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Uzbekistan: A Place Where Religious Tolerance Prevails

Tourism lures include ancient Central Asia mosques and mausoleums, and secular nature

By L.Todd Wood:

Our media are inundated with stories of strife, especially from the arch of instability which reaches from the Atlas Mountains to Afghanistan. However, there are some areas where one can experience moderate and tolerant Islam, which lived for centuries in peace with Christians and Jews.

Take Uzbekistan in Central Asia, a place of ancient and glorious history, which one can discover for oneself.  With its beautiful mosques, mausoleums and madrassas it lures the savvy tourist, but its secular nature provides for religious tolerance and gender equality.  Here’s a little secret: Uzbekistan is still relatively unknown.

The Central Asian nation has morphed from a trading hub on the Silk Road into a fascinating travel terminus, its rich historical heritage waiting for the curious Westerner to come and visit.  I’m talking about tourism with deep historic meaning that helps to understand the roots of Islam which go beyond Arabia and its radicalism. The richness of Eurasian civilization, culture and architecture is simply unmatched, a place where one can truly understand the wonderful complexity of our planet.

Perhaps the most significant example of the religious tolerance experienced in Uzbekistan is the Tomb of Daniel, located in the ancient city of Samarkand. Across the border in Afghanistan, where a brutal war has raged for almost two decades, but here Christians, Jews, and Muslims pray together where legend states the remains of the Old Testament prophet are buried.

To read rest of article visit The Washington Times.

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