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9-02-2015, 12:23

11 members of Salafi group arrested in nothern Tajikistan


Avesta.Tj | 09.02.2015 | Eleven adherents of the banned Salafi religious movement have been arrested in Khujand, the capital of Sughd province, the Interior Ministry's office for Sughd said on Monday.

Eleven members of Salafi group are the residents of Khujand and B. Gafurov district.

The group was led by Shuhrat Kuziboev in Khujand and B. Gafurov district its leader was Umed Hojiev, the resident of Ispisor.

Criminal proceedings have been instituted, an investigation is under way.

Tajikistan’s Supreme Court on Jan. 8, 2009 added Salafis to its list of extremist religious groups prohibited from operating in the country.

Tajik authorities are worried the movement will gain traction as it focuses its efforts on the country’s younger generations. Most of the movement's local leaders are themselves in their 20s and early 30s, and came to Tajikistan after graduating from Islamic schools in Pakistan or Arab countries.

Salafis advocate a pure form of Islam that is said to be similar to that practiced by the earliest generations of Muslims starting with the Prophet Muhammad (Salaf means "ancestors” or "early generations” in Arabic).

Salafis renounce innovations, alterations, and additions that were added in succeeding centuries to their "pure” form of Islam. Salafis do not recognize other branches of the religion, particularly Shi'ism and Sufism. The Salafis' rejection of Sufism has caused resentment among many Tajiks because Sufism has strong roots in Tajikistan.