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Kazakhstan young people turn to radical Islam in prisons: expert

09 july 2011, 17:28
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Religions expert Anatoliy Kossichenko. ©Almaz Toleke/today.kz
Religions expert Anatoliy Kossichenko. ©Almaz Toleke/today.kz
Religious moods are becoming stronger and young people frequently turn to radical Islam in Kazakhstan prisons, Tengrinews.kz reports citing head of Culture and Religious Philosophy Department of the Institute of Philosophy and Political Science under Kazakhstan Ministry of Education and Science, religions expert Anatoliy Kossichenko.

“The thing is that people feel unhappy, miserable and unfairly offended in prisons, and this is a good soil for the comforting preaching of Salafits (also called Wahhabis),” the expert said in his talk conversation with the moderator of the meeting of AitPARK social-political discussion club Nurlan Yerimbetov. The discussion touched upon islamophobia and regulation of religious affairs in Kazakhstan.

Answering the journalists' questions whether he deems it necessary to ban hijabs from Kazakhstan as well as whether such clothes is natural for Kazakhs, Kossichenko said that the option of wearing such clothes should depend on the believers themselves.

“Young people and others should do the following: if your soul demands wearing hijab, you can wear it, not to show-off, but based on your level of spiritual growth. If your soul lies against it, do not wear it, no matter who is asking you to. This is not Kazakh clothes, it is Arabic. Islam does not assign any special fashion, it just talks about modesty,” the expert stated.

Earlier Tengrinews.kz English reported that in the beginning of June 2011 Chairman of the Kazakhstan’s Agency for Religion Kairat Lama Sharif talked about hijabs in Kazakhstan. He does not consider hijab a major attribute of being a Muslim.

“It is more of an attribute of the Arabic culture, bedouin culturelowingllowing Kazakh women to wear a hijab, to some extent we are losing our national identity,” he said.


By Daniyar Bozov

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