Mahkamov O. Uzbekistan does not allow the international terrorism to threaten stability and security in the country


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Uzbekistan does not allow the international terrorism to threaten stability and security in the country


Mahkamov O.

Lecturer of the Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs

 

During the years of Independence, the political system of the Republic of Uzbekistan has drastically changed. In spite of evident successes, we cannot be satisfied with what we have done. We have just started to lay the foundation of our new house.

A solid legal foundation of our state has been formed and the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, which meets all the requirements of democracy, has been adopted. The system of the legislative power has been set up and for the first time in the history of Uzbekistan the parliament of Uzbekistan - Oliy Majlis has been elected on the multiparty basis. A number of laws have been adopted, and on its basis the constitutional principle of separation of powers has been realized which resulted in the establishment of executive and judicial branches of power.

Thanks to the flexible, open and dynamic scheme of political reforms in Uzbekistan, a civil and national consensus has been reached in appraisal of the past. Thus, all the necessary conditions for political reformation of the society have been established.

Geographically situated in the very heartland of Asia, the Republic of Uzbekistan is increasingly the object of attention by the international community. With its industrial, scientific, technical, and intellectual capabilities, abundant natural resources, and legal changes underway in this country, Uzbekistan attracts not only political figures, businesspersons, and scholars, but also ordinary people who come from all over the world as their interest develops in the history and modern life of the Uzbek nation.1

The history of state of Uzbek people covers 3000 years. In the period of the historical development, these states had various names covering different stages.

At particular stages, these states were organized, prospered and for some reasons destroyed. Uzbekistan, having a history of 3000 years and the experience of spiritual and economic heritage, traditions of generations, embodies the best practices of various countries as well as it puts the first step on the way to the, democracy.

The end of the last century was a period of astonishing scientific inventions, the age of man's penetration into the mysteries of the universe, the years of information and amazing technical opportunities and became, even though it sounds paradoxical, a period of renaissance for religious values, a period of returning to quiet, peaceful spiritual life.

Islam, one of the major world religions, is not exception to this global trend. On the contrary, events that have taken place in recent decades both in the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds have given us grounds to start talking about a so-called Islamic boom in the world community.

Numerous politicians, scholars and journalists tried to offer their understanding of the reasons for this phenomenon at the end of the twentieth century, a phenomenon that received various names like "Islamic renaissance", "re-islamization", "phenomenon of Islam" and others. Without debating these concepts, it is necessary to focus attention on the events associated with the rebirth of Islamic values, which are very diversified, many-sided, sometimes controversial and even contradictory.

It is obvious that the great interest of world public opinion in these processes is accompanied by an evident feeling of alertness, and even caution, with regard to such excessive manifestations as religious extremism and fundamentalism. Unfortunately, modern history has accumulated many facts to testify that these extremely radical manifestations give rise to serious conflicts and contradictions, and threaten stability and security. That is why humanity is scared. Such manifestations provoke in us grave anxiety from the point of view of the need to strengthen Uzbekistan's sovereignty and to ensure its security.

What is more, religion (we have grounds to state this using the example of Islam, the religion of our ancestors) strengthens people's faith, purifies and elevates, and makes them stronger in overcoming the trials of human existence; it has also contributed to, and sometimes been the sole means of preserving and transferring, universal and spiritual values from generation to generation. That is why religion is a reliable companion to human beings, and a natural part of human life 2.

There was the crushing of the former system of ideological concepts and values and the need to fill a temporary vacuum.

It is common knowledge that the communist ideology - which lacks spirituality, is fanatical and anti-national in character - contributed greatly to the formation of the prerequisites for religious fundamentalism and traditionalism within post-Soviet space. This spread not only to Islam, but also to Judaism and Christianity, there is Russian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Armenian-Gregorian, Protestant, Lutheran and Baptist.

All these we could witness in Uzbekistan as a sample, where over 100 nationalities and nations, and almost 15 religious confessions are represented.

The ruling communist party of the former USSR regarded the religious confessional communities as their rivals in the struggle for people's minds and throughout its entire history resorted to severe measures aimed at curbing religion, and subordinating its few surviving clergy.

Thousands of Islamic religious devotees were subjected to repression. Thousands of mosques and hundreds of madrasahs, which were buildings of great architectural and historical significance for our people and world civilization, were destroyed. The bulk of believers had no access to the Koran until the mid nineties. Religion was deliberately exploited as a weapon in the ideological struggle.

