljan Mirsaitov, Ph.D. (Political Science), Associate Professor at the Chair of International Relations, Institute for the Integration of International Educational Programs (IIIEP), Kyrgyz National University (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)
The article examines the ways in which official and unofficial Islamic organizations operate in the south of Kyrgyzstan and analyzes their relations with the state. The author notes that unofficial Islamic organizations are mainly forming and developing in the republic’s southern regions. The author singles out moderate apolitical and destructive religious-extremist organizations among them, Tablighi Jamaat and Hizb ut-Tahrir, respectively. He goes on to suggest ways for all the sides concerned (the state, Islamic organizations, and the media) to enter into a dialog aimed at opposing extremism.
Keywords: Kyrgyzstan, Islamic diversity, muftiats, kaziats, official and unofficial Islamic organizations, jamaats, Salafism, Tablighi Jamaat, Hizb ut-Tahrir.
Elements of Islamic diversity (i.e., the coexistence of maddhabs and different types of Islamic schools and trends) are emerging in three southern regions of Kyrgyzstan—Osh, Dzhalal-Abad, and Batken. Islamic diversity encompasses not only the activity of official (muftiats and kaziats), but also unofficial Islamic organizations, such as Tablighi Jamaat. This also implies development of Islamic social life as it is seen today, with the emergence of a new social entity—the active Muslim. He is primarily engaged in business, using Islamic financing principles, developing the Halal industry, and charity.
At present, Islamic diversity in Kyrgyzstan does not have the unity that existed in the pre-Soviet period. The differences in attitude toward the role and place of Islam in the life of society, the state, and the believing Muslim himself are giving rise to dissidence and……………….