On 16 September Radio Liberty reported: “The campaign against the wearing of beards and hijab has once again intensified in Uzbekistan. Video footage sent to Ozodlik on 13 September shows female students at the Bank College in Andijan, who wear the hijab, being asked to tie their headscarves differently, with knots in the back. The students who refuse to comply are not allowed to enter the institution. Hijab bans among students have also been observed in other regions of Uzbekistan.
The campaign against the wearing of beards and hijabs comes amid the Uzbek parliament’s adoption of amendments to the Code of Conduct in Public Places. According to sources, at a special government meeting held on 10 September, Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov “warned” civil servants of the consequences of visiting mosques”.
The Uzbek authorities regularly attack Islam and Muslims in a variety of ways. Most recently, the parliament passed a bill providing for administrative responsibility for polygamy, and corrupt imams supported the authorities’ decision.
Now there are raids on markets and public places in search of Muslims with beards. Men are detained and demanded to shave off their beards on the spot. Halal-branded restaurants have been searched, after which many have been closed.
The criminal authorities are physically trying to erase any manifestation of Islam in society. One can say that Muslims are being rolled into pavement, but the Muslims of Uzbekistan are like the sprouts of trees that break through the pavement and once again delight the eyes and heart with their vitality and steadfastness in the struggle against Taghut.
Islam came to Central Asia in the time of the Sahabis. Since then, the Muslims of these lands have experienced ups and downs. With the fall of the Khilafah (Caliphate), for the Muslims of these lands, as for all Muslims of the world, the loss has become more severe than ever. But in spite of all these persecutions, losses and trials, Islam settled firmly in the hearts of these peoples. And by the grace of Almighty Allah, the righteous Khilafah (Caliphate), will soon be revived, and the Muslims of Uzbekistan will breathe easy and rejoice in their victory! Allah Almighty has said in His Noble Book:
(وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُم فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَى لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُم مِّن بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا وَمَن كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ)
“Allah has promised those of you who believe and do good that He will certainly make them successors in the land, as He did with those before them; and will surely establish for them their faith which He has chosen for them; and will indeed change their fear into security—they worship Me, associating nothing with Me. But whoever disbelieves after this, it is they who will be the rebellious” [24:55].
Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir