Either namaz or work
CA-NEWS (TM) — Turkmenistan authorities increased dismissing employees of military structures and government agencies for refusing to stop Muslim prayer – namaz, Radio Azatlyk, Turkmenian office of the Radio Liberty reports. A former military from Turkmenistan, who did not reveal his name for security reasons, told that he was dismissed from the military forces due to his refusal to stop namaz prayer. He stated that initially he was demanded not to pray at work area, then they searched his house and took away a Quran. The informant told that he continued his namaz despite all that and therefore was called to the Ministry of Defense, where they asked him to write an explanatory report and letter of resignation, and after which he was dismissed. He was required to leave the official housing where he lived with his family.
The Turkmen government started its fight against Islam after Hojaakhmet Orazkylychev, a religious figure, who publicly expressed his disturbance with proclamation of Turkmenistan’s former president Saparmurat Niyazov as a prophet for his book Ruhnama. Turkmenbashi ordered to withdraw and burn 40 thousand copies of Quran in Turkmen language translated by Orazkylychev from the Turkmenistan publishing house warehouses. However, the Turkmen government did not stop there; it demolished almost the half of all mosques in Ashkhabad and started to put Muslims with unshaken faith into prison. After death of Turkmenbashi, Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov started his governance with increased fight against Islam and Muslims. The Turkmen authorities now fight against not only ulema and mosques; they started unprecedented fight against any manifestation of Islam in the society. Last summer, the government ordered the law-enforcement agencies of the Dashoguz region to start a real “hunt” for Muslims with beards. Local national security department officers and traffic police started to arrest men under age of 50 and having bristle or beard. Afterwards, these men were specially instructed and then were forced to shave their beards. They even were forced to eat pork and drink vodka. Those committed Muslims who refused to obey were sentenced for 7-8 years without court and investigation. There facts that these people disappeared in prisons. Relatives still have no information about them. Turkmenistan prisons are full of sentenced for religious beliefs. According to a human rights organization, the Ovadan-Depe high security prison has about 300 such people. They are not allowed to meet relatives nor they can get the food their relatives bring. On top of that, now the government is putting pressure on Muslims for their namaz.