Kyrgyzstan’s provisional leaders initially courted public support by taking steps to reverse many of the previous regime’s policies. But as they have settled in to power, provisional leaders have started to emulate former president Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s tendency to blame Islamic radicals for the country’s security woes. As a result, a significant number of mainstream believers in Kyrgyzstan remain wary of the government.
Many observant Muslims in Bishkek are now worrying about a rise in repression following a November 30 bomb blast in Bishkek, and a shootout in the southern city of Osh the previous day. Security officials were quick to blame Islamic militants for the two incidents.
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