04/14/2021, 11.41
TAJIKISTAN
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Dushanbe, President Rakhmon advises farmers against Ramadan fasting

by Vladimir Rozanskij

Due to frosts, many agricultural productions were destroyed in March. For onions, beans and corn, extraordinary work rates are needed. According to Islamic leaders, Rakhmon "finds new excuses every year". Trial and convictions for "terrorism" of 119 members close to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - Throughout Central Asia, Islamic clergy yesterday declared the beginning of Ramadan (Ramazon in the Tajik language). The path of purification also includes the practice of fasting from dawn to dusk.

President Emomali Rakhmon, addressed his best wishes to citizens of the Muslim faith (see photo), with a special invitation for farmers and those who work in the fields, urging them to focus on work, for an abundant harvest and to avoid all forms of fasting.

This year, Ramadan falls precisely in the harvest season. In March, a series of frosts caused the onion sprouts to die, and they had to be planted again, along with the beans and corn. For this reason, extraordinary rhythms of work are required, which will occupy the entire period of Ramadan.

The owner of a farm in the Hisor district, Amina Junisova, tells currentime.tv: “We have decided to change the working hours: instead of starting at 8, we will start at 6 in the morning until 10, then we rest and work from 5 to 10 in the evening ". A further difficulty is the unexpected peak in temperatures, which have already exceeded 24 degrees with a tendency to rise, especially in the open field.

Presidential invitations usually do not allow for hesitation, but Muslims do not intend to give up the holy fast. Rakhmon assures that the indication does not violate the canons of Islam, and cites the opinion of the religious hierarchy: "According to the Ulema, the Shariah and the theologians of sacred Islam, fasting prevents the work of people employed in harsh conditions, or in the branches heavy industry and manufacturing related to the provision of food safety. So these citizens can refrain from fasting, and observe it in another more appropriate period”, declared the president in his official wish.

Representatives of Islam in neighbouring countries disagreed with Rakhmon’s interpretation, noting that abstention from fasting can only be permitted in the case of serious illness. In reality, the Tajik president repeats these warnings every year, with more or less final tones, "and every year he finds new excuses ... religious freedom in Tajikistan gives us hope for something better", says Nafigullah Ashyrov, head of the Muslim Religious Administration of the Asian part of Russia.

Ramadan is not the only "Islamic" headache for Rakhmon. On April 9, the Supreme Court of Dushanbe sentenced 119 people for terrorism, considering them exponents of the "Muslim Brotherhood", as reported by Asia-Pljus. Almost all of them received a sentence of between 5 and 25 years, only two were fined. An Egyptian citizen, Muhammad Baiumi, who taught at the national university of Tajikistan, was sentenced to the longest term and was recognized as the leader of the group.

Another Egyptian teacher from the same university received a 7-year term, while Mullah Ismoil Kakkhorov will have to serve 15 years. Almost all the other defendants - university students, high school teachers, civil servants - received five years' sentences. All the condemned were accused of financially supporting terrorist actions and propaganda, justifying terrorism even in the lessons. The accusations go as far as the "attempt to violently overthrow the established power in order to establish an Islamic state".

 

The trial, which began in July 2020, took place behind closed doors, with no access for the press. A journalist who was among the accused, Daler Sharifov, received heavy fines for articles in which he spoke out in favor of the ideology of the "Muslim Brotherhood", an organization banned in Tajikistan since 2006.

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