Monday, May 12, 2014

Imams as Part-Timers

In recent years, Tajikistan has taken a number of steps to diminish the role of Islam in society and bring religion under state control.  In the latest, the government wants religious leaders to get secular jobs:
The northern Sughd Province is expected to serve as the testing ground for a new effort to expand madrasah curriculums well beyond religious education.
The goal is to produce multi-skilled mullahs, ones who will not only depend on their followers or state funding to make a living...
"The main point is that mullahs should get regular jobs," Sharifov told journalists last week.
"Around 500 young people graduate from Sughd madrasahs every year. Most of them hope to become mullahs and mosque imams, and they expect people take care of them [financially.] The government can't accept this. Everyone has to have a profession, a job as a source of living," Sharifov said...
With the exception of the capital, Dushanbe, madrasahs throughout the country were shut down last year. The reason provided by the state committee for religious affairs was that the religious schools lacked proper teaching programs and specialists.
In other words, the Tajik government no longer sees religious leader as a real profession.



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