Islam World

Tajikistan converts 2,000 mosques into public facilities

Tajikistan last year converted 2,000 mosques into facilities for general public use in its latest attempt to marginalize those not directly under government control.

 

Tajikistan last year converted 2,000 mosques into facilities for general public use in its latest attempt to marginalize those not directly under government control.

The head of the Committee for Religious Affairs, Husein Shokirov, said in a news conference on February 5 that the unauthorized mosques have been repurposed into teahouses, hairdressers, cultural center, medical clinics and kindergartens, among other things. 

Under Tajik law, while the responsibility of building mosques lies with the public, ultimate control over the premises and what happens inside them is assumed by the government. Imams are regularly required to renew paperwork so as to be able to execute their functions and sermons are written on their behalf by the authorities. Any clerics declining to cooperate with the government are invariably ousted. 

Starting from 2010, the government began pursuing policies to restrict entire sections of the population from going to mosque. First women were forbidden and then it was the turn of young people under the age of 18.

 

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