To most people, Islam Karimov – the ruler of Uzbekistan is viewed as a brutal dictator, responsible for the massacre of thousands of innocent people in Andijan in 2005. Away from the bloody suppression of his people, Karimov and his henchmen are renowned for carrying out inexplicable acts of torture on political prisoners that routinely leave victims dead, or scarred for life. Now another atrocious crime can be added to Karimov’s catalogue of evil acts committed against his people.
Recently, the BBC reported that Karimov has been running a secret campaign to sterilize women without their knowledge or consent. Speaking on a condition of anonymity from Tashkent an Uzbek gynecologist revealed to the BBC details of the programme. She said, “Every year we are presented with a plan. Every doctor is told how many women we are expected to give contraception to; how many women are to be sterilized. There is a quota. My quota is four women a month.” The programme is not confined to the capital and is operational in other parts of the country, most notably in the Ferghana Valley and the Bukhara region—both of which are the hotbed of Islamic revival.
The first case of sterilization was reported in 2005, and in 2007 it was brought to the attention of the UN. Then the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) reported forcible sterilizations and hysterectomies in Uzbekistan, but little notice was taken and the matter was quickly forgotten, until now. Given the regime’s fondness for secrecy it is difficult to estimate how many women have been robbed of their God given right to have children, however the numbers probably run into tens of thousands. In 2010 the Expert Working Group (EWG) which consists of independent experts conducted a survey of medical professionals based in Uzbekistan, and collated evidence of some 80,000 sterilizations. The numbers are likely to be much larger as both medical professionals and victims often conceal the facts for fear of reprisal from Karimov’s henchmen.
But the real question is to ask why Karimov has resorted to such a heinous act against defenseless women who hardly pose a direct threat to his regime or to the longevity of his rein. For those who subscribe to Thomas Robert Malthus’s theory about population control, Karimov’s actions are easy to explain. In fact Karimov would find himself in the company of distinguished western thinkers who ardently support vile means to curb population growth.
There is another sinister motive that lurks deep within Karimov’s body and soul. It causes him much distress and is the foremost of his adversaries. This nemesis is political Islam that not only threatens to extinguish Karimov’s rule, but also the combined hegemony of both the west and Russia in the region. Having tried all the means available Karimov has invoked sterilization of Muslim women as a desperate measure to fight the growth of political Islam that has now enveloped Uzbekistan into a renewed frenzy of Islamic revival, and is slowly but surely edging its way to a crescendo effect of giving birth to the Islamic State.
Because of this reason alone, both the west and Russia have overlooked Karimov’s barbaric acts and the west especially, has made their coveted standard of human rights inapplicable to the plight of Uzbeks. Furthermore, they have bolstered his regime with money, weapons and experts to discover innovative ways to halt the growing tide of Islamic revival in the country.
Have not Karimov and his masters pondered on the circumstances surrounding the birth of Isa and Musa? Have they not reflected on how the tyrants of that age, King Herod and Pharaoh used all their might and wealth to extinguish the light of Allah and resorted to the killing of male babies to safeguard their kingdoms? Both of these ancient tyrants concocted sterilization programmes of their own and in the end, both failed to prevent the message of Allah سبحانه وتعالى from reaching their populations. Allah says in the Quran about the disbelieving tyrants:
يُرِيدُونَ أَنْ يُطْفِئُوا نُورَ اللَّهِ بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَيَأْبَى اللَّهُ إِلَّا أَنْ يُتِمَّ نُورَهُ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْكَافِرُونَ
“They wish to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will not agree except that He will perfect His light, even though the Unbelievers may detest (it).” [Al Tawba, 9:32]
Likewise, Karimov and his masters will be unable to prevent the sons and daughters of the Muslims of Uzbekistan from carrying the Islamic dawa to every city, town and village. By Allah’s permission no corner of Uzbekistan will be left untouched by the Islamic revival, and every government official and associate of Karimov will hear the call for restoring the Khilafah and tremble with fear.
وَاللَّهُ غَالِبٌ عَلَىٰ أَمْرِهِ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
“Allah is the master of His affair, but most people do not know” [Yusuf, 12:21]