Officially, Islam is the dominant religion in Uzbekistan, with 96% of the population being Muslims. But outside of the statistics put forward by the government, it is a religion which they do not allow to be practiced, with only a sanitised name-only version being allowed.
There are literally thousands of peaceful and devout Muslims rotting the Uzbekistan jails for offenses as pathetic and ridiculous as “Reading the Quran” or “Possessing Islamic Literature”. But these are the fortunate ones, with many others being brutually tortured by the government, sometimes even to death.
The religion of Islam can only be practiced on the governments terms. Uzbekistanis face the risk of being arrested for praying in unregistered mosques, or even in small groups. Local Imams are careful to praise both Allah and the President in their speeches, and as such Muslims and Islam are being driven underground.
With the most powerful military in central Asia, the Uzbekistan government is hell bent on maintaining its dictatorial control over the nation, and fears anything where people can gather together, including religion. Ironically, it is the incitement of fear and resentment due to the governments actions that may eventually lead to the uprising they are so desperate to avoid.
Check out this Islam in Uzbekistan video
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