Despite the last 20 years after the collapse of the USSR, among us we see many Kirgiz and the people from this historically and spiritually close country. The most citizens of the CIS continues still feel a kind of something united across the whole Eurasia. Ties with Turkic and Russian world are close in general, but in the spiritual education they are especially close with Dagestan.
On the problems of the modern history of a newly established state of Kyrgyzstan – the talk of a culture scientist Jannat Sergey Markus with the Director of the Institute of Strategic Analysis and Prognosis at Kirghiz-Russian Slavic University (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan) Akylbek Salieva.
- How can recent events in Kyrgyzstan in general be described? At household level, there is one question: what's going on there?
- Unfortunately, virtually all countries of the near abroad and foreign countries perceive the recent events in Kyrgyzstan at the household level with a monstrous distortion. Talking about the reality, we must consider the events of March 2005, when the first president, Askar Akayev, escaped from the country, and the events of April 2010, when the second President, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, also found refuge for himself and his family in the foreign land. Of course, some words should be said about the so-called Osh events, when there was a bloody conflict between the Kirghiz and Uzbeks in June 2010 in southern Kyrgyzstan.
Events associated with the expulsion of the presidents of Kyrgyzstan, and the so-called revolution in North Africa, say only one thing: the stability and even the progressive development of the country can not justify the unlimited holding of power of one person.
In March 2005, after 15 years in office, Askar Akayev, allowed himself to manipulate the results of parliamentary elections, which aroused the discontent of the people. The opposition did not even have intentions to seize power. They only wanted to receive assurances that Akayev would resign at the end of 2005, having worked as the president not for 10 years as it was planned, but for almost 15 years.
Kurmanbek Bakiyev, having become the president of Kyrgyzstan, in the interview told that in the day as the so-called March Revolution he was eating Manti, when he was told that the people expelled the President Askar Akayev from the country.
During the five years of his presidency, Kurmanbek Bakiyev made the same mistakes that were made by Askar Akayev for 15 years. On the eve of April 7, 2010 in Kyrgyzstan, all recognizable opposition leaders were put in custody of state security bodies and the Interior Ministry. But the people again went out to the central square and now they intended to change the regime, despite the cold-blooded shooting of demonstrators. On that day, on the central square of the capital of Kyrgyzstan snipers, defending Kurmanbek Bakiyev, killed 87 people.
What prompted people to make such sacrifices? Corruption, animated by Askar Akayev, bloomed at the times of the president. Both presidents have distinguished by the fact that they allowed their relatives to intervene in state affairs. In virtually all areas of public life the 'family' had the last word. Corruption, cronyism, nepotism, lawlessness, and the most important - the desire to combine the presidential term, defined by the Constitution, with a term of biological life - all this was a serious concomitant of the main negative factor - an unjust governing. The unfair governing led to two revolutions in Kyrgyzstan.
Unfortunately, the post-Soviet period of the development of the countries of this region shows that the core of modern government is often to preserve the government itself, and this explains the shameful escapes of the chief executives of Kyrgyzstan, and the dissatisfaction and the endless stream of criticism of their colleagues in neighboring countries.
- What was new and important in the past year?
- Last year, Kyrgyzstan held parliamentary elections and made changes to the constitution of the country. Now we have a parliamentary form of governance. I am sure that possible renunciation of this form of government in the future is not the proof of a wrong path. In this case we should talk about the mistakes of individuals and their wrong motives. We all know that in Kyrgyzstan the author of a new constitution without the help of "friends from overseas" would simply impose a parliamentary form of government. But it is fair to note that the first two presidents completely compromised the presidential form of government.
- You described mostly negative trends of our time. Are there any positive?
- Today in Kyrgyzstan, where public behavior is caused by the inevitable "diseases of childhood growth," there are still positive effects associated with the development of social thought, the growth of political consciousness of citizens. And all of these processes suggest that the country has nation-building, even if this process is hard and has some losses. On October, 30 there will be presidential elections.
The current president Otunbayeva - is the only head of state in Central Asia, who worked for the stipulated time and, following his promises, calmly, without hysterics transfers power to the next head of state. No one can say for sure how the presidential election will pass in. Too many people outside the country have an interest in this subject. And it is not always that this interest coincides with the interest of the citizens of Kyrgyzstan.
