Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Religious toleration and forbearance have always been and remain to be the most important component of the state policy of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Mostly owing to this the representatives of 18 religious confessions including the Muslim, Orthodox, Jewish, Catholic, and other religions live in peace and accord, and freely observe their religious practices in Uzbekistan. In the last years not a single fact of an interfaith standoff or conflict situations, neither among the confessions themselves nor confessions and the state structures was observed in the country.
At all largest international conferences, seminars and meetings held lately under the UN auspices the experience of Uzbekistan in achieving the understanding and mutual respect among religions is appraised as worthy of every attention and support.
The Republic of Uzbekistan has always taken a principle and consistent stand with regard to peremptory, entirely groundless statements by particular politicians, statesmen and mass media, which are of an explicitly provocative orientation, capable of undermining the mutual understanding among religions.
Above all, this concerns the facts, when the international terrorism is linked with the holy religion for Muslims – Islam, when the western press under the guise of the “freedom of speech” slogans, circulate the offensive assessments, which hurt the honour, national dignity and feelings of hundreds of millions of Muslim believers.
Uzbekistan has invariably stated and states its resolute rejection of such acts. Evidence of that is Uzbekistan’s denunciation of publications of “caricatures” of Prophet Muhammad and irresponsible statements on Islamic religion by Pope Benedict ХVI. Uzbekistan is one of the acclaimed hubs of the making and development of Islamic culture and philosophy. We are duly proud of the fact that the greatest theologians and philosophers revered throughout the Muslim world lived and created on our soil. Uzbekistan consistently pursues the policy of restoring, learning and preserving this rich spiritual heritage.
We have all grounds to firmly state that all conditions for the free religious observance by followers of traditional religions are created and guaranteed by the Constitution in our country. As for the activity of various missionary movements and sects, the Uzbek side in this issue adheres to main provisions of the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On the freedom of conscience and religious organizations” adopted yet in the early years of independence of the republic.
Proceeding from the aforesaid, the Uzbek side considers the decision by the U.S. State Department on inclusion of the republic in the so-called list of “states, which cause a particular concern in the sphere of observance of religious freedoms” is unfounded and nothing else other than the interference into internal affairs of sovereign Uzbekistan.
Embassy of Uzbekistan
Perleberger Str. 62
Phone: 030 39 40 98 -0; - 13
Fax: 030 39 40 98 62
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