Mirziyoyev's reforms to regulate religion and sport
by Vladimir Rozanskij

 A law on freedom of conscience and religious associations is in the process of being approved.  The goal is to preserve local Islamic traditions.  From August 1st there will be “sporting checks” of the population Tax concessions and cash prizes for the participants.


Moscow (AsiaNews) - Religion and sport are at the center of the reforms desired by Uzbek President Šavkat Mirziyoyev.  Tomorrow the Parliament of Tashkent meets in plenary session to discuss a series of measures, including a law on freedom of conscience and religious associations.

Much stricter procedures for the registration of religious communities are expected to come into force.  The aim is above all to preserve local Islamic traditions, and to combat all forms of extremism and proselytism to the detriment of the country's national creed and cultural institutions.  The new law will introduce several changes to the one approved in 1998, similar to the Russian one of the previous year, which established the principle of "traditional religions" being superior to all others.  In Russia this provision favors Orthodoxy: in Uzbekistan Islam, leaving ample freedom to the Orthodox themselves.

One of the most discussed points in Uzbekistan concerns the "religious vestments" that are permitted, compared to those that are forbidden.  Also in this case Muslim vestments are preferred;  however, the issue has never been fully clarified, with a series of controversial cases and convictions for male and female garments considered more or less "religious".

Currentime.tv website also announced that the country's central authorities have decided to introduce "sports checks" of the population from 1 August.  The purpose of the initiative is to promote the ideal of "a healthy lifestyle" .  The winners of the tests will obtain various tax privileges and free tickets for holidays to the "health camps" and sanatoriums of Uzbekistan.

The "state trials" will affect all citizens aged seven to 70 and over;  participation is on a voluntary basis and divided by age categories.  The tests will be organized into 15 different types of sporting activities, such as short and long distance running, swimming and gymnastics such as bars and rings, as well as shot put, discus and javelin throwing.  All participants, regardless of the result, will be rewarded with a special sign of recognition to be pinned to the chest.

The tests will give access to military service, to which it will be possible to be admitted as a priority within one year of evaluation.  This also includes admission to the prestigious "Temurbeklar maktabi" military-academic high school without going through the competitions.  You will be able to have free medical examinations, use public transport for free, send your children to summer camps and take holidays during working periods.

Pending the start of the "sporting period", the test platforms will be developed, to be proposed in a single electronic database in which all the participants will be registered.  There is also a special system for monitoring the body mass of all state officials, who will also be entered in competitions.

All these measures are part of a project launched in November 2020 by the Uzbek Ministry of Health, approved by Mirziyoyev.  Favorite sports in general are running, soccer, cycling, badminton and streetball.  The state also plans to award cash prizes for all those who reach 10 thousand steps a day.  Those who cover the greatest distances will be paid a certain sum on an electronic wallet: 30 euros for those who walk in the city, 50 for regional routes and 100 for national ones.  The factories were recommended to organize regular physical exercises for their employees.