- The Islamic factor in the Kyrgyz reality has many faces. On the one hand, the opposition was based on it, on the other hand - the new authorities try to agree on the development of the Muslim initiatives with the objectives of the state. What is the current dynamics of these processes?
- It should be noted that the number of practicing Muslims in Kyrgyzstan is on the rise. Daily painting was the participation of the schoolchildren and people in uniform in Friday prayers. More than two thousand mosques were built in the country over the past two decades. However the people’s appeal to God that is worthy of positive evaluation is accompanied by a number of disturbing trends.
Firstly, the anxiety is associated with low levels of religious knowledge among those who consider themselves believers. Ill-educated clergy and the parishioners of the mosques, who are also weak in theology, can not resist the active work of members of the radical religious party "Hizb ut-Tahrir". The lack of basic knowledge not only among ordinary Muslims, but among the clergy allows totalitarian Protestant sects, pseudo-Islamic organizations to feel very freely in the country.
The main reason for the current situation in Kyrgyzstan - is that the government still can not understand the place and the role of religion in modern Kyrgyz state. According to the Constitution, religion is separate from the state and the political parties of the religious persuasion can not be formed in the country. However, these two things create good conditions for those who want to harm the stability of Kyrgyzstan under the guise of religious rhetoric. Scientologists, Munovs, Ahmadis - this is only a small fraction of those, who settled in Kyrgyzstan. About 700 missionaries from South Korea, the USA, Germany, Pakistan and Britain, are employed here, spreading alien pseudo views to the local population.
In addition to the external "well-wishers", there are local amateurs to use the religious factor in private use. The Islamic factor hasn’t been seriously used by anyone in Kyrgyzstan yet. But for several years there were recorded attempts to speculate on this topic. In Kyrgyzstan, there are about two or three odious men, who openly try to rely on the so-called Islamic resource in order to become members of Parliament or the Head of State. While the efforts of these guys do not bring them success, we should talk about the alarming trend of the politicization of Islam.
It is also difficult to assert that the government is taking concrete steps to harmonize Muslim initiatives with the objectives of the state. There are only weak attempts of the government to streamline the situation with the production of halal products and they take tentative steps to introduce some of the principles of Islamic finance in the country.
- How do you see a foreign policy of the new leadership of Kyrgyzstan: toward the EU and the USA, to Russia and the SCO, or in the direction of the great neighbor of China?
- Some time ago the president Askar Akayev, speaking about the foreign policy priorities of Kyrgyzstan, said that "God gave us Russia," and relations with Moscow and the West will be built on the principle "and- and" instead of "either - or".
Several years ago, our Institute conducted a sociological survey on the attitude of the population to the foreign presence of Kyrgyzstan. The vast majority of respondents positively evaluated the Russian military, economic and humanitarian presence in our country. For justice’ sake we should note that such positive attitude to Russia was formed thanks to the "old baggage", and not due to the coherent and well thought-out policy, developed in the Smolensk area in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of RF. Omission or errors of Russian foreign policy in Kyrgyzstan do not contribute to its popularization in modern Kyrgyz society.
I want to give one good example. In Bishkek there is a U.S. university, there is a Turkish university and a Kirghiz-Russian Slavic University. Objectively, the quality of education at the American University is beneath criticism. But the so-called ideological work is well placed. The students are proud to attend this school. The things are thoroughly put in Turkish university. Everything has a solid basis. The Turks created good conditions for teachers and students.
A completely different picture is in the Kirghiz-Russian Slavic University. The most painful subject - is the timely funding. The Russian side undertook to finance 80% of the total wage bill for teachers. In fact, money from Moscow comes with a delay in 6-7 months. And the university employs more than three thousand teachers. Despite all this, KRSU retains the brand of the best university in Kyrgyzstan. But to test the patience of those, who work to strengthen ties between Kyrgyzstan and Russia, for such a long time and in such a mindless way is not reasonably.
Speaking about the western vector of the foreign policy of Kyrgyzstan, it should be noted that it is largely due to the activity of western partners, rather than "Westernism" of Kyrgyz politicians. Only in the past six months, Bishkek was repeatedly visited by the representatives of economic, military and political structures of the EU, the USA, and the NATO. The penetration of the Western interests in Kyrgyzstan had the most extensive form, and this can be illustrated by an interesting fact: Western programs finance the KVN games among the students in Kyrgyzstan.
