Former Communists Continue To Oppress Muslims
The Muslim Turkic republics that began to gain their independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union soon found themselves up against Russian expansionism. During the above-mentioned period, Russia was still being run by people from communist times who retained the same old mentality, and the country continued to regard Central Asia as its own "back yard." In order to supposedly "tidy" that back yard up, it elected to form alliances with the circles opposing Islam.
Following Azerbaijan, Dagestan, Chechnya and , another country where tensions have been experienced is Uzbekistan.
Important positions and bodies in the Uzbek state are known to be occupied by atheist Zionists and atheist masons. These circles that have installed themselves inside the Uzbek administration are trying to influence Mr. Kerimov with various tricks and strategems.
Pressure on Muslims in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan has been struggling with domestic problems for years. The country's economy is in a serious recession and the public are facing grave shortages. The Kerimov administration, which refuses to allow even the most moderate opposition breathing space, is following the path of increasing these problems instead of settling them.48
If Islam Kerimov follows a moderate policy of allowing differing opinions to be expressed in the country, there is no doubt that this will be right road, not only for the Uzbek people but also for his own rule. Yet he has preferred to go for harsh measures. The country's prisons currently hold more than 50,000 people as a result of his oppressive policies. After bombs exploded in city centers, the Uzbek administration had thousands of people arrested nationwide, identified everyone with religious sympathies as a terrorist, and established an administration that completely ignores human rights and freedoms. Yet this policy of oppression actually encouraged fighting instead of preventing it, and ended up strengthening the opposition. In order for Uzbekistan to enjoy peace and stability, it is essential for dialogue to be established between the Kerimov administration and the opposition, and for the opposition to pursue a moderate policy to that end.
Communist Mentality Uneasy Over the Islamic Revival in Central Asia
The religious re-awakening that began in the Turkic states in the 1980s alarmed the Kremlin. The Mikhail Gorbachev administration in particular was greatly concerned at the growth in religious feeling. That was something frequently reflected in the newspapers of the time, and all the measures to be taken by the Kremlin were set out. According to the Uzbek daily Pravda Vostoka, in a speech Gorbachev gave to local party officials he called for a "firm and uncompromising struggle against religious phenomena." Then he said, "We must be strict above all with Communist and senior officials, particularly those who say they defend our morality and ideals but in fact help promote backward views and themselves take part in religious ceremonies."49
On Gorbachev's firm stand against faith, Time reports:
Indeed, it is rare for a Soviet General Secretary to attack religion so directly;that is usually left to underlings. Beyond that, the critique suggested that Kremlin is concerned that the state's struggle against religion has not been going well. Finally, the fact that Gorbachev chose Tashkent as the place to attack religion indicated that the Soviet leadership is specifically fearful about the currents ...sweeping the Islamic world, which might eventually infect the fast-growing Muslim nationalities of Soviet Central Asia.
[Since 1918], the regime has placed rigid limits upon churches, synagogues and mosques and waged a campaign of oppression against believers. The training of religious leaders is tightly restricted, and religious education of children under the age of 18 is illegal. At the same time, all schoolchildren are indoctrinated in atheism.
Islam has become a special problem, and a special concern. Soviet Muslims are concentrated in the U.S.S.R.'s strategic southern border regions and maintain ties with Islamic people in neighbouring countries... There are no reliable statistics on how many Soviet Muslims practice their faith. But a political report adopted last year by the 16th Congress of the Kazakhstan Communist Party noted that Islam is "still strong and growing."
...[I]nformal gatherings suggest that the number of believers far exceeds the capacity of the country's 300 to 500 legally registered mosques (there were 24,000 before the Communist takeover).50
The significance of the way that Islamic republics in Central Asia gained their independence one after another following the dissolution of the USSR was understood by Israel before most other nations. The Jewish state realized that this development carried with it an important strategic significance, and believed that the emergence of a powerful Islamic union would not be in its interests. For that reason, Israel's presence in the region has been growing rapidly since the beginning of the 1990s. Israeli leaders carried out visits to the republics in question, especially Uzbekistan, and some of those countries' leaders went to show off in Israel. Israel drew close to those republics, and presented itself as a friend by such means as "agricultural cooperation," "military training" and "technological assistance." Uzbekistan's Karimov administration has always been close to Russia and Israel. In league with those two powers, it began a violent anti-Islamic campaign which in recent years has picked up speed. The above news reports demonstrate the truth of that deep relationship..