Today in the Republic, there are 15 confessional communities, some of which are non-traditional for Uzbekistan. The secular state attitude towards them is guided by the following principles:

- respect for the religious feelings of believers;

- recognition that religious convictions are the private practice of Citizens or their communities;

- guarantee of equal rights and prohibition of persecution both of Citizens professing religions and those who do not profess;

- need for dialogue with different religious associations to utilize their possibilities for the promotion of spiritual revival and universal moral values;

- recognition of the inadmissibility of using religion for destructive purposes.

This final principle corresponds to Article 18 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, which upholds the right of every human being to freedom of thought and of faith, and adds that freedom to profess a faith or believe may be limited pursuant to the provisions of the Law to provide social security and safety, public order, health, and to protect the moral and major rights and freedoms of other people.

The above quotation quite clearly separates religion as a part of spirituality and culture from an attempt "to play the religious card" for certain political aims.

We support the idea that religion should accomplish its role in introducing the highest spiritual, moral and ethical values, and in forming a part of the historical and cultural heritage among the population. Moreover, we will never allow religious slogans to be put on the banner in the struggle for power - a pretext for intervention in politics, economy and legislation - because in this we see a serious potential threat to the stability and security of our state.

Now we have the big problems. How is the threat of Islamic fundamentalism manifested in Uzbekistan?

In attempts to disseminate fundamentalism to undermine the confidence of faithful Muslims in the reforming state, and to destroy the stability and national, civic and interethnic harmony that are fundamental pre-conditions of transformations for the better. Islamists are aiming to discredit democracy, the secular state, and a multi-national and multi-confessional society.

In the clear-cut notion that those, particularly our youth, who follow the populist, attractive, but entirely hollow and baseless slogans of the fundamentalists about justice will turn out to be hostages of the will of others, which in the end will direct not only their brains, but also their destiny. The subordination to such authority may result in personal tragedy. The most severe consequences are personal servility, constraint, and slavery of an individual, complete limitation of freedom - with which our movement forward progress is impossible.

In provoking, among social groups and regions of the population, confrontation based on "true" and "false" devotional principles of religiousness. These sorts of activities led to the split of the nation in Algeria and Afghanistan.

In the situation of the civil war on the southern borders of Uzbekistan and in neighboring countries which is reproducing new generations of terrorists, armed militants who consider themselves to be true Muslims, fighters for faith, and those who are eager to impose their monstrous ideas on our people.

In creating a repulsive image of Uzbekistan among both Muslim and non-Muslim states, to whom we are presented either as anti-religious atheists or as hidden supporters of state Islamization.

A global confrontation between Islamic and non-Islamic civilizations has the most negative impact on our integration processes within the world community and preserves the backwardness of the newly independent states. And, what is worse, peoples expectation of civilization clashes is based on religious principles.

In exerting influence on the mass mind, the concept of religion being presented as a universal means to solve all economic, political and international problems and contradictions.

The republic of Uzbekistan is situated in the center of Central Asia. The territory makes 447,4 thousands square kilometers. The population -26 millions people, that confirms it as the most populous country.

After the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001, in the USA there emerged a new geopolitical situation in Central Asia.

Now the international terrorism having rich sources of financing is supplied with modern weapons, communication facilities and its structure is well organized. It has been experienced by Uzbekistan itself. On February 16, 1999 in the center of Tashkent the terrorists prepared and penetrated from the territory of Afghanistan committed several terrorist acts.

After tragic events in the USA, the situation in the world changed. It became obvious that any state in the world, even richest, is not capable to withstand terrorism alone.

It is known, that Afghanistan is the country of narcotic business where 20 heroin-producing factories with extensive poppy-seed plantations operate. More than 90 % of narcotics are delivered to Europe from Afghanistan. The law-enforcement organs of Uzbekistan annually destroy tons of drug products withdrawn from drug-couriers. But in spite of undertaken measures international drug transportation still actively continues, particularly through the borders of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan. We consider that in the struggle against narcotic business, which is the main financial source of international terrorism, the consolidation of interaction of the interested countries' efforts in this field is necessary. In this connection, it is necessary to realize the contract about cooperation between the Police Academy of Germany and the Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Many politics, scientists, journalists tried to give their own understanding of the reasons of the international terrorism at the beginning of XXI century, which has already received the most various names such as "Islamic Renascence", "Re-islamization", "Phenomenon of Islam" etc. It would be desirable without going into discussion of the concepts, to underline the President I. A. Karimov's words in which he noted that the phenomenon occurring under the guide of revival of Islamic values is too various and versatile and sometimes inconsistent and even contradictory.

