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The value of Islam in the modern world provides an opportunity for the harmonious development of religion in secular states, not opposing religious canons to the legislation of the country, President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev said in Bishkek during the opening of the international conference “Islam in a modern secular state” held on September 28.

He said that Islam, being a relatively young religion, was a passionate dogma, spread in the Middle and Middle East, Central Asia, and later in South and South-East Asia. “Islam is a whole world, it includes both the doctrine and the behavior of a person; his influence on society is enormous. In some countries, Islam is more than a religion; it’s a way of life with its own characteristics and specifics. And there are cases when some missionaries and organizations carry out their activities in states with a different historical and cultural context, deliberately imposing their way of life, elements of their culture under the guise of “pure” Islam,” he said.

The head of state noted that this often leads to increased tension and generates distrust, division, and fear in society, and sometimes it causes the growth of radicalism.

Atambayev said that representatives of people who combine in their worldview traditional beliefs with Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam live in the Central Asian region from time immemorial. “The established Islamic legal school, the Hanafi madhab, the Sufi teachings do not oppose the doctrinal Islam of the local tradition. Al-Farabi, Ibn Sina, Al-Khorezm, Al-Biruni, Zhusup Balasagyn, Mahmud Kashgari and others, in addition to developing science and philosophy, laid the foundations of a rational school of Islam,” he said.

And the advantage of a secular state is its ability to create and maintain a balance of interests of representatives of different religious communities, believers and non-believers, Atambayev said.

© 2017 Embassy of Kyrgyz Republic in New Delhi, India