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First Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Kazakhstan M. Tazhin, Minister of Religious Affairs and Civil Society N. Yermekbayev, Chairman of the SAMK, Supreme Mufti of Kazakhstan Ye. Mayamerov, Imams K. Duisenbay, N. Yesmaganbet, N. Auskhanuly, A. Kerimbek, T. Ospan.
Addressing the audience, the Head of State noted the special role of religion in the life of the Kazakh people and measures to regulate religious relations on the part of the state.
"The state pays special attention to this issue. A special Ministry that analyzes the problems and provides support in this area has been created. Recently I published an article on the need to modernize conscience, preserve, and also saturation at the same time of our historical and spiritual wealth. Patriotism, love of the Motherland, stability within the country and in the region is our future. For this we must work together," the President of Kazakhstan said.
N. Nazarbayev emphasized that in the era of development of digital technologies, Kazakhstan should preserve its national values, culture and traditions.
The President drew attention to the need of counteraction of destructive religious teachings.
"Everyone knows that Kazakhstan has a large territory, natural wealth and resources. There are those who look at all this with envy. First of all, these are those who bear us malice, they try to cause disagreements in the society. One way to influence us from outside is to introduce alien religious doctrines for our people. This trend has been observed recently. We must fight against manifestations that are dangerous for our statehood. In this regard, you have great challenges," the President of Kazakhstan addressed the imams.
N.Nazarbayev underlined the traditional character of the Hanafi for the Kazakh Muslims and noted the need to train specialists who have the skills to explain the basics of this trend of Islam.
"To date, there are 3 800 imams working in SAMK. Half of the total number of courses went to improve religious literacy. But it should be noted that this is not enough. We need to understand how we will raise the level of knowledge of the imams and specialists working in this field. Only the educated imam can correctly enlighten. He must have knowledge of his religion, he needs to study the characteristics of other religions, as well as have other knowledge. The imams must become ideologists with skills of oratorical art and knowledge in human psychology," the Head of State said.
During the conversation, the President of Kazakhstan inquired about the work of Nur Mubarak University and plans for its further development.
N. Nazarbayev paid special attention to manifestations of religious ignorance of the younger generation.
"As a result of ignorance, our young people grow their beards and cut their pants. The number of the Kazakh girls, who completely cover themselves with black clothes, increases. This doesn’t correspond to traditions or our people. It is necessary to work out the issue of banning this at the legislative level. Kazakhs wear black clothes during mourning time," the Head of State said.
The President of Kazakhstan reminded the history of the Kazakh culture and traditional clothing of the Kazakh women, emphasizing the absence of connection between black attire and religion.
"If young people follow instructions alien to our people, then what will happen to the state? We are not allowed to do this. Independent Kazakhstan should have a bright future, the nation must be united, the country should be secular and develop further. We will not tolerate those who oppose our goal. This is not only the interests of the state apparatus, it is the interests of all people of Kazakhstan, its future," N. Nazarbayev said.
The Head of State, noting the importance of religious literacy among the population, emphasized the need to promote patriotic upbringing in the activities of the imams.
"A true Muslim is not known by his clothing, his difference lies in his inner faith. If there is love in the heart of a person, then, therefore, he has faith. We must move towards a civilized world, discover science and knowledge. Up to the XVIII-XIX centuries the Muslim world was the leader globally. He was the source of science, the home of philosophers, doctors and writers. Now we have lost the leading positions in these issues," the Head of State stressed.
The President of Kazakhstan noted that today our citizens receive various information via the Internet. In the same way, they gain access to sermons of unconventional currents. Various methods and technologies are used for this. We also need to use information technology to combat them. If necessary, the state is ready to support the SAMK.