Central Asia’s widening religious tolerance highlighted as Feast of Sacrifice celebrated


Almost 30 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union that had often denounced religion as an enemy of Communism, former member states celebrated the Islamic “Feast of Sacrifice” openly within an air of an increasingly open religious tolerance and with congratulations from their leaders.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev (Kazinform)

In Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev “wished all Muslims Happy Eid Al Adha (Feast of Sacrifice), noting that this holiday represents timeless values of kindness and mercy, and that is the reason why Eid Al Adha takes such a special place in the spiritual life of the Kazakh nation,” the official news agency Kazinform reported from the capital Nur-Sultan.

“On this holy holiday for all Muslims I wish my compatriots sound health and prosperity. Let our Motherland, the Republic of Kazakhstan, prosper,” the presidential message said.

During the Eid Al Adha celebrations the Muslim community does good deeds while demonstrating mutual support and solidarity. This is especially important for Kazakhstan where people cherish their unity and accord, Kazinform said.

President Ilham Aliyev

President Ilham Aliyev (Azertac)

In Baku, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev congratulated the people of Azerbaijan on Eid Al Adha, the national news agency reported.

“Dear compatriots! I sincerely congratulate you and all our compatriots living in different parts of the world on the occasion of the holy Eid Al Adha and wish you all the best,” he said.

“Eid Al Adha as one of the main holidays of Islam, which was chosen by Allah as the path of truth for humanity, embodies spiritual unity, solidarity, kindness and tolerance. It reflects a person’s ability to choose the right position at the most difficult moments and the readiness for any self-sacrifice in the name of higher goals.”

People in Azerbaijan have been historically attached to Islam and its progressive traditions, he added.

“We have preserved these values for centuries, and our country has become one of the cultural centers of Islamic civilization. In Azerbaijan, all religious holidays, including the Eid Al Adha ceremonies, are held every year with great festivities and a high spiritual mood. On these days, prayers are offered in the name of the progress of our state and the welfare and well-being of our people. Charity work is carried out and the blessed memory of our martyrs is revered. I do hope that all your good intentions, prayers and wishes will become a reality and the Almighty will always be merciful to our people,” Aliyev said.

President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov (TDH)

President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov (TDH)

In Ashgabat, Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov offered his congratulations on Kurban Bayram, the Feast of Sacrifice, and stressed that every citizen of considers it an honour to make a worthy contribution to strengthening peace and friendship on the planet and to developing culture and traditions.

“The material and spiritual values of the Turkmen people ensure the harmonious development of our modern society. Cultural heritage plays an important role in strengthening peace and friendship between peoples. In this context, our state policy focuses on the enrichment of national traditions, as well as their popularization all around the world,” he said, quoted by the national news agency, TDH.

President Jeenbekov attending prayers  (Kabar)

President Jeenbekov attending prayers (Kabar)

In Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, President Sooronbay Jeenbekov visited the central mosque in Bishkek and took part in Ait namaz (Eid prayers)

Prayers in kyrgyzstan (Kabar)

Prayers in kyrgyzstan (Kabar)

Another large  prayer of the Kurman Ait (Feast of the Sacrifice) took place in the Old Square, the press service of the Bishkek Mayor’s Office reported.

Head of the President’s Office of the Kyrgyz Republic Dosaly Esenaliyev, Parliament Speaker Dastanbek Dzhumabekov and Mayor of Bishkek Aziz Surakmatov congratulated the Muslims, Kabar news agency said.

“Today is a day of good wishes, good deeds and happiness. May this sacred holiday bring health, happiness and peace to our families!” Surakmatov said.


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