WASHINGTON, DC, March 4, 2013 - While some opponents have contended that Sen. John Kerry, the newly-confirmed US Secretary of State, misspoke when he identified democratic reforms in Kyrzakhstan, people throughout the tiny, Central Asian republic are disappointed that Americans are unaware of their existence.
The Islamic Socialist Republic of Kyrzakhstan is sandwiched between the borders of eastern Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and China. An ethnically diverse community, they have largely been ignored in geopolitics due to their extreme poverty and lack of resources.
During the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Kyrzakhstanis declared independence without any objections from neighboring Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, both of which consider the 250-square-mile territory too remote to administer effectively.
China considered invading the tiny province in their war against Uyghur rebels a few decades ago, until they realized that the country had no paved roads and the only motor vehicles that remained after the Soviet withdrawal have not operated in 20 years.
“Everyone has forgotten about us, which is fine,” said Choomgiz Choomgizkhanov, a Kyrzakhstani regional Imam Commissar. “This has given us the freedom to implement our traditional ways enlightened by Socialist thinking.”
While no one in Kyrzakhstan is entirely sure what democratic reforms Sen. Kerry was referring to, locals are proud of their implementation of ‘Islamic Socialism.’ Among their most valued accomplishments has been the establishment of what they call ‘Marxist-Leninist Sharia.’
While Islamic jurisprudence known as Sharia is not generally associated with Soviet-style socialism, modern Kyrzakhstan has found a way to meld the two very different systems.
Choomgizkhanov explains that in the case of theft, which Sharia says is punishable by amputation of the hand for the third offense, Marxist-Leninist Sharia takes a more socialist approach, which spreads individual punishment throughout an entire village or tribe.
“So, we do not cut off the hand of the thief; instead, we cut off one finger from everyone in the village.” Choomgizkhanov held up his left hand to reveal several missing digits, which he attributed to “bad neighbors.” “This way, we all share in the burden of being honest and not violating the laws of Allah.”
When asked if such measures could potentially suppress the reporting of crime, Choomgizkhanov emphatically agreed that it did and that Kyrzakhstanis were happy with this outcome.
“When nobody wants to report crime, we have less crime to deal with,” Choomgizkhanov said. “We like when everyone keeps quiet.”
Choomgizkhanov said that Kyrzakhstanis are not interested in democracy or human rights, preferring to live in tribal enclaves that practice collective goat herding. Major political decisions are made by Kyrzakhstani Communist Party officials at the regional mosque, which doubles as Party Headquarters.
“There have been too many assassinations of our Party Chairmen in tribal disputes, so we stopped electing them sometime back,” noted Choomgizkhanov. “It doesn’t matter anyhow, since we don’t listen to anyone above the local imam.”
Though largely cut off from the world with no TV or radio services, Kyrzakhstanis do receive some outside news through visitors they kidnap along their borders and hold for ransom, which is the second largest source of income for most Kyrzakhstanis aside from goat herding.
In spite of their geographical isolation, Kyrzakhstanis aren’t strangers to the latest cultural trends. Native Kyrzakhstani rapper Fifty Kopecks is famous for blending hip-hop with traditional local tunes, accompanying his often irreverent lyrics by plucking strings on a kyl-kobyz with his two remaining fingers. The latter is not an impediment because traditionally kyl-kobyzes have only two strings.
Upon hearing that American conservatives and Republicans were deriding Sen. Kerry for mentioning their existence, Choomgizkhanov asked to relay a message to the outside world.
“Come and see that we are here,” said Choomgizkhanov. “And, when you do, please bring ammunition, because we are running low.
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