One out of every 500 people of the 25 million population of Uzbekistan is in prison for religious devotion.
Who could do greater wrong than someone who bars access to the mosques of Allah, preventing His name from being remembered in them, and goes about destroying them? Such people will never be able to enter them – except in fear. They will have disgrace in the world and in the hereafter they will have a terrible punishment. (Surat al-Baqara: 114)
Sadly, this mentality, left over from the Soviet period, is still influential, both in one section of the Russian bureaucracy and in some bodies in the Turkic Republics. Tension is developing between devout sections of society and central authority. The fact that one out of every 500 people in Uzbekistan is in prison because of his religious identity is one of the most striking examples of this.
The tension in Uzbekistan is rising every day, showing that unless a moderate policy is adopted, the disorder will continue for a long time yet. When we consider such phenomena as terror, water shortages, internal , economic difficulties, extra legalities and violations of human rights as a whole, it is clear the situation can only be put right by radical changes. At the head of this radical change come giving the opposition in the country the right of free expression, putting an end to political detentions and imprisonment, and lowering the tension in an atmosphere of mutual understanding.
Heading these deep-rooted changes in the country the opposition in the country being given the freedom to express itself, an end to political detentions and convictions and a lowering of tensions in a spirit of mutual understanding.
The most important way for Uzbekistan, which was crushed for years beneath the oppression and ruthlessness of the communist regime, to achieve wealth, enlightenment and development, is for it to take its place under the umbrella of the Turkish-Islamic Union. The Turkish-Islamic Union is not an idea that Uzbekistan needs to be wary of or imprison its advocates and repress moves made in that blessed direction. It is entirely inappropriate and unnecessary for the Uzbek administration to be concerned by the idea of the Turkish-Islamic Union. Turkishness and Islamic moral values are the soul of the Uzbek people. Almost all the Uzbek people want the Turkish-Islamic Union and support it with all their hearts. It is obvious that the establishment of that union will be in the interests of the Uzbek state. The loving and democratic nature of the Turkish-Islamic Union is a great blessing for an Uzbekistan that wants well-being, peace and security. The efforts to distance Uzbekistan from the union, even though it will clearly bring enlightenment, wealth, development and strength to the country, are obviously a ruse.
The Cause of the Oppression: The Move away from Islamic Values in the Administration
Where religious morality is absent, there can be no safety or peace. In a society where empty communist and materialist ideologies are propagated rather than the blessings of religion, the end result can only be collapse, as we have seen from past examples. That is because in an environment lacking religious morality, rulers prefer their own private interests, advantage, selfishness and an oppressive regime over justice, peace and a philosophy of mutual aid. In the Qur'an Allah reveals the danger represented by people following such a misguided path:
Whenever he holds the upperhand, he goes about the earth corrupting it, destroying (people's) crops and animals. Allah does not love corruption. (Surat al-Baqara: 205)
As we have seen, such people as mentioned in the above verse will continue to exist so long as Allah's book is not put into practice. Whereas a country run by people who fear Allah will see cooperation, justice, and great mutual assistance. No one will be permitted to perpetrate injustice against another, everyone's needs will be met, and new services and solutions will spring forth. Every possibility will be mobilized for the peace and well-being of the people. People living in accordance with Islamic morality will provide all kinds of service with no expectation of any worldly reward, but for the good pleasure of Allah and the rewards in the hereafter.
The very best example of this is the messengers that Allah has sent down to mankind throughout history. Allah reveals in His verses how those messengers reminded his people to worship Allah and live according to religion:
My people! I do not ask you for any wage for it. My wage is the responsibility of Him who brought me into being. So will you not use your intellect? (Surah Hud: 51)
48- Yeni Binyıl (Turkish Newspaper), 1 September 2000
49- Richard N. Ostling, "Taking a Firm Stand Against Faith," Time, January 12, 1987. (emphasis added)
50- Richard N. Ostling, "Taking a Firm Stand Against Faith," Time, January 12, 1987. (emphasis added)