If a nation does not know its history, if the country loses its history, then its citizens have nowhere to go.
Mirzhakyp Dulatuly

Unconventional threats to political security of the Republic of Kazakhstan


One of the major threats to the security of the country is political extremism, which is based on ideological, often religious, beliefs, and covered up their political aims and objectives.
The term derives from the Latin extremus (superlatives from exter — «external», «outer»), one of the meanings of which was «extreme» in the sense of «the worst», «worst», «dangerous» and «evil».

Extremism — a form of radical rejection of existing social norms and regulations in the state by individuals or groups. Its roots lie in the social disorientation of the citizens, their lack of education, a critical state of society, weak institutions of social control and inefficient legal system.

The threat of radical extremist ideas in Kazakhstan comes mostly from depressed and densely populated regions of Central Asia — Tajikistan, the Ferghana Valley, the southern regions of Kazakhstan itself — regions where poverty is extremely high, the population suffers from social insecurity and accordingly proiskhoditusilenie growth trends in social and political radicalism.

Ferghana Valley — one of the most densely populated regions of the planet. The population density is 360 per km2. The highest density in the Uzbek part of the valley: 550 per sq. km. The birth rate in the region is still very high.

According to expert estimates, the population of the Ferghana Valley, which currently stands at 10 million, will reach 14–15 million in 2010 by the youth and children in the population (every second resident of the Fergana Valley under 18) maintains the high birth rate and term. For all parts of the valley is characterized by an overabundance of agrarian overpopulation and labor resources. in all three parts of the Ferghana Valley spreading poverty. In 2001, the average monthly wage in the Kyrgyz part of the valley was $ 15 in the Uzbek part of — $ 11–12, in Sughd region (Tajik part of the valley) — $ 6. Southern Kyrgyzstan and Ferghana region of Uzbekistan — the most impoverished areas in their countries. In the Tajik part of the valley 27% of the population older than 18 years — are unemployed. Slightly below the level of unemployment in the Kyrgyz and Uzbek parts of the valley. The most acute problem of unemployment is among women and youth. In 2000, the proportion of youth in the total number of unemployed in the Tajik part of the Fergana Valley was 69%.
Situation is aggravated by the lack of a strong, constructive opposition capable of smoothly and without incident translate this tension in the direction of social dialogue.

Under these conditions, the populist ideas of extremists who exploit religion for their own purposes, able to capture large numbers of people dissatisfied with the standard of living and have lost faith in the ability of their state to improve the economic situation.
In addition to security extremism Kazakhstan threatened by terrorism. Etymologically, the word «terrorism» comes from the Latin terror, means on the one hand, a sense of fear or terror, on the other hand, the very subject of horror — terrible things or news.
Terrorism is often defined as a deliberate and reasoned use of violence aimed at intimidating and demoralization of society, the disorganization of the state structure by applying the most brutal methods to achieve certain goals. That is, terrorism is largely a form of struggle against the anti-systemic forces of a community, as a rule, the state. Terrorism has become a determining factor in the development of international relations. The reality is that, with its extensive network of ideologues, followers and sponsors all over the world, terrorists are resorting to increasingly sophisticated criminal activity, not necessarily related to the purely military threats. The transnational nature of many terrorist organizations and networks give this global nature of the threat, direct refractions which are individual countries and regions of the world. Therefore, the fight against terrorism within the framework of one state and the efforts of one individual state makes all attempts to eradicate it ineffective. Countering terrorism, along with military methods at least equally effective are recognized and others — financial, informational, ideological, legal, socio-economic and other.
In a highly developed system of terrorist organizations, is more than 150 organizations operating in different regions of the world, pro-Islamic terrorist groups are the predominant direction. Most of them were formed as a political union, fighting for independence, freedom and political rights. The activities of many of these groups focused on Central Asia, the region with a predominantly Muslim population. A real threat to regional security in Kazakhstan is the presence on the territory of the neighboring Central Asian states of radical terrorist groups. Their contingent includes mercenaries from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, Egypt, Afghanistan and other countries in the Middle East. Although attempts by radical groups to recruit into their ranks of citizens of the Central Asian republics are also sometimes bring success, which is largely explained by socio-economic, cultural and educational problems of the Central Asian countries. Attempts by these groups to get visa support fixed embassies in Russia and some CIS countries, Pakistan, Turkey and some Middle Eastern countries.

These organizations are intensifying their efforts to interfere in the internal affairs of the countries of the CIS. For international terrorist and extremist organizations, poses a great threat security of the republic, are as follows: «Muslim Brotherhood», «Hizbut-Tahriral-Islami» («Islamic Liberation Party»), «Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan» (involved in armed provocations in 1999–2000. on the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border), «Akromidy» (radical Islamic Uzbekistan for acting in the Fergana Valley), «Adolat Uyushmasi» («Association Adolat» — illegal religious extremist organization since January 1991 serving in Uzbekistan), «Islom lashkarlari» (religious group, sticking to the ideology of Wahhabism), «Tovba'' (an extremist religious movement has supporters in Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.). Their main task now is pro ¬ Propaganda ideas of radical Islamic fundamentalism, involvement in their new supporters among the population of the Central Asian countries.

As it was mentioned above, terrorism and extremism today are closely linked and in the brightest form characteristic for the Muslim community. The problem of religious fundamentalism frustrates Central Asian countries, including Kazakhstan, the constitutional system which is based on secular attitudes and norms. In Islam, secular and spiritual power, religion and identity are inseparable. Islam does not only regulate, but also controls the individual’s privacy. When we talk about the important features of Islam, as the intervention of religion in political decision-making, its defining role in the system of governance, then, first of all, we mean the so-called «political Islam». Although, according to religious dogma in Islam there is no separation of the political and religious spheres. This important fact is often used many ideologists of radical religious groups to justify their struggle against the secular regimes.

Religious fundamentalism in Islam, calling for a return to the origins of religion, to the Muslim community the prophet Muhammad, offering political reconstruction on old principles, i.e. through the construction of the Caliphate, and essentially denies the entire previous history of religion and civilizational achievements, is a direct challenge to the national interests of Kazakhstan. Religious fundamentalism hinders the development of the national identity of all Kazakhstani society, creates pockets of religious intolerance in the country, undermining its social and ethnic stability.

The Central Asian countries historically associated with the Islamic world and directly bordering the Muslim states of the Middle East (with a very problematic in many respects States), the religious factor may come to the fore in comparison with others when it comes to the actual factors of Islamic extremism and terrorism.

For Kazakhstan important to remain in line with the evolutionary trends in Islam. And as Islamic fundamentalism brings revolutionary impulse, we cannot allow political space of Kazakhstan and Central Asia was filled with radical Islam.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in this regard expresses quite clearly: «Without prejudice to the civil rights of believers, must nevertheless be noted that the confessional security may be subject to testing in the case of excessive politicization particular religion or religious movement. Here formula that can and should provide secular status of the state and confessional harmony in society is quite simple: the faithful certainly have civil rights and democratic freedoms enjoyed. In turn, the religion as the spiritual and the possibility of worship does not and should not have political rights and the opportunity to influence the political will of the state».


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Sahiyev Saulet,
Senior lecturer at Kyzylorda State University named after Korkyt Ata