This innovation is very important. Most Jihadi groups target certain social groups. Hizb does the same targeting those in power when possible and also the younger generations. Proactively reaching the young might help to stem Hizb’s popularity in the Central Asian area.
Tajiks devise methods to prevent growth of youth radicalism
By Dilafruz Nabiyeva
DUSHANBE – A set of ideas on how best to thwart the radicalization of youth was released December 15 at a conference organized by the Committee for Youth Affairs, Sport and Tourism, the OSCE, and the organisation Youth and Society.
The recommendations are part of a “Social Dialogue on the Problems of Preventing the Growth of Radicalism among Tajik Youth.” The German Foreign Ministry and EU supported the conference.
The draft set of “Ideas for Preventing the Growth of Radicalism among Youth,” will be tested in 2011 by the British organisation International Alert (IA).
Groups of specialists – including government officials, civil society activists, academics and religious scholars – formulated the suggestions between June and November, said Simon Tiller, the Eurasia programme director for IA. “The opinions of Tajik youth also figured in the document,” he said.
Political scientist Pulod Shoazimov called on Tajiks to draw on the experiences of other countries, while German Ambassador to Tajikistan Doris Hertrampf noted that youth comprise a growing majority of the Tajik population.
“I doubt that the majority of Tajik youth are under radicalism’s influence,” she said. “Therefore, we should devise methods of fighting for tolerance in politics and religion and methods for blocking radicalism from penetrating the world of youth.”
Analysts cited social problems, the low standard of living and religious illiteracy as reasons behind the reported growth of radicalism among Tajik youth.
“The main factor facilitating the attachment of ever more young Tajiks to radical religious movements is the absence nationwide of normal conditions for getting a moderate religious education,” political scientist Abdullo Rakhnamo said.
With only some 20 madrassas in the country, many youth are forced to seek a religious education abroad, enabling the radicalisation of society, he said.
Tajikistan must create religious institutions based on Hanafi Muslim teachings, which most Tajiks follow, Rakhnamo said. It’s better to work with youth rather than keep handing down prohibitions, he said.
In 2011, IA will begin to implement the project “Strengthening of Youth Policy against Radicalism,” said EU mission spokeswoman Makhbuba Abdullayeva. The plan is meant to curb the spread of radicalism among youth in the Asht and Bobodzhongrafurovsk districts of Sughd Oblast.
“International Alert, in partnership with the Association of Scientific Intelligentsia and the Public Committee for the Development of Tajikistan, will support the development of a pilot programme to prevent radicalism among youth by carrying out youth-oriented measures in six communities,” Abdullayeva said.
“The youth programme is precisely the (set of ideas) worked out during the first project,” she said. “Now these measures to build youth resistance to radical influences will be put into practise. The lessons we draw from (this process) will be integrated into the draft strategy for secular-religious relations in Tajikistan – a strategy that is being devised with the co-operation of IA and with the support of the EU.”