Court refuses to register Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Kazakhstan

Gate of the house, which was previously used for the Ahmadiyya community in Almaty

Ahmadiyya Muslim Community which was operating in Almaty didn’t pass the procedure of mandatory re-registration. The court has made a decision to close it, however, the argument about its’ rights continue.

The head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Kazakhstan, Nyrim Taibek, says that the community hasn’t been re-registered as it didn’t pass the pre-registration process and was shut down after the court decision. They plan to appeal against the court decision.

Nyrim Taibek says, that Kazakh authorities are discriminating against the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, because of conceptual theological discrepancy with Spiritual governance of Muslims in Kazakhstan and the court has submitted to this governance.

According to him, such discrimination in the registration procedure of religious organizations has become possible due to drawbacks in Kazakh legal system, which in practice doesn’t guarantee freedom of religion. DYMK, which has an influence on certain state agencies, is against Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, states Nyrim Taibek.

Nurym Taybek, head of Ahmadiyya Muslims in Kazakhstan.

DYMK denies these complaints. Azattik has written several times about the problems faced by the community, when the government accused it of conducting a religious convention in an inappropriate place – inside a private house. This argument was also reviewed by the courts.

Kazakh Ahmadi Muslims don’t have the right to get together to collectively pray and conduct other religious ceremonies, and in case they do, they may be persecuted as criminals for violating the law, says Nyrim Taibek.

The Director of the Department of Religious Affairs in Almaty, Nyrzhan Zhaparkyl, says that the decision to deny re-registration of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was made independently and DMYK had no influence in the ruling.

DYMK is a public association. It is not a government agency. What the mufti said reflected the position of the public association. The government’s position may be different. We act according to the norms of the law, we act only according to the current legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan, as well as on those standards that are approved, – says Nyrzhan Zhaparkyl.

The inscription on the gate of the house, which was previously used by the Ahmadiyya community

The law in the Republic of Kazakhstan “About religious activity and religious associations” was passed in October 2011. This law specified that all the religious associations that are located on Republic of Kazakhstan territories, must have all of their constituent documents in place. The term cannot be infinite. There is one year. That means, the given term ended on October 25th, 2012, – says Nyrzhan Zhaparkyl.