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The Uzbek Crisis - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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No tears have been shed over these brutal massacres, nor did anybody weep over these terrible crimes. Those who failed to weep over these crimes are unfeeling and insensitive, and indeed only a handful of countries and organizations have been sympathetic and have offered aid to ease this country’s suffering. Thousands of people have been killed, and hundreds of thousands have been displaced or made homeless, living in fear and suffering from starvation. Even though the wailing of those who lost their children and the weeping of the orphans is deafening, there has been no action to help them. Damn the politics and politicians who do not offer help or aid unless this is in their own interests. The US has also been reassured that its military bases in the region are safe from such brutal massacres and bloodshed, and so as a result of this prefers to remain silent with regards to what is happening. Does humanitarian tragedy such as this have to include terrorist or extremist dimensions before the world will take action to help?

It is true that the Uzbek humanitarian crisis in Kyrgyzstan has been caused by the merciless ethnic conflict between the Uzbek minority and the Kyrgyz majority, and it is also true that there are international and regional powers that have an interests in this struggle, but that does not mean that it is right to turn a blind eye to what is happening there with regards to those who have lost children, been wounded, or are dying from starvation. This is because until now the reaction has not been equivalent to the extent of the horror of what is happening there. Some western humanitarian organizations were the first to react to these cries for help, and we are all aware that the majority of western organizations have their own political, economic, and religious agendas, although of course we appreciate the efficient and professional humanitarian role that they undertake.

Unfortunately, Iran remains the most proficient at exploiting tragedies in the Islamic world in order to implement its own political and ideological agenda. Iran is such a parasite that it can only nourish itself with the blood of others! You can see this in how Iran exploited the poverty of Islamic countries in Africa and the famines that occur there. As for the Uzbek crisis in Kyrgyzstan, if you search for Iran’s presence there you will undoubtedly find it, which is something that would cause anybody to despair and seek refuge from Iranian influence, when in fact Iran is doing nothing more than filling a vacuum, “as nature abhors a vacuum.”

For those who may not know, Kyrgyzstan is a predominately Muslim republic in central Asia, bordering Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and the People’s Republic of China. The Kyrgyz represent the predominant ethnic group; they are of Turkic descent and speak the Kyrgyz language. Kyrgyzstan has a population of around 5 million, 65 percent of whom are Sunni Muslims, and this includes both the Kyrgyz majority and the Uzbek minority who make up around 15 percent of the population. The Uzbeks are centered mainly in southern Kyrgyzstan, along the border with Uzbekistan. The tension between the Kyrgyz and Uzbek communities intensified after President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was ousted from power in April 2010. Since this time, the Uzbek regions in south Kyrgyzstan have been the site of instability, and the central government has lost control over these territories. As a result of this, criminal elements and drug traffickers have exploited this vacuum of power, and bloody massacres have taken place.

We are not concerned with current political situation in Kyrgyzstan, and its complexities, nor should we waste time in blaming or cursing those behind the ethnic conflict. However what should concerns us and concerns all the rich and influential Arab and Muslim countries, and Islamic organizations like the Muslim World League, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth is the suffering in the country, and they should act to offer aid to the Uzbeks and save hundreds of thousands of innocent families who have found themselves in the middle of a bitter ethnic struggle. These organizations should try to save the Kyrgyzstan Uzbek community before they are exploited in the political and ideological schemes of suspicious parties.

Dr. Hamad Al-Majid

Dr. Hamad Al-Majid

Dr. Hamad Al-Majid is a journalist and former member of the official Saudi National Organization for Human Rights. Dr. Al-Majid is a graduate of Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh and holds an MA from the University of California and a doctorate from the University of Hull in the United Kingdom.

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