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As Tajikistan Limits Islam, Does It Risk Destabilization?

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Nabijon spends nearly 10 hours a day inside his one-room barbershop in a dusty backstreet in Khujand, Tajikistan's second-largest city.
 
He has no shortage of customers.
 
"Business has never been this good," says the third-generation barber, who politely declines to give his full name.
 
"Before, people would mostly come for a haircut. Now many customers come to trim their beard," he says. "You don't see long, bushy beards on the streets anymore."
 
Seeing the rise of Islamic State and other extremist groups in recent years, Tajik authorities have done their best to eliminate outward displays of what they see as dangerous, imported aspects of Islam in recent years.
 
This has put women who dress in nontraditional Islamic clothing -- or men with long, bushy beards -- in the spotlight.
 
Men have been detained on the street and forcibly shaved at police stations. And when President Emomali Rahmon used a Women's Day speech in March to publicly chastise those who wear "foreign" dress, saying that outsiders were using clothing to develop an "extremist" trend in Tajikistan, it was taken as a warning.

To read the full story

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

As Tajikistan Limits Islam, Does It Risk Destabilization?

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