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Tajikistan: 10 Muslim Clerics Banned From Preaching


Dushanbe, 2 August 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Ten Muslim clerics in Tajikistan's northern Isfara district have been banned from service for activities incompatible with their status. The head of Tajikistan's Religious Affairs Council, Said Akhmedov, said the clerics involved were members of the Islamic Renaissance Party and their preaching in mosques is therefore a violation of the constitutional prohibition against clergy participating in politics.

Tajik authorities have targeted Isfara since President Imomali Rakhmonov visited the district last month and noted there are more than 50 mosques, dozens of mullahs, and not enough schools in the small district. He also said two of the prisoners captured in Afghanistan and held by the United States at the Guantanamo base in Cuba are Tajik citizens from Isfara.

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