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Friday, 2 September 2016

From Elechek To Al Bakistan Again

The President of Kyrgyzstan, Almazbek Atambayev has launched a campaign against the "Arabisation of society [and the] deprivation of the Kyrgyz nation of its language and traditions".

This campaign included posters like this one ..... which portrays women wearing the traditional nomadic clothing of Kyrgyzstan (the Elechek) on one side, while the other side shows women in niqabs and burkas .....

Poor people! Where are we heading to?!

..... and which tried to dissuade Kyrgyz women from wearing Islamic clothing, notably the hijab, niqab and burka's.
This campaign started ahead of a state visit to the country by German Chancellor, Angela Merkel .... ironically Mrs Merkel sees a lot more 'Arab clothing' these days, just by looking out her Chancellery window.

Needless to say the campaign has caused complaints from many in the country, as 80% of the population is Muslim in a 'secular' state ... but he simply remarked that 'Women in mini skirts don't become suicide bombers' and that "When we erected banners some smart people appeared and started pointing at miniskirts. Our women have been wearing miniskirts since 1950s, and they never thought about wearing an explosive belt. You can wear even tarpaulin boots on your head, but do not organise bombings. This is not religion. Let them wear even miniskirts but there must not be any blasts." 

"Terrorists are insane people," he said. "Clothes also can change one's thoughts sometimes. .... If you do not like Kyrgyzstan you can leave our country and go wherever you want. We can pay your travel expenses, even to Syria" (its believed that around 350 men from Kyrgyzstan are fighting for IS in Syria and Iraq). .... he also described some women as wearing 'sacks on their heads' and wanting 'to organise bombings'.

He obviously has no intentions of backing down soon .... stating that "religious extremism is like a cancer, it must not be left untreated." He has warned religious clerics in the predominantly Muslim country, that those who "refuse to accept that Kyrgyzstan is a secular state" will face "severe legal" consequences.

"The moon does not heed the barking of dogs."

The counter arguments against his views, have included attacks on the westernised culture of the country, vandalism of his government posters ... as well as social media memes, dismissing his calls as being as pointless, as a dog barking at the moon.

This fear of the 'Arabisation' of countries, isn't just restricted to the Western world, but has echoes even within the Muslim majority countries, from Turkey to Pakistan ('Al Bakistan'), and all points between .... 

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