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Uzbekistan: Imams Urge Worshippers to Pick Cotton

There is no area of public life in Uzbekistan that can remain untouched by cotton.

With the end of September approaching, the harvesting season is in full swing and all available hands are being enlisted to the cause: teachers, students, doctors, scientists and conscripts.

And on Friday, imams all across the country used prayer day sermons to urge parishioners to go out into the fields as well. The imam at a mosque in the Kashakadarya region, Bobohon Abdurahimov, said the Muslim Board of Uzbekistan distributed specific instructions on appeals to get the faithful to participate in the gathering of raw cotton.

“We explain to the faithful … that the gathering of cotton is a major state-level concern. Cotton is our national pride, that is why need an all-nation khashar (voluntary collective works drive) — a joint effort for the good of society. Muslims will please God if they help the state and farmers,” Abdurahimov told EurasiaNet.org.

At the largest mosques in Tashkent, worshippers can contribute to the harvest by providing donations, which are then used to provide for some of the cotton-pickers’ needs.

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Uzbekistan: Imams Urge Worshippers to Pick Cotton

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