Shaikh A.Hameed Talks to ‘SunniOnline’ over the Deport of Tajik Students

Shaikh A.Hameed Talks to ‘SunniOnline’ over the Deport of Tajik Students
shaikh-abdolhameed-interviewNote: Recently the Tajik government called back all Tajik students of Islamic centers and seminaries who study out of Tajikistan. But a large number of students compelled to leave Sunni seminaries of Sistan-Balochistan without completing their education terms, like other Tajik students who are studying in separate countries also did so.
In this regard “SunniOnline” got the views of the chairman of the Union of Sunni Seminaries of Sistan and Balochistan, Shaikh-ul-Islam Maulana Abdul Hameed.
The text of the interview is as following:

Sunnionline: Briefly tell us about the presence of the Tajik students in Sistan and Balochistan’s seminaries (madrassas).

Shaikh Abdul Hameed: The people of Tajikistan along with some other Central Asian states had been living under the rule of the fascist Soviet Union for more than seven decades; they were deprived of their basic rights, the Communist rulers attempted to proselytize the Tajik Muslims in a suffocation atmosphere. After getting independence the new generation of this state spread out in many Muslim countries to seek Islamic knowledge as a great number of them got admission in the Iran’s religious schools; many of them preferred to get Islamic education in the Sistan-Balochistan’s Sunni seminaries. Because Tajiks belong to our sect and school of Sunni, Hanafi thought. The heads of our schools have also warmly welcomed to Tajik students as they were the residents of a newly independent state, and far away from the Islamic World and deserve to sympathy and needy to Islamic education.

Sunnionline: many Tajik students have been deported from the Sistan-Balochistan’s Sunni schools to Tajikistan; why Tajik government insists on their aggregative return? What is your point of view?

Shaikh Abdul Hameed: It must be clear that in these years the Tajik students proved that they are very peaceful and forbearing; I have not heard any objecting about their activities, they were only sincere seekers of the knowledge. More over The local students and teachers were quite happy with them.
Since last educational year, the Iranian authorities urged that the Tajik students of our seminaries must be exiled as they have no Educational Visa. It should be mentioned that we have sent many letters, delegations and we talked to the concerned authorities directly to issue the educational visa for those Tajik students who study in Balochistan and Sistan.
Instead of giving permission Tajikistan government detained some of the Sunni scholars. Our ulema did not have any fear of such dishonorable treatment, but rather they preferred to be in prison just for the sake of Tajik student to secure their educational lives. Sunni scholars told to Tajik authorities “as you issued educational visa for Tajik students of Jami’at-ul-Mustafa in Qom, Esfahan, Mashhad and Gorgan so the other Tajik students who belong to our seminaries also deserve to have this visa. Jail was the response of our request. We think the door of knowledge must remain open; especially it should not be closed for the people of Tajikistan.
We were still trying to gratify the Iranian government; meanwhile the call of the Tajik government surprised every one as the family members of Tajik students came under pressure to call back their children from the Muslim countries. Eventually a group of 120 students, mostly students of our schools left Iran to Tajikistan. Some of them went to their home before that too.

Sunnionline: the president of Tajikistan claims that abroad madrassas cause extremism in Tajikistan and these seminaries teach the students violence, what is your response? Is it a logic opinion?

Shaikh Abdul Hameed: We are sure that all partial reports over the Balochistan’s Sunni seminaries reached to the Tajik government are baseless and false. I must say trustfully that our seminaries are the best educational institutes for the Tajik students; we are Sunnis and Hanafis as they are, temperance and moderation is our way and mission, we respect and follow the laws. We condemn violence in the societies. There is no any case that our scholars or teachers of seminaries have been involved in violent acts or to spread sectarian violence among the Muslim sects and ethnics. This is the case in our schools; I have no information about the other areas where Tajik students study.

Sunnionline: According to the reliable sources, a large number of Tajik students have been in Shiite state-run institutes in Qom, Gorgan, Mashhad and Esfahan; especially in “Jami’t-ul-Mustafa”, has the official order of Tajikistan subjected these students too?

Shaikh Abdul Hameed: As for as my information is concerned, unfortunately this summon only included the students of Sunni seminaries. The Sunni Tajik students of Shiite religious schools are allowed to continue their studies.

Sunnionline: What is your advice to Tajik government in this regard?

Shaikh Abdul Hameed: It has been my hearty wish that the newly independent Tajikistan as progressed in other fields, I prey to God that it should progress more and more in religious fields as well.
Our second sincere desire is that Tajik nation would remain united enjoying stable peace. We have admonished our Tajik students to struggle for stability and unity of their country. Sorry to say that the Tajik authorities have made this decision without investigation, they should give the students chance to finish their education so that to return to Tajikistan carrying the wealth of knowledge; surely they would be advantageous for their country hundred percent. We request the Tajik authorities to reconsider their decision.
The president of Tajikistan, Mr. Imam Ali Abd-ur-Rahman is a wise person who held the famous “International Conference of Imam Abu Hanifa” last year; I advise him sympathetically to ensure freedom in his country as liberty is the important part of real democracy. Especially people should enjoy over there complete religious liberty in the fields of preaching Islam, offering prayers in the adjoining places and foundation of seminaries to teach the children of Muslims. Because experts believe that injustice and discrimination are the root causes of differences and insecurity in any state; particularly when religious people come under pressure and lose freedom.
In last, I hope Tajikistan would develop in all aspects of life and remain safe from insecurity and instability crises.

Sunnionline: Thanks for giving us your precious time.


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