But Obama just told us again: the Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam! How is it, then, that a Muslim cleric, someone who has dedicated his life to understanding Islam correctly, would get it so drastically wrong? His supporters here claim that his arrest is politically motivated, and it may be indeed, but in reality it is not at all farfetched that a Muslim cleric could be recruiting for the Islamic State. And that shows up yet again the falsity of the Obama narrative.
Note also how the professor at the end of the piece is worried that the arrest will cause young Muslims to become “radicalized.” So here again we’re supposed to believe that young Muslims who abhor and reject terrorism as a perversion of Islam will turn to it if they’re angry.
Al-Sarahsiy Mosque is usually packed with thousands of worshippers from across southern Kyrgyzstan.
They come to Kara-Suu – a town of 20,000 – to listen to the sermons of Rashot Kamalov, the mosque’s charismatic imam, who is respected for criticising brutal and corrupt officials, society’s moral decline and western pop culture.
However, on Friday 13 February, the two-story mosque near the Uzbekistan border was half-empty and surrounded by police. Government officials introduced a new imam.
Kamalov had been arrested four days earlier for allegedly encouraging militants to fight alongside Islamic State (Isis) in Syria and Iraq, charges his supporters say are intended to silence a prominent critic.
“The imam in custody has not just appealed for the creation of a caliphate but has also been telling believers about the war in Syria and making extremist statements,” Zhenish Ashirbaev, an Interior Ministry spokesman told Interfax on 10 February.
Ashirbaev added that Kamalov is also suspected of belonging to Hizb-ut-Tahrir, an international Islamist group banned throughout the region which agitates for the creation of a state governed by its interpretation of Islamic law but officially disavows violence.
Police “found extremist books and other materials at the suspect’s house and in the mosque,” Interfax quoted the spokesman as saying.
In connection with Kamalov’s arrest, Kyrgyz security forces have fanned out across southern Kyrgyzstan arresting dozens of alleged militants. Security officials say the raids have led to the recovery of illegal weapons and extremist literature, and have disrupted cells that were recruiting Kyrgyz citizens to join Isis….
In an interview weeks before his arrest, Kamalov said he had received death threats from Isis supporters for his criticism of the terrorist movement.
“I have many enemies because I tell people the truth. I am not afraid of anyone save Allah. They can only take my life, not my soul,” he said.
Supporters dispute the government’s characterisation of Kamalov as an Islamic militant and say evidence against him is being fabricated….
Observers are divided over how much Kamalov’s arrest will affect stability in southern Kyrgyzstan, which is still grappling with the consequences of the 2010 bloodletting. Approximately 500 Kamalov supporters gathered on the day of his arrest, though police managed to disperse them without force. During Friday prayers four days later the streets were still filled with police.
Observers have cautioned that the arrest could be counter-productive for the government’s efforts to curb recruitment of potential Isis fighters.
“Kamalov worked hard to reduce radicalism’s allure,” the economics professor said. “By arresting him, authorities have made things difficult for themselves. Many young believers are disillusioned by the arrest, and they will turn to radicals.”