Kyrgyz authorities are bolstering their efforts to counter the growing influence of the extremist Islamic movement Hizb ut-Tahrir, khabar.kz reported on 22 April. First Deputy Prime Minister Kurmanbek Osmonov addressed a meeting of the Osh Oblast administration that day, focusing on the allegedly illegal nature of Hizb ut-Tahrir's activities. The head of the Spiritual Board of Kyrgyz Muslims, Murataly Djumanov, and State Commission for Religious Affairs Chairman Omurzak Mamayusupov also addressed the meeting and appealed to the clergy and the population at large to resist extremist tendencies. Mamayusupov was quoted as emphasizing the need to modernize Islam and called for foreign languages and the Internet to be taught at religious schools along with the Koran. Osmonov told the oblast justice department to work with official religious structures to clarify the registration of religious organizations, and the education department was instructed to begin ethics lessons in schools to teach the moral values of Islam. He also called on the media to disseminate information on religious topics -- particularly on traditional Islam -- and instructed the border and customs services to better control cross-border movement of citizens of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
Eurasianet, April 23, 2003