A mosque is a bridge that connects the material world with the spiritual one, it is a place of worship.
In particular, Islamic teaching explains that gathering in mosques and repenting for past wrongdoings is a way to get rid of negative thoughts, guilty conscience, ill behavior and return to a healthy state of mind.
On May 31, 2018, the Cabinet of Ministers adopted Resolution No. 409 “On approval of the regulation on the procedure for state registration, re-registration and termination of religious organizations in the Republic of Uzbekistan”. In accordance with this decree, a regulation No. 3071 “On the procedure for giving consent for state registration of religious organizations” was developed and registered by the Ministry of Justice on September 27, 2018.
These documents do not work in practice today. In order to reopen the mosques, which were closed a while ago and left empty without prayers, there is too much red tape even after submitting all the relevant documents in accordance with the requirements of the above-mentioned regulations.
For example, according to the Muslim Board of Uzbekistan, the department received applications to open 86 mosques in 2018, but only 13 of them were opened. In 2019, the religious office received more than 140 such applications, but in practice, 9 mosques were allowed to open.
Let’s look at the statistics:
- according to various estimates, there are currently 24-37 million Muslims living in the Russian Federation, and the number of mosques is about 8,000;
- the number of Muslims in the United States is 3.5 million, and the number of mosques exceeds 2,100;
- in the UK, there are over 2.5 million Muslims and the number of mosques is around 1,500;
- the number of mosques in neighboring Kazakhstan is 3,700 and about 13 million Muslims live in the country;
- the number of mosques in Kyrgyzstan is about 2,600, and the number of Muslims is 5.6 million.
As of August 31, 2020, there are 2,072 mosques in Uzbekistan. The number of Muslims in our country is about 32 million.
Kun.uz contacted the Muslim Board of Uzbekistan and asked the reason for the abovementioned cases. Reportedly, only after obtaining a letter of consent from the Religious Committee, the Department of Justice, within its authority, registers the mosque as a religious organization. However, 13 out of 86 appeals in 2018 and only 9 out of 140 appeals in 2019 were resolved positively.
According to the Muslim Board official, errors should be identified at the first study and the applying initiators should be notified.
First of all, as we said above, a mosque is a bridge that connects the material world with the spiritual one, a place that brings us closer together to offer our prayers. Mankind needs prayers more than ever as a group.
The lack of mosques means that there is a lack of opportunity to learn the religious principles from sound sources, and an increased opportunity to be exposed to various weak sources and influences. This, in turn, can lead to a further increase in problems.
It should be noted that in recent years, attitudes towards religion have changed for the better side. In April, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom removed Uzbekistan from its list of countries with particular religious freedom concerns.
The presidential decree “On approval of the National Strategy of Uzbekistan on human rights” of 22 June this year states that large-scale measures are being taken in Uzbekistan to ensure the right to freedom of conscience, to implement the idea of enlightenment against ignorance, to develop religious education and enlightenment. It is noted that special attention is paid to the training of religious staff.
At a time when freedom of religion, along with human rights, is rising to the level of public policy, opening closed mosques and praying in as many of them as possible will benefit the country and the people.