Tajikistan's opposition denounced "the mass closing and destruction of mosques" in the capital Dushanbe, denying government claims that the closures were motivated by safety concerns.
Muhiddin Kabiri, head of the opposition Islamic Party of Tajikistan's Rebirth, said that over 100 mosques had been closed by city authorities during the past month, and two had been torn down.
Independent Islamic organizations have complained of at least 10 such closings in the capital, which followed a wave of official checks on administrative documents.
City authorities claimed that the closings and the two demolitions were due to the poor condition of the buildings or the "illegal" nature of their construction.
Kabiri and other Islamic leaders sent a letter of protest to Emomali Rakhmon, the president of this mainly Muslim ex-Soviet country, decrying the closings as "anti-Islamic and anti-constitutional."
"I can name dozens of examples of administrative buildings which do not meet standards, but whose demolition was never considered," he said.
Virtually all of Tajikistan's population of 7 million are Sunni Muslims. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, hundreds of mosques have been built in the country, many financed by private individuals.
Last Mod: 11 Ağustos 2007, 01:38