: Tajikistan seeks to tackle Islamic extremism with new classes for teenagers
Politics19:05 Mar. 5, 2016

Tajikistan seeks to tackle Islamic extremism with new classes for teenagers

Experts doubt the teaching will stop radicalisation

This classroom in Dushanbe is the latest battleground in Tajikistan's fight against Islamic extremism.

New subject, religious education, has been introduced for 15 to 16-year-olds. The Tajik authorities believe it's the crucial age to guide children's views of religion and prevent them being radicalized later on.

Safarali Tabarov, teacher: "There are extremist groups which go to Syria and other countries. Under the slogan "jihad," they pit Muslim against Muslim. And they wage a political struggle which harms the people."

Watch also Tajikistan imposes genetic tests for future married couples

The textbooks cover various ancient and current religions, but are mostly concerned with interpreting Islam. According to official figures, more than a thousand Tajiks have traveled to Syria to join Islamic State militants. The hope is that these children will be less vulnerable to their propaganda.

Student: "There are young people in the world who have joined extremist organisations. The main reason for this is that they don't know much about religion. This book has improved our knowledge of Islam."

There are calls for similar classes at colleges, universities, and other institutes of higher education. Experts say this program will have no real impact on the numbers currently joining extremist groups.

Watch also Pope answers kids' tough questions in first book for children

But there is the hope increasing religious knowledge in the classroom will keep the next generation off the battlefield.

Watch also Get ready for 'Ukraine's Next Generation'

comments powered by Disqus


Politics19:15 Dec. 9, 2016
Speeding train to connect Kyiv and Przemyśl by Christmas
Politics18:00 Dec. 9, 2016
EU to extend sanctions on Russia in December - Reuters
Politics17:15 Dec. 9, 2016
Russian foreign minister calls Reuters journalist 'an imbecile' (VIDEO)
Politics16:47 Dec. 9, 2016
"Ukraine at crossroads between prosperous future or continued corruption"
Politics15:30 Dec. 9, 2016
EP to review a suspension mechanism bill on December 15
Subscribe to receive regular email updates about Ukraine and Eastern Europe