A ban on prayers in public offices could further extremism in Kazakhstan, Tengrinews.kz reports, citing a member of the lower chamber of the Paliament (Majilis) Bekbolat Tleukhan.
“If we pass this new bill (the law on Religion and Religious Associations) we will create new opportunities for the extremists trying to make Kazakhstan extremism prone. It will lead to the situation when religious persons will be separated from the public service. There are no restrictions of this kind in any of our neighboring countries. 70 percent of Muslim Movement representatives said they didn't approve the bill. Catholic and Jew representatives also disagreed with this draft law. Adilet party appealed against it. How many laws have been rejected so fiercely in the parliament? The adoption of the law could trigger a negative outcome,” Bekbolat Tleukhan warned his colleagues at the plenary session at the Lower Chamber of the Parliament on September, 21.
Tleukhan assumes that the seventh article of the draft law (on prohibition of prayers in public offices) contradicts a number of international documents, including the Astana Declaration of the OSCE, signed at the OSCE summit in December 2010.