The leadership of Kazakhstan likes to declare the desire to enter the tens, twenty, fifty, hundreds. Over the years, it becomes not very important which top ten to enter - oil producers or the most competitive countries in the world. The main idea is to be in the top ten.
One of the ten Kazakhstan, according to our feelings, hit exactly. The country, which was considered cosmopolitan and atheist-minded in Soviet times, became a true preserve for a cool attitude to religion.
Kazakhstan is a country of Muslims, Orthodox, atheists and agnostics. And the latter is much more than the first. Because among Muslims and Orthodox atheists and agnostics - the majority. It's just that in our country the tradition to cut and baptize children is still alive. Growing up, children forever forget about religious traditions, about going to churches. From the religion of young Kazakhstanis - beads and icons, securely mounted in a prominent place in a private car. In our work, exactly equally divided Muslims and Orthodox, there is one fan of Buddhism and one employee who is actually a Jew, but has already crossed himself twice. But two thirds of our employees are actually atheists and agnostics. This was proved by the http://uath.org/religiometer/index.php test, which is very useful for any Kazakhstani who thinks that he can be called a believer. The test confirms - we think so in vain.
Political analyst Dosym Satpayev, a Kazakh and a Muslim, recalls that in Kazakhstan there has always been "a great influence of shamanism." “Our Islam is not classical and pure, but mixed with paganism. This led to the fact that the Kazakhs historically do not perceive Islam as the main dogma in their lives, ”the political scientist notes.
But only Kazakhs, but also representatives of other nationalities, treat religion in Kazakhstan calmly.
The road to the temple
Islam in Kazakhstan has never been banned, but never enjoyed privileges. Unlike Russia, in the early 1990s, Orthodox churches and congregations were rapidly reviving, mosques in Kazakhstan were built slowly. And the state that supported this process, however, did not try to raise it to the rank of its most important task.
At the same time, in the beginning and even in the mid-90s, the first persons of Kazakhstan appeared much more often in mosques and at meetings of believers. For example, on the next anniversary of the December events of 1986, President Nursultan Nazarbayev could be seen on the main square of Almaty with a group of Muslims reading a prayer in memory of the victims of the uprising. In the early 2000s, everything changed. To the mosques of the main actors, the attitude is almost the same protocol as the party congresses. Check in for thirty minutes, welcoming words to the enthusiastic crowd, departure.
The president is in the mosque. TV cameras record this event annually - on Kurban-ait (Muslim holiday). Usually, in a few days, the head of state can be seen in an Orthodox church, since Kurban-Ait is followed by Christmas.
Islam in the post-Soviet era, as well as other traditional religions, was floated. Following the traditional preachers, all kinds of pilgrims, agitating for unconventional movements, rushed to the masses. There were, among others, supporters of radical Islamist organizations.
Their activity is not as high as in Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan, but it is already much more noticeable than ten years ago. This year, for example, with a difference of several months, in northern Petropavlovsk and western Aktobe, law enforcement agencies detained a dozen supporters of the radical group Tablighi Jamaat, who organized campaigning in local mosques for going to bases for training fighters for the faith in Pakistan. Dosym Satpayev, who has been heading the Risk Assessment Group for several years, does not dramatize the situation, but calls to draw attention to some obvious facts. The political scientist states that Kazakhstan "is surrounded by countries where there is already a problem with extremist and terrorist organizations", Kazakhstan "as if in a ring of fire."
“The territory of our country is used by representatives of some radical organizations as such a logistical base. This can be seen at least by the way Kazakhstan annually issues to China, to Russia, to Uzbekistan, representatives of one or another radical organization. So, it turns out that many see Kazakhstan as a kind of springboard, where they can sit out, wait and, perhaps, create a more powerful base for activities not only in Kazakhstan, but also in neighboring countries, ”the expert notes.
Muslims in politics
Politics in Kazakhstan is an area in which religious affiliation has never mattered. For example, a Jew, Alexander Mashkevich, who built several synagogues in the republic, including the largest in Central Asia, has been sponsoring one of the political parties for several years.
The only attempt by Muslims to independently form a political party was recorded last year, when the nephew of the country's president, Kairat Satybaldy, known for his adherence to Islam, and, according to some estimates, one of the main candidates for successor, established the Ak Orda movement (“White rate” The so-called Palace of the President of Kazakhstan is also called) and announced its imminent transformation into a party.
Satybaldy did not hide the fact that the values of his party are based on Muslim traditions and ideas. Nazarbayev’s nephew was supported by the head of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kazakhstan, Absattar, kazhi Derbisalli, but this did not help the party to get approval from the country's top leadership and register.
Kazakhstani political scientists considered that the idea of creating a Muslim party came into conflict with the idea declared in the Constitution about non-interference of the state in matters of religion and religion in affairs in states. Nevertheless, the president of the Union of Muslims of Kazakhstan, Murat Telibekov, believes that the desire of Muslims in power will give their results.
“There is a natural process of introducing Muslims into politics. One of the reasons is that society has become disillusioned with politicians and places hopes on religious leaders. People see them as a kind of alternative. I do not exclude that it is religious leaders who will play the role of political reformers in the near future, ”Telibekov said.
The President of the Union of Muslims of Kazakhstan is one of the few Muslims in the republic who are attempting to participate in politics. However, Telibekov’s confrontation with the Spiritual Administration of the Muslims of Kazakhstan virtually eliminates the likelihood of his appearing in the media and making his political statements public. Despite the optimism of the leader of the Muslim organization, the unsuccessful attempt of Satybaldy’s campaign in power under the banner of religion convinces that in the near future, religious leaders will not take such actions. This opinion is shared by the leader of the national patriotic movement "Ult Tagdyra" ("Fate of the Nation") Dos Kushim.
Politician Kushim confirms that religion in Kazakhstan will not enter into politics very soon. In the life of society, religion in the coming years is also unlikely to play a significant role. Kazakhstan remains a country of atheists.