My niece told me that her school friend dreamed of becoming a ballerina, but her parents, practicing Muslims, did not allow her to attend ballet classes because ballet is “haram.” The girl had to give up her dream despite her obvious talent and passionate desire. Another acquaintance of mine forbade their daughter from practicing rhythmic gymnastics because Islam prohibits sports in which the awrah is exposed and a man can touch a woman. In the third family, a boy who had shown promise of becoming an outstanding artist almost buried his hopes because his devout parents greatly restricted him. They consider themselves true Muslims and do not allow their son to draw animate objects: people, animals, birds. Without them, the boy considers his paintings incomplete. Because of this, he is very upset and is thinking about giving up painting altogether. There are many such examples around, and with the spread of Islam in our country, there will be more and more. Restrictions on engaging in various forms of art and sports create problems and distort the destinies of individual children. But if we consider this phenomenon at the country level, it is obvious that the introduction of Islamic norms creates significant obstacles to the development of the nation as a whole. We are losing potentially great artists, sculptors, and athletes. This damages our gene pool since every work of art and sporting achievement could contribute to the national heritage. Just imagine how impoverished Italy, and indeed all of humanity would be if Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Raphael had lived in an Islamic environment. Or how impoverished Russian and global ballet would be if Anna Pavlova or Maya Plisetskaya had been born in a Muslim family. Thus, strict Islam limits people’s creative potential in art and sports. However, I think it is not worth advocating for a complete abandonment of Islam in our country because of this. As with any phenomenon, religion has both beneficial and negative sides. I hope that Kazakhstani Muslims, as modern and enlightened people, will be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. They will have the courage to abandon outdated religious dogmas and follow only those Islamic norms that are reasonable and justified in the modern world.

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