At his meeting with Kazakhstan’s Spiritual Board of the Muslims on April 19, Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev spoke about measures to regulate religious relations on the part of the state, reported timesca.com by the president’s press service.
Nazarbayev emphasised the need to counteract destructive religious teachings.
“Everyone knows that Kazakhstan has a large territory and natural resources. There are those who look at all that with envy. First of all, they are those who wish us harm and try to cause disagreements in the society. One way to influence us from outside is introducing alien religious teachings for our people. This trend has been observed recently. We must fight against manifestations that are dangerous for our statehood. In this regard, you face big challenges,” the president addressed Kazakhstan’s imams.
Nazarbayev underlined the traditional character of the Hanafi madhhab for Kazakhstan’s Muslims and made a point of the need to train specialists who have skills to explain the basics of this trend of Islam.
“Only an educated imam can correctly instruct. He must have knowledge of his religion, he needs to study other religions’ characteristics, as well as have other knowledge. Imams must become ideologists with skills of oratorical art and knowledge in human psychology,” the head of state said.
Nazarbayev drew particular attention to the manifestations of the younger generation’s religious ignorance.
“As a result of ignorance, our young people grow beards and cut their pants. The number of Kazakh girls is increasing who completely cover themselves with black clothes. That does not correspond to our traditions or our people. It is necessary to work out the issue of banning that at the legislative level. Kazakh people wear black clothes during mourning time,” the president said.
He recalled the Kazakh culture and history and traditional clothing of the Kazakh women, emphasising the absence of any connection between black attire and religion.
“If young people follow instructions alien to our people, what will happen to the country? We are not allowed to do that. Independent Kazakhstan should have a bright future, the nation must be united, and the country should be secular and develop further. We will not tolerate those who oppose our goal. These are not only the interests of the government; they are the interests of the entire people of Kazakhstan, and its future,” Nazarbayev said.
Social networks immediately reacted to Nazarbayev’s proposals, but not with approval or condemnation, but with the assumption that the authorities are likely to subject people wearing Muslim clothes to persecution. A similar situation has already been observed in 2011, when in Kazakhstan prayer rooms, that could be found even in state institutions, were prohibited at the legislative level everywhere.