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Tajikistan trying to prevent outflow of youth to join Islamic State

Sulaymon Davlatzod (in the middle). Photo: faraj.com.tj

Some young people from Tajikistan - students of illegal religious educational centers abroad – have left for Syria to join the terrorist group Islamic State, Sulaymon Davlatzod, the head of the Committee on Religious Affairs of Tajikistan told a news conference in Dushanbe on July 7.

He said 3,360 citizens of Tajikistan studied at such illegal religious educational centers and around 3,000 of them were back to their motherland. “Sixty-four of them are prosecuted for committing various crimes. Another 29 people are jailed in Tajikistan and abroad. Six are wanted now, while as many are fighting in Syria on the side of the terrorists. By our data, one of them was killed,” Davlatzod said.

By official data, about 400 citizens of Tajikistan are participating in various armed conflicts outside their country. “The country must care for the security of its citizens irrespective of the situation. In case of necessity, i.e. for security reasons, we will make certain restrictions,” Sulaymon Davlatzod said.

It is noteworthy that, as experts say, the authorities of Tajikistan may take advantage of the situation and the fuss surrounding the Islamic State to make tougher restrictions inside the country and close down some legal organizations, Muhiddin Kabiri, the leader of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) said in an interview with EADaily.  What makes the youth to study at religious schools and even join the fundamentalist currents is the inefficient educational and employment system in Tajikistan, the heavy social and economic conditions and rampant corruption, which Davlatzod preferred not to focus attention on.

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