Tajikistan shaves beards off 13,000 men to tackle extremism

Police says they have 'convinced' 1,700 women to remove their headscarves


News Desk January 22, 2016
Authorities shaved the beards of 13,00 men in a bid to crack down on radical interpretations of Islam PHOTO: REUTERS

Police in Tajikistan have forcibly shaved beards off nearly 13,000 men and 'convinced' 1,700 women to remove their headscarves in a bid to tackle extremism.

Tajikistan, a Muslim majority country with a secular government, has ordered the crackdown which is aimed at reducing "foreign influences" to eradicate radicalism as there are thought to be up to 2,000 Tajik militants fighting the Islamic State in Syria, according to Radio Liberty, a central Asian focused blog, who sourced the official Tajik news agency.

After beards, hijabs, Tajikistan wants to ban ‘Arabic-sounding’ names

The head of the Khatlon police, Bahrom Sharifzoda, showed the local media a "before and after" picture of one man that had been shaved. Police "brought to order" men whose beards were deemed "too long and unkempt".

Further, police said they had 'convinced' 1,700 women to remove their headscarves, arrested 89 hijab-wearing prostitutes and closed down 162 shops and stalls selling hijabs.

Tajikistan is a majority Muslim country, it has a secular government PHOTO: IGOR KOVALENKO/ epa/Corbis

The parliament also voted last week to ban Arabic or "foreign-sounding names" after a rise in babies named Muhammad.

Tajikistan state TV says prostitutes are wearing hijabs to drive up prices

Tajikistan is under threat from militants as thousands of home grown extremists aligned with Pakistani and Afghan Taliban, have joined forces with the Islamic State on the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border.

In September, Tajikistan’s only Islamic party was banned from the political system. The country's president President Emomali Rahmon, has been in power since 1994 and his current term ends in 2020.

This article originally appeared on BBC.

COMMENTS (32)

amanjit dhillon | 5 years ago | Reply ITS Great efort by the Tajikistan Govt but tackling terrror by the countries like us and eu in a honest way Not using two tier forien policy
Figaro | 5 years ago | Reply @ramdar: working of mind is a complex phenomena. Who has ever understood the intricacies of Pakistan hating or India hating mind? The disease is pretty common on either side of the divide and Hakim Luqman has been unable to find a cure for it uptil now, so ignore it.
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