A vibrant Islamic movement in Kyrgyzstan is challenging the established political system. People are becoming increasingly disillusioned and searching for alternatives. In the market of Osh, Southern Kyrgyzstan, most women wear the hijab. The idea of an Islamic state is rapidly gaining currency here. “Islam offers guidance to the way people should live”, explains the local imam. “It answers every question in life”. It’s a sentiment that’s increasingly worrying the authorities. “Last year, we found out Hizb ut-Tahrir were involved in plans for terrorist attacks in Kyrgyzstan”, states police chief Shakir Zulimov. “This year, we’re expecting an escalation”. Islamic student Aman Saaliev believes one thing is certain: “There are major changes afoot in Central Asia”.
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