Staunton, January 31 – Shodi Shabdonolov, the head of the Communist Party of Tajikistan, says that followers of the Salafi trend of radical Islam have been trying to join his organization in the hopes of using it as a Trojan horse to advance their own interests against Dushanbe.
In an interview with the Tajik Service of Radio Liberty, Shabdolov said that his party does not prevent Muslim believers from joining but will not admit anyone known to be a follower of a radical trend, especially one that has been illegal in his country since 2009 (rus.ozodi.org/content/article/26821684.html).
The communist leader said that Salafis had many times attempted to join his organization’s ranks but that they had always been met with suspicion and not admitted. He said that he and his comrades want to do what they can to prevent the Salafis from acquiring yet another platform for disseminating their radical views.
Radio Liberty noted that on Thursday, an Iranian news organization had reported that “members of extremist groups had been directed to penetrate officially functioning political organizations of Tajikistan in order to propagandize their views.” It is also possible that some of the Salafis involved in this effort may be Tajiks coming from Afghanistan.
At present, the Communist Party of Tajikistan is the third largest party in that Central Asian country, behind the ruling Peoples Democratic Party and the Islamic Party for the Rebirth of Tajikistan.