The decision to create the party was made at the constituent congress of the Islamic Democratic Party on July 20 in Bishkek. The congress was carried out in the open air, in a public garden, near Soviet writer Maxim Gorky's monument. The leader of the new and not very numerous party is former observer of the state television and today’s independent journalist Narkas Mullajanov.
All above-mentioned above show the new organization not to be serious. So far, it has no program besides the protection of jobless citizens’ social rights. Not one famous political figure has joined the party yet. However, Narkas Mullajanov bravely states that the party will unite soon at least 100,000 people. And there is no overstatement in these words.
As is well known, Kirghizia is a Muslim country. About 80 percent of its population consider themselves to be Muslims. And they remember this independently of their political views. Now, the biggest squares of the capital cannot house all comers who want to attend morning prayers on Muslim holidays. Therefore, the idea the leaders of the new party used was in the air.
However, there is a legal trouble. The question is that the Kirghiz Constitution bans the creation of parties on a religion basis. But the first congress of the Islam Party, however, did take place, encircled by the police and security in plain clothes.
Now wonder. The basis of the party is made up of young “illegal builders” who without permission occupied lots in the Bishkek suburb and built their houses. This process already started in the late Soviet times. In 1989, leaders of the republic receded under pressure of the jobless youth from the province, who demanded the right to land. Soon, the capital was surrounded with earth-houses and huts, with no electricity or water. Within the last 10 years, land was boldly occupied, while later, the authorities simply passed decisions about handing over the plots that earlier were irrigation lands supplying bread and vegetables to the cities. Now, several thousands of people live in the “ring of poverty.” They have already obtained from authorities money for building electric sub-stations, water pipes, and roads. Now, they hope to obtain (through pressure, force, cries, and pickets) permission to have their own Islamic party.
All the more, a wave of such “protests” occured this summer over the entire republic. As a result, Deputy Azimbek Beknazarov was released from prison, while participants of the bloody events in the Aksy Region were amnestied. In some southern regions, even state functionaries are being replaced with such methods.
Narkas Mullajanov once said that the opposition in Kirghizia sooner or later will gain a Muslim character. According to him, all parties existing now in Kirghizia are “paper parties” possessing no power, while the real opposition is the illegal Islam party Hizb ut Takhrir al-Islami. However, it is mostly supported in the south of the country, where many Uzbeks live. While, in the north, there was no power of the kind, but now there is.
It is interesting that the new Islamic leader skillfully uses the Askar Akaev slogan, who declared Kirghizia to be a country of human rights. Freedom of conscience is, certainly, one of the main human rights. “So, after the ideas of human rights win, the Kirghiz opposition will have a Muslim face,” Narkas Mullajanov supposes.
Therefore, the small congress in the open air could seriously change the situation in Kirghizia, which is not stable at the moment, taking into account a mass Muslim movement in the south of the country opposing Askar Akaev's policies.
Yury Razgulaev PRAVDA.Ru Bishkek Kirghizia
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/07/22/44475.html