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Five Of Six Legally-Run Tajik Madrasahs Suspended

Tajik authorities have suspended the operation of five of the country's six legally-run madrasahs.

Abdulkhakim Sharipov, the chief of the Department for Religious Issues with the Sughd provincial administration, told RFE/RL on July 12 that the decision was made by the government's Religions Committee.

Sharipov added that the Islamic religious schools were temporarily closed because they need to obtain Education Ministry permission for their activities.

He explained that the madrasahs have been reluctant to obtain the documents after they were re-registered in 2010.

All five suspended madrasahs are located in the northern province of Sughd on the Tajik side of the volatile Ferghana Valley.

The valley, which is shared with neighboring Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, is known for its deep Islamic roots and traditions.

Many alleged Islamic extremists and members of banned Islamic groups have been detained in the area.

Last week, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon publicly expressed concerns over what he called growing religious extremism in the country.

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