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Kazakh Authorities Suspend Islamic University

(RFE/RL) SHYMKENT, October 10, 2006 -- Authorities in southern Kazakhstan have temporarily closed the Al-Karim Islamic University in the city of Shymkent.

A Shymkent prosecutor, Yerkinbek Kozybakov, told the Kazakhstan Today news agency today that the decision was made after it appeared that the university has no license to issue educational diplomas.

Kozybakov said an administrative court fined its rector some 30,000 tenges ($235) and ordered the university to return another 570,000 tenges ($4,500) to the state budget.

Al-Karim was set up in 1999, first as a simple madrasah, or Koranic school, then as an Islamic institute. It became a university in January of last year.

The university prepares specialists in Islam, Islamic jurisprudence, Kazakh history, and Arabic culture.

(Kazakhstan Today, Interfax-Kazakhstan)

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