Uzbekistan: Imam Proposes Death Penalty for Radical Muslims
A prominent imam in Uzbekistan has caused a stink by taking to social media to propose restoring the death penalty for supporters of the Islamic State militant group and the banned Islamist political party Hizb ut-Tahrir.
“We should reserve punishments for them like the ones they have in Islamic states,” Shermurov Togai, a well-known imam in Tashkent, said in a Facebook status update that has since been deleted. “We cannot spare the enemies of our religion and people who are hampering our freedom. They have become accustomed to free accommodation in prison, with free food and all the services for free.”
The tenor of the remarks reflects a marginally increased tolerance for outspoken views in Uzbekistan that has been ushered in under the rule of President Shavkay Mirziyoyev. Back in the days of the late president, Islam Karimov, religious figures like Togai typically avoided making public pronouncements of sensitive issues and spoke only to support the leader’s policies.
Togai said that he was motivated in his remarks by a desire to see peace and stability prevail in Uzbekistan.
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