BISHKEK: An award-winning Imam in Muslim-majority Kyrgyzstan has blamed women’s thighs for the skyrocketing prices of meat in the country. He said that women have cheapened them by showing too much of their skin.
Imam Sadybakas Doolov said in a program in the capital city of Bishkek, “Do you know when meat prices go up in your town? It goes up when women’s flesh cheapens. A woman’s meat becomes cheap when she bares skin and exposes her thighs like a thumb.”
The 53-year-old award-winning cleric, who formerly served as the president of an Islamic university, urged senior men to bring an end to this shame and prohibit women from wearing scant attire. Doolov’s words triggered a flood of outraged responses in the Muslim majority country when a video of his preaching was uploaded on social media. Some accused the Imam of insulting and discriminating against women and demanded a criminal investigation against him.
The country’s highest Islamic authority, on the other hand, has defended the Imam, saying his remarks did not violate any rules. Doolov’s provocative remark has been investigated by the state-backed Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kyrgyzstan (DUMK). According to the DUMK, Doolov’s words did not breach any Islamic regulations, did not disrespect anyone’s honor or dignity, and did not meddle with politics. According to the report, the investigation looked into Doolov’s remarks using those three criteria.
The agency also talked with the Imam, who won the coveted DUMK Aikol Award in 2020. Doolov’s remark, according to the DUMK, was simply misinterpreted by many. The DUMK inquiry came after two Kyrgyz activists requested an investigation from the State Committee for National Security and the Prosecutor-General’s Office.
Doolov claims that critics took his statements during a 30-minute lecture out of context and misconstrued them. The outspoken Imam stated that he intended for people to evaluate their own moral standards rather than blame authorities or traders for everything. He said, “There were some words on why you’re talking about the high price of meat but your honor is not offended when women walk around with their naked bodies.”
The Imam stated that he had no intention of demeaning women. However, numerous Kyrgyz social media users accused him of chauvinism, stupidity, and religious misrepresentation.
One of the critics commented on social media, “Simply genius! Now, please check on Google the price of meat in some Arab countries (where women are covered head-to-toe) and see if your theory works there, too.”
Doolov’s words, according to one Kyrgyz, indicated radical notions, and his understanding of Islam should be investigated by security forces. Several others expressed worry that religious individuals with dubious ideologies are teaching Islam to the next generation.
Doolov is very active on social media, frequently sharing videos with more than 124,000 Instagram followers and over 200,000 YouTube subscribers. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he reportedly acquired his religious education at a private madarasa in the neighboring country Tajikistan. Doolov was the head of at least two Islamic schools in Kyrgyzstan, according to Kyrgyz media sources. He presently works as an Imam in Bishkek’s Sverdlov district. (Int’l Monitoring Desk)