Tajikistan bans its youth from praying in mosque, church

Posted By: Biswajeet Panda
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Dushanbe, Aug 4: Imomali Rakhmom, the President of Tajikistan has banned the youth of his country from paying in mosques or churches. The move comes as a part of the Parental responsibility bill that his regime has introduced.

According to him, the bill is needed to stop the spread of religious fundamentalism in his country of 7.5 million people, 98 percent of whom are Muslim.

The bill, which has gone on to become a law states that everyone under the age of 18, with the exception of those who are studying at religious schools, are prohibited from worshipping in the country's mosques, churches or other religious sites.

The law also bans girls from wearing jewellery except earrings. Furthermore, it prohibits those who are below the age of 20 from getting tattoos, going to night clubs and watching films or reading material which "disseminates pornography, violence, extremism and terrorism".

Quite expectedly, the law has created an outrage in the Muslim-heavy country. Akbar Turajonzoda, a Muslim theologist was quoted by Reuters as saying, "During the month of Ramadan and just a month before the 20th anniversary of (Tajikistan's) independence, the authorities made a gruesome present to all believers."

He added, "Prior to the adoption of this law, the authorities had already become too distant from their people and their needs, and now they turn this gap into an abyss of estrangement."

A former Opposition leader has also been quoted as saying, "The president must have forgotten that the law of God is superior to the earthly law. This is why I doubt that under fear of fines young people will stop paying respect to Allah by praying."

OneIndia News

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