In mid-February, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan, Sirojiddin Muhriddin, said that the country had begun the work on returning its citizens from Syria and Iraq. In recent years, nearly two thousand people departed for there. However, the situation in the country is uneven: in some districts, a large number of people join the ranks of extremists, and in other districts, there is not a single person who has departed.
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На русском Тоҷикӣ In the city of Isfara in the north of Tajikistan, there are 12 jamoats: Vorukh, Kulkand, Lakkon, Navgilem, Nefteobod, Nurafshon, Surkh, Khonaobod, Chilgazi, Chorkuh, Shahrak and Shurab. Most of the locals are religious people. Last fall, Mansurjon Umarov, the deputy head of the State Committee for National Security of Tajikistan, reported in Parliament that during the last years, 1 899 Tajik people left for the war in Iraq and Syria. These figures include 111 Isfara residents. According to Sururiddin Ziyovaddinzoda, head of Isfara hukumat, 70% of Isfara residents who joined the IS (terrorist and extremist organization banned in the Republic of Tajikistan – ed.) are residents of the Shahrak village jamoat, and 30% are from Navgilem and Nefteobod. Some believe that the lack of both religious and secular education is the reason for such statistics. According to Nodira Avezova, one of the leaders of Chorkuh jamoat, those who do not know Islam and Sharia become extremists: – They [who left for Iraq and Syria] cannot even read books and namaz; therefore, other people influence them. Most of them say that they committed those acts because of misunderstanding. There even was a time when women did not show up outside, only four or five women were working. Now such behavior is rare. However, those who have become extremists cannot answer any simple question about Islam. Three large and 22 five-day mosques function in Chorkuh jamoat. According to imam-khatib Orifjon Habibulloev, about 6 thousand worshippers gather there during the Friday prayer:
This article was prepared under IWPR project “Stability in Central Asia via Open Dialogue”.