Noteworthy is another fact. For many years only the ambassadors of the USA and Turkey congratulate the Muslims of Kyrgyzstan on the occasion of Ramadan on the central square in Bishkek before the festive Namaz. I'm not talking about a network of human rights of NGO, which almost entangled all the Kyrgyz society, bringing the so-called Western values of democracy to the masses, despite the fact that they do not always agree with the mentality of the indigenous peoples.
China should be noted from all the foreign partners. Beijing without any PR-support responds promptly to the requests from Kyrgyzstan. Outwardly, it appears in the fact that virtually all municipal buses in Bishkek were imported from China. In farmers' fields we see an increasing number of Chinese tractors. Regular technical assistance is received by the Defense Ministry of Kyrgyzstan. The Chinese quietly settled down in many fields of gold, rare metals.
Currently, there are negotiations about building a railway that will connect China with Kyrgyzstan. The realization of this plan will bring Kyrgyzstan out of the traffic deadlock and will pave the way to Chinese ports. If you objectively evaluate the position and policy of the foreign partners of Kyrgyzstan, then it seems to me that Beijing is more successful.
- Migrant workers from Kyrgyzstan – is a familiar phenomenon of Russian everyday life. How is labor migration adjusted and ameliorated, or this is a "dark area" with the growing chaos in it?
- If to compare it with the beginning of 2000, the situation with Kyrgyz labor migrants in Russia is getting more or less organized forms. Firstly, in areas with large concentrations of migrant workers the local Kyrgyzstanis create different organizations that help newly arrived compatriots to settle down, get registration and work permits.
In Bishkek, the FMS of Russia also attempts to bring some order to this area. Let's just say, on this issue the political position of Kyrgyzstan and Russia are characterized by the following: to make things easier for migrant workers from Kyrgyzstan. However, life is multifaceted and our migrant workers get in the most incredible and complex situations.
I think, eventually this problem will lose its relevance, as the vast majority of the Kirghiz is trying to get Russian citizenship. Future flow of labor migrants from Kyrgyzstan, coming to any region of Russia, will get into the favorable environment, in which they will have relatives or fellow countrymen, who have long ago settled there.
Some time ago the rector of the KRSU was full of initiative to open Migration and Education Center in suburban Mytishchi. In our concept, such a center could provide legal assistance to newly arrived migrants to Russia. Also they could learn some specialties. In such a center we could create conditions for the correspondence students, so they wouldn’t be forced to travel to Kyrgyzstan to pass the session twice a year.
With a reasonable approach the factor of migrant workers can be very effectively used to strengthen bilateral relations.
- What can Muslim organizations of Russia and Kyrgyzstan do to strengthen ties between our peoples and states?
- Objectively, the potential of Muslim organizations in Kyrgyzstan and Russia for the strengthening the ties between our peoples and states is very large. It is important to understand it and to organize the work in this area competently. It is also important to set priorities. In the beginning I would like to point out that it would be useful to intensify contacts in education. The idea is that the Russian Islamic universities opened their doors wider to students from Kyrgyzstan. Alas, I do not recall the case when teachers of, for example, Kazan Islamic University lectured in Islamic educational institutions in Kyrgyzstan.
By the way, there are very strong religious scholars in Kyrgyzstan, whose ancestors in 1930 were deported from Dagestan. They have bonds with Dagestan, but these contacts are based on a personal basis. It should be noted that the madrasah of Dagestan brothers provide a good theoretical basis to counter Wahhabism.
Speaking of the interaction of believers in Kyrgyzstan and Russia, I would like to stress the importance of sharing experiences on such topics as the creed. Today the supporters of Salafism are making a split in the Muslim community in Kyrgyzstan.
- Is the interest in Tengrianism that arose during the reign of Akayev still relevant for the construction of a new culture and statehood of Kyrgyz?
- As you know, "there is no compulsion in religion" (Quran). In modern society of Kyrgyzstan there are many confirmed atheists, pagans, cultists. Therefore, the Tengrianism should be treated as an objective phenomenon, which can not affect the process of nation-building in Kyrgyzstan.
I believe that there will always be the interest in Tengrianism, but it will not be decisive in forming the inner world of our citizens. It is important, as I said before, to establish a regular system of the country's religious education.