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Regulating religion in Post-Soviet Central Asia: Some remarks on Religious Association Law and 'official' Islamic institutions in Tajikistan

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Although Tajikistan is a participating state of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and has acceded to the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), religious associations are under increasingly scrutiny limiting the freedom of conscience. Tajikistan's government follows a similar policy as her Central Asian neighbors Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. While a restrictive and contradictory religious association law limits the public space for religious associations, the government successively strengthens 'official' Islamic institutions and therefore directly interferes in internal religious affairs. Considering the diversity of Islamic beliefs in and practices in Central Asia and Tajikistan in particular, this policy could generate further friction among religious communities.


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