27 september 2020

Central Asia news

People, accused for the affiliation to the “Nur” religious movement, are convicted in Uzbekistan

18.02.2009 10:21 msk


Religious life Uzbekistan

According to Newsuz.com, Uzbek language website, several people were arrested and sentenced to imprisonment for the terms from 6 to 6.5 years in Uzbekistan, convicted for the affiliation to the “Nur” religious movement (“Beam”).

The edition reports that the campaign against “nurist” has been intensified in Uzbekistan since recently. Thus, on February 16, the First channel of Uzbek television broadcasted the documentary, named “The beam, leading into darkness”. The documentary, prepared by National Security Service (NSS) of Uzbekistan, declares the movement of Said Nursiy as “the extremist sect”. The film states that the movement, headed by Fathulla Gulen since 1967, aims at establishing Grand Turkic state, occupying the territory from Siberia to Balkans.

According to the Voice of Freedom web site, referring to Uzbek human rights activists, the number of arrests took place in Horezm and Bukhara oblasts of the country, where, in the opinion of local law bodies, the majority of the “Nur” followers are concentrated.

It is worth mentioning that all the arrested young people studied at the Uzbek-Turkish lyceums some time ago, that were abundant in Uzbekistan in 1990s. It was prestigious to attend those schools since the quality of teaching there was very high while its graduates are fluent in several languages. However, these academic institutions were subsequently closed while the employees were expelled from Uzbekistan. “The beam, leading into darkness” says that this happed due to the fact that the ideas of nursism and panturkism were disseminated through the lyceums, contradicting to Uzbek national ideology, as well as “unhealthy atmosphere” among the staff of these academic institutions.

The founder of “Nur” movement is theologian Said Nursi, Kurdish national (1876-1960). Today, the brotherhood is headed by imam Fathulla Gulen, residing in USA. Formerly, the ruling elite of Turkey were sympathetic to the nursist activities. Nonetheless, at the beginning of 2000s the Turkish government banned the brotherhood, fearing the growth of its influence to economic and domestic political life of the country. Fathulla Gulen was accused of striving to change the secular constitutional structure by sheriat rule.
Russian translations of Said Nursi books are declared as “the extremist literature” in Russia and were banned by court in 2007. From the viewpoint of Russian Ombudsmen Mr. Lukin, such decision of the court is unfair. He underlined that the works of S.Nursi were declared as extremist by the court, only based on the result of social-psychological and psycholinguistic examination. However, the multiple expert conclusions of Russian and international religious centers, theologians, secular scientific centers and religious experts, presented by defending side, were ignored by the court. “The nursists were back [in Uzbekistan] with new foxy strategy in 2006. They tried to disseminate their ideas through opening language centers and periodic publications in Uzbekistan” the narrator says.
The major source of information, based on which the arrests of the former Uzbek-Turkish lyceums students have been carried out, became the former chief editor, Hamza Djumaev, one of the witnesses of the legal affair, dedicated to the founders and authors of “Irmok” (“well-head”) popular magazine, ad “Etti iklim” (“Seven dimensions”).

The human rights activists state that H. Djumaev shared that some foreign well-wishers directed funds to the “Nur” movement followers in Uzbekistan and asked to attract people, who studied in the Uzbek-Turkish lyceums. At the same time, the well-wishers, unknown to Mr. Djumaev, allegedly offered the “Nur” followers to organize meetings at home, during which they were to hear the lectures on Said Nursiy ideology.

The most recent information, albeit not confirmed by the government of the country, indicates that big group of young people were also arrested in Horezm oblast. The exact number of arrested people is unknown, but the source of Voice of Freedom asserts that it is more than ten people.

“Etti iklim” newspaper and “Irmok” magazine, officially registered in the Uzbek Agency for press and information (UAPI), ran out of business. Ex-editor of “Irmok” magazine Mr. Djumaev announced that the founders of these editions were receiving financial support from the “Nur” movement activists through Kazakh city of Shymkent with the purpose of printing the scientific and cognitive information.

Meanwhile, the source of Ferghana.ru information agency in the city of Namangan reports that Muhammadali Shahobiddinov, the nominal owner of one of the mentioned editions, former imam-hatib of “Mahdum Eshon” cathedral mosque, is currently also under arrest. The reasons of his apprehension are not known yet, but it is not excluded that he is suspected of having a tie to the “Nur” movement. The source also indicates that Muhammadali Shahobiddinov is one of rare experts on Islam. He is a recognized interpreter of holy book for Muslims.

The Voice of Freedom reports that a while ago the instructions and philosophical ideas of Turkish religious leader, Baddiuzzaman Said Nursiy, were printed in central press-house of Uzbekistan and several brochures of his “Risolai Nur” book were also distributed. However, after worsening of relations between Turkey and Uzbekistan these brochures were banned and the Uzbek-Turkish lyceums were closed.