Monday, May 07, 2012 -
A top Tajik official said on Friday that the country aims to fight against terrorism and extremism by countering their arguments with Islamic principles.
Tajikistan’s Interior Minister Ramadan Rakhimov made this statement during Friday’s meeting between EU officials and Tajik government delegates, the Avesta.tj news agency reported.
“In the fight against terrorism and extremism, we believe the effective use of the religion itself,” Rakhimov said. “Therefore, it is important to distinguish between traditional Islam and the principles which form the basis of religious extremism, as the essence of Islam is peaceful.”
He emphasized that the Tajik government is working diligently to cut down on terror groups.
“In recent years, we have strengthened the fight against terrorism, and during the operation more than 100 militants were killed and arrested,” he said. “In the last three years, we have exposed and prosecuted 14 organized criminal groups.”
Tajikistan’s Supreme Court has outlawed several groups – including the militant Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) – from operating in the country. Last week, it added another group to the mix: Jamaat Ansarullah (Community of the Helpers of Allah), which was responsible for a suicide attack on a northern Tajik police station, killing three.
However, international rights groups have chided Tajik authorities for their overzealous crackdown on religious groups, saying it was cutting into the freedom of individuals to practice their religion.