The lack of the specific literature and skilled clerics in aggregate with economic and social difficulties made it complicated for many people to get to know the present Islam and its difference from Islamic fundamentalism and extremism. Because of that and usual ignorance many people, especially the youth have been got in the network religious extremists.

Unfortunately, the fact that today religious terrorism and fundamentalism are the two most serious social problems not only in our country but also in the whole world is conclusive. In connection with the circumstances appeared in the Republic of Uzbekistan the Law "About Struggle against Terrorism" was recently adopted.

The main aim of this law is to activate all forces and to take urgent measures in order not to allow the international terrorism and extremism to be spread in our country.

The basic task of this law is to ensure the security of each person, society and state as a whole of terrorism and its casualties, protection of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state from extraneous intervention, preservation of the civil piece and national consent.

It is well known that the term of "terrorism" occurs from the Latin word "terror", which means "frighten". Through violence and frightening, the dark forces carry out their terrible purposes. Moreover, the purposes of terrorism abruptly involved in religious extremism are numerous and various. This is considered as entering the complications into the international relations between countries, infringement of the sovereignty and the territorial integrity, undermining the security of the state, provocation of the armed conflicts, intimidation of the population, destabilization of social and political situation etc. For all illegal actions directed on realization of the similar purposes, in our country the strict measures of responsibility specified by the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan are stipulated.

The large and serious struggle against terrorism and religious extremism in our country is conducted based on the principle of observance of legality. It means that in our country all actions against terrorism are carried out only according to the Law. The following principle is priority of rights, freedom and lawful interests of the person. The application of this principle means that even in struggle against such dangerous social phenomenon as terrorism, power structures and the law-enforcement bodies of the country aspire to apply all their efforts for the observance of citizens' rights, freedom and interests. Only under the condition of strict observance of all rights, freedom and interests of citizens in the country, we can achieve the purpose put before Uzbekistan - to create a civil democratic society.

The next principle of struggle against terrorism and extremism is inevitability of punishment for commission of crimes. It means that the persons, who have taken part in terrorist acts, assisted terrorists in realization of their purposes, should be certainly punished and brought to trial. It is necessary to note that in Uzbekistan it is forbidden to propagate terrorism, create and act terrorist groups and organizations. It is fixed in the Constitution of the country, in the article 57, that the formation and functioning of political parties and public associations aiming to do the following shall be prohibited: changing the existing constitutional system by force: coming out against the sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of the Republic, as well as the constitutional rights and freedoms of its citizens; advocating war and social, national, racial and religious hostility, and encroaching on the health and morality of the people, as well as of any armed associations and political parties based on the national or religious principles.

It is also prohibited the foreign citizens and persons without citizenship involved in terrorist activity to enter our Republic. Skilled armies protect customs bodies and the boundary forces carry out the great work in this direction and at the borders of Uzbekistan.

The bodies of state management, organs of local state authority and citizens' self-management bodies, public associations, enterprises, establishments, both the organizations and officials and ordinary citizens assist the state bodies in realizing the struggle against terrorism.

Cooperation of country with other foreign states and their law-enforcement bodies in the sphere of fighting against terrorism is carried out in conformity with the international agreements.

Measures on fighting against international terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism and religious extremism are conducted by the NSS, MIA, CPSB, SCC, Ministry of Defense, and Ministry on Extreme Situations.

In modern history there are many facts showing that such radical displays like terrorism cause serious conflicts and contradiction in life, threaten the stability and safety. It should not be forgotten that Uzbekistan and other states of Central Asia are the certain and integral part of the large Islam world. We know many various movements that use Islam in political aims as a platform for upholding someone's narrow national political interests. In this sense, Uzbekistan is a tidbit for the figures of similar sense.

Influential, authoritative and prestigious world forces, which stand against religious fundamentalism of any form, understand the role and importance of Uzbekistan in this struggle for normal, peaceful and mutually beneficial conditions, for the coexistence of different cultures and civilizations. They understand and support our country on its own path to reforms3.


1 Uzbekistan legislation. Principal Legislative Acts Since Independence in Chronological Sequence. Tashkent "Adolat", 1999. P. 9

2 I.Karimov. Uzbekistan on the twenty-first century. Tashkent 1997. P. 20.

3 I.Karimov. Uzbekistan on the twenty-first century. Tashkent 1997. P. 28.

 

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