Hizb-ut-Tahrir remains Kyrgyzstan's main problem, the chairman of the State Committee for Religious Matters under the Kyrgyz government, Omurzak Mamayusupov, told today.
He said the number of supporters of the Islamic party among the socially vulnerable people was increasing, and this process would continue.
"According to the media, the number of members of Hizb-ut-Tahrir amounts from 3,000 to 5,000 [in Kyrgyzstan]. We also agree with these figures," he said. Commenting on the legal status of Hizb-ut-Tahrir in most countries of the West, Mamayusupov said that Kyrgyzstan was not a Western country, although the State Committee does not deny that freedom of religion is a Western concept.
"Hizb-ut-Tahrir is not a religion at all. It does not belong to the Sunni branch of Islam," he said. However, he confirmed that Shiites, who are not Sunnis either, were acting in Kyrgyzstan legally and not being persecuted. Mamayusupov also said that the State Committee did not know precisely who was funding Hizb-ut-Tahrir, although the relevant agencies know these sources. We recall that the Hizb-ut-Tahrir party, which is based in London, is banned in most countries in the Middle East and Central Asia. It was banned in Germany in early 2003.
Currently the party is active in the Fergana Valley [eastern Uzbekistan]. It is propagating the idea of setting up an Islamic caliphate peacefully.
akipress.org, October 09, 2003