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Kyrgyzstan eyes law to curb extravagance
Question of the Day
“Businessmen and officials have big-show funerals, and the Shariah [Islamic law] does not condone that,” said Mufti Rakhmatylo Eghemberdiev, head of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kyrgyzstan.
“According to Shariah, wastefulness is a sin: Allah forbade it. Besides the stress after a relative’s death, people are also faced with the stress of how to afford horses to slaughter.”
Mr. Eghemberdiev said his organization, which oversees all of the country’s Islamic groups, issued two fatwas, or nonbinding religious rulings, in recent years ordering the faithful to rein in their spending on such occasions. He said it is time for lawmakers to take the initiative.
“Our fatwas don’t really work, so the restrictions should be on the level of the law,” he said.
Kyrgyz lawmakers are expected to debate the bill when they return from summer recess next month, but many doubt that government decrees will be any more effective than religious ones.
“These are our customs and traditions, and no law can change them,” said Akylbek Sariev, a 50-year-old lawyer in Bishkek. “It has been this way from generation to generation. It’s in our blood.
“No one wants to bring shame upon themselves, and you can’t change that with one law,” he said. “The authorities forbid poaching and smuggling, too, and you see the results.”
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