The Tajikistan government authorities have forcibly had 13,000 men shave their beards and has also closed 60 shops that sold traditional Muslim clothing in 2015. This comes as part of a new approach to fight “foreign” influences in the country according to a report by Al Jazeera.
A lot of people are seeing this as a move to eradicate or reduce radicalism from the country. The Tajikistan police have also reportedly ordered more than 1700 women and girls to stop wearing Muslim hearscarves. It should be noted here that Tajikistan is a Muslim majority country but has a secular government.
Tajikistan’s secular leadership has long sought to prevent radical traditions from neighbouring Afghanistan from contaminating its country, according to Al Jazeera. It has been reported, more than 2,000 Tajiks are fighting in Syria.
Tajikistan parliament has also voted to ban Arabic-sounding names from the country. They have also stopped marriages between first cousins, something that is common in Islamic families. President Emomali Rahmon, who has taken initiatives to promote secularism, is expected to approve the legislation. Radio Liberty reported, Rahmon has also discouraged practises and beliefs he feels is a “threat to stability of Tajikistan”.
The supreme court of Tajikistan has banned the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan – the country’s only registered Islamic political party in September 2015. Tajikistan government has been blaming the party of spreading radical Islam.
Rahmon, who has ruled since 1994 is expected to end his current presidential term in 2020. In December 2015, the parliament granted the president and his family “life-long immunity from prosecution” and gave Rahmon the title “Leader of the nation”.