Strangely enough I am writing about Islam more and more and thinking about its influence a lot more than before. I pass almost everyday near one of Bishkek squares – the Victory Square and enjoy the vast space around it. Just recently there was an idea put forward by local Muslim groups to remove the monument at the Victory Square and build a Mosque there because they found historical evidence of this space belonging to a Mosque. This is done in response to Ministry of Interior request to ban public prayers in the central squares on Muslim holidays which were quite common for Kyrgyzstan.
I immediately imagined World War II medalled veterans on one side with red flags and bearded religious men on the other side all arguing and claiming historical ownership of the space. I would go for WWII veterans’ point for two reasons: 1. there is hardly any other space to recognize their effort to ‘bring peace to future generations’ and 2. it’s scary to think of a huge mosque built so close to a sex worker space, gay club, circus, casino and marriage registry palace.
Plus it is scary to have one more mosque. Had a huge discussion about women’s situation and development yesterday at LGBT community center.
Very short concept:
a non-consensual religious marriage at 17 for a woman =
= 3-4 children an+ divorce within 10 years =
= poverty * poor health* malnutrition =
= Kyrgyzstan becoming poorer
Therefore, ‘NO, I do not support restrictive religious presence in families, on the streets and in institutions’