DUSHANBE (TCA) — Authorities in Tajikistan will install security cameras and metal detectors in all mosques in the country’s capital, Dushanbe, the office of the city mayor said on March 29.
The move was announced at a working meeting chaired by Dushanbe Mayor Makhmadsaid Ubaidulloyev.
The mayor’s office said the measure is aimed at providing security for the worshippers and helping to strengthen public order.
The office of the mayor also said the equipment will be installed at the expense of the mosques and their worshippers.
The AFP news agency quoted a government source as saying on condition of anonymity that the measure was meant to “track the contingent praying at the mosque, to identify among believers potential followers of Salafism,” referring to an ultra-conservative brand of Sunni Islam.
The staunchly secular government of President Emomali Rahmon tightly controls the country’s religious institutions, including the appointment of mosque imams, RFE/RL’s Tajik Service reports.
The country’s Religious Affairs Committee even provides a list of topics it deems suitable for mosque sermons.
Tajikistan’s Avesta news agency reported that the Dushanbe authorities have also ordered to install security cameras and metal detectors in all educational and healthcare institutions, restaurants, trading centers, and other public places in the capital city.