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Kazakhstan to develop a State Program to Counteract Religious Extremism and Terrorism

14 december 2012, 20:16
0
Kazakhstan’s riot police. © RIA Novosti
Kazakhstan’s riot police. © RIA Novosti
Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev has commissioned his Government in partnership with his Administration to develop a State Program to Counteract Religious Extremism and Terrorism.

In his new Keynote Address titled Kazakhstan-2050 Strategy published on his official website December 14, President Nazarbayev said that “we shouldn’t let the sincere belief in the Almighty be substituted with aggressive and destructive bigotry”.

“Blind bigotry is alien to the mentality of the peaceful Kazakh nation (…) Extremism and terrorism in Kazakhstan originate from criminal world. Pseudo-religious rhetoric is a cover for criminal activities that undermine the society. It’s an assault on peace and stability in Kazakhstan”, the Address reads.

President believes “Kazakhstan should develop new reliable mechanisms to overcome social, interethnic and inter-faith tensions (…) it is important to terminate activities of new cults and dubious pseudo-religious movements”.

“We need to reinforce measures to prevent religious extremism, especially among the young (…) The World Religions Congress must be used as a forum to tackle religion-related conflicts. We should be ready to act as mediators in hot spots in the region, in the Middle East or elsewhere”.

President emphasized that the “secular nature of Kazakhstan is a crucial precondition for the nation’s further development”.

At the same time President warned that “measures to counteract extremism should not transform into witch-hunt and shouldn’t grow into moves to counteract religion”.

“When it comes to religion, a balanced approach and cautiousness are of prime importance. The State shouldn’t interfere with internal issues of religious institutions. We should be committed to freedom of belief and tolerance”, he sums up.

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