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Former Kazakh Official Says Salafis May Face Problems In Kazakhstan

Alnur Musaev

Alnur Musaev

PRAGUE -- Former Kazakh National Security Committee (KNB) chief Alnur Musaev says that Salafi Muslims face the threat of harassment and persecution in Kazakhstan.

Musaev, who is currently in self-imposed exile in Europe, told RFE/RL's Kazakh Service that any religious groups -- especially those associated with a strict following of Islam like Salafis -- are under constant pressure in Kazakhstan.

He said Kazakhstan's policy regarding religious movements and groups is traditionally very oppressive.

More than 200 Kazakh citizens who are Salafi Muslims might soon be deported from the Czech Republic to Kazakhstan.

Czech authorities refuse to consider them political refugees, saying that they will not face any problems in their homeland.

Salafis refuse to recognize other branches of Islam.

Salafism was banned in Tajikistan in January.