Karimov’s brutality will only strengthen the believers

 The re-election of Karimov, President of Uzbekistan for a third 7 year term on 23rd December comes as no surprise considering his reign of brutality and tyranny over the Muslims of Uzbekistan that rivals anything seen under the worst tyrants the Muslim world has ever seen.

That the ‘election victory' was corrupt and fraudulent is not the least in doubt. Karimov violated his own constitution in running for a third term despite a maximum two- term limit. In early December he let slip that he would enjoy a crushing victory in the forthcoming election. In the days before the election, vote rigging and intimidation were rife; pilgrims bound for Mecca to perform the Hajj were given visas on the condition that their absent ballots were filled in favour of Karimov, newly wed couples granted marriage certificates on the basis they declared support first for Karimov and the three opposing ‘candidates' to Karimov in the presidential election all declared their support for him by extolling his virtues [sic] when campaigning! Indeed, on the day of the election it has been reported officials were seen voting numerous times in the same ballot boxes.  Others were voting on behalf of their entire families and many voters were being coached by officials into ticking the box for Karimov.

In the preceding weeks, Karimov's ministry of interior and national security service strengthened their terror tactics with greater surveillance and further numbers of police on the streets of all major cities and villages. The three-fold rise in police numbers was meant to send a clear message to the people that no dissent or opposition to Karimov in the elections would be tolerated.

Since the massacre of thousands in Andijan in May 2005, the Karimov regime has become increasingly paranoid with all forms of opposition imprisoned through kangaroo courts and sham trials. At the same time torture of political opponents and Muslims working for the establishment of the Khilafah has continued relentlessly with ever more despicable acts of brutality.

In October, 62-year old grandmother Fatima Muqodirova was arrested for a second time by the Uzbek secret services. She has conducted a relentless campaign of challenging officials, conducting interviews, speaking to journalists and international organisations to expose the tyranny and butchery of Karimov following the death of her son Muzaffar Avazoz who was tortured by burns to the arms and legs and then boiled alive in 2001. In the last month, Takhir Normukhamedov and Fitrat Salakhidinnov have been added to the latest in a long list of shaheed who have died following the ahadith of the Messenger (saw) when he said; "The best jihad is the word of truth spoken in front of a tyrant ruler…"

Uzbek jails are now full of Muslims whose only crime has been to expose the corruption of Karimov's regime and demand an alternative Islamic leadership. The background to this call for change is a country that has millions living destitute and in poverty, hundreds of thousands forced to leave to find work and provisions despite the country being an exporter of uranium and gold, and amongst the world's top ten gas producers.

The resurgence of Islam in an area that witnessed decades of atheist Communist occupation followed by Karimov's tyranny and pathetic attempts to rig elections is testimony to the Iman and resolve of the believers who seek to establish Allah (swt) deen upon this earth. Despite this oppression the gulf between the rulers and the ruled widens and the call for the re-establishment of the Khilafah continues to strengthen.