CRA representatives indignant at Iran’s decision to invite Kabiri to the Islamic unity conference

29/12/2015 10:19
Asia-Plus
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DUSHANBE, December 29, 2015, Asia-Plus – Representatives of the Committee on Religious Affairs (CRA) under the Government of Tajikistan are indignant at Iran’s decision to invite Muhiddin Kabiri, the leader of the banned Islamic Revival Party (IRP), to the International Islamic Unity Conference that kicked off in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on December 27.

This is noted in a statement released by Abdughaffor Yusupov, the head of the CRA analysis and religious expertise department.

According to him, Sulaymon Davlatzoda, the head of the CRA, Fayzullo Barotzoda, the director of the Center for Islamic Studies, and Tajik grand mufti Saidmukarram Abduqodirzoda are representing Tajikistan at the conference.

Participation of the leader of the terrorist Islamic Revival Party has caused concern of the Committee on Religious, Yusupov noted.  “The Islamic Revival Party was declared to be an illegal terrorist group,” says Yusupov statement, “Knowing this, why did the Iranian side invite the leader of this party, who is currently internationally wanted at the request of Tajikistan, to its conference?”  

According to Iranian media outlets, over 300 Muslim figures and scholars from 70 countries are participating in the 29th edition of the International Islamic Unity Conference that is concluding today.  The theme of this year’s conference is “Muslim World’s Current Crises.”  There are 12 specialized sections discussing different themes including Muslim world’s conditions today, resistance movement scholars, women and family, youths, academics, sciences and technology, etc.

Tajikistan’s Supreme Court has banned the Islamic Revival Party as terrorist group on the basis of a suit filed by the Prosecutor-General’s Office.  The Supreme Court ruled that the IRP should be included on a blacklist of extremist and terrorist organizations.

The September 29 verdict forces the closure of the IRP's official newspaper Najot (Salvation) and bans the distribution of any video, audio, or printed materials related to the party's activities.

Founded in October 1990, the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan is the only Islamic party officially registered in former Soviet Central Asia.  The IRP was registered on December 4, 1991.  It was banned by the Supreme Court in June 1993 and legalized in August 1999.  According to some sources, the IRP now has some 40,000 members.

Since 1999, the party has reportedly been the second-largest party in Tajikistan after the ruling People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan.

In the 2005 and 2010 parliamentary elections, the IRP won two out of 63 seats in the parliament, but the party suffered a crushing defeat in Tajikistan's March 1 vote, failing to clear the 5 percent threshold needed to win parliament seats.

Imams at several mosques across Tajikistan in March urged Muslims to support the closure of the Islamic Revival Party, calling for a referendum to dissolve the party.  A letter distributed to imams before Friday Prayers on March 27 said that dissolving the party would help Tajikistan “avoid the fate of other nations where Islamic extremists are disrupting peace and order.”  The letter is believed to have been circulated by a state-backed Islamic center that often sends imams recommended texts for sermons.

IRP leader Muhiddin Kabiri went into exile in June fearing prosecution.  In early June the state-run newspaper Jumhuriyat published an article accusing IRP leader, who was out of the country at the time, of breaking the law during a property transaction 16 years ago.

Tajik authorities have linked mutinous general Abduhalim Nazarzoda to the IRP.  They said Nazarzoda, who was killed in a special security operation in the Romit Gorge on September 16, was allegedly linked to the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan.

The authorities have arrested 23 leading members of the IRPT, alleging their direct involvement into the mutiny's masterminding.

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