Close

Forgot your password?

Choose a newsletter




Premium access provided by ENSTA

Your premium access provided by ENSTA

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by NRC Q

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to NRC Q.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by EM-LYON

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to EM-LYON.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by Goldsmiths

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to Goldsmiths.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by Worldcrunch HQ

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to Worldcrunch HQ.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by MINES Alès Alumni

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to MINES Alès Alumni.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by ESCP Europe Alumni

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to ESCP Europe Alumni.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by IONIS Education Group

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to IONIS Education Group.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by SOAS University of London

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to SOAS University of London.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by Contact Expats

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to Contact Expats.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by The Australian Financial Review

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to The Australian Financial Review.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by Stabsstelle Alumni, Career service and Fundraising

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to Stabsstelle Alumni, Career service and Fundraising.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by Sciences Po Alumni

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to Sciences Po Alumni.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by TBS Alumni

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to TBS Alumni.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by MinnPost

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 6 months thanks to MinnPost.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by Expatica

You've been given FREE premium access to Worldcrunch

Enter your email to begin

Worldcrunch

Extremist Islamic Attacks In Russia Target Moderate Muslims

Article illustrative image Partner logo Women in traditional dress in Makhachkala

MOSCOW - It has been another rough few weeks for religious understanding in Russia.

Last week in the North Caucasian region of Dagestan, an influential Islamic cleric was killed in a suicide bomb attack at his home. In addition to Said Afandi Al-Chirkavi, 74, the bomb killed seven others, including the suicide bomber, and the victim's wife and a 12-year-old boy who was there with his parents, both of whom also died. 

The people assembled in Al-Chirkavi's home were all religious pilgrims, and the older woman who entered his home and sat near him in the afternoon last Tuesday claimed to be a pilgrim as well. But she had come with a bomb hidden under her clothes, and the explosion killed Al-Chirkavi immediately. 

Although female suicide bombers are not particularly rare in Russia’s war-torn North Caucasus, this one was unusual, because she was ethnically Russian and a convert to Islam.
 
This is the second attack on moderate Muslim leaders in Russia in the past several weeks, signs that more extremist factions are gaining inroads -- and becoming more violent.

In fact, just as the attack in Dagestan was taking place, Russian President Vladimir Putin was visiting Tatarstan, one of the predominately Muslim areas of Russia that unlike the North Caucasus has been relatively peaceful. But Putin’s visit was in response to an attack on the Mufti, or Islamic leader, in Kazan, and the assassination-style killing of his deputy.

Putin intervenes

Ildus Faisov, the Mufti, managed to survive a bomb that went off in his car on July 19 with only a broken leg, but his deputy was shot at point-blank range in his home just an hour before three bombs went off in Faisov’s car. Although it is still not clear who was behind the attacks, it is well known that Faisov had enemies among Salafist extremists. 

The similarities with Al-Chirkavi are hard to ignore. Al-Chirkavi was a Sufi leader, following the type of Islam that is considered “traditional” in the area, in contrast to the Salafists, also known as Wahabis, a movement that has been introduced in the past 20 years, mostly as a result of influence from Saudi Arabia

Tatarstan has been reeling from the attacks. Observers are worried that the region may be pushed into civil war, with tensions mounting even before Al-Chirkavi’s death. Some think that war may in fact have been the goal of the attack, and that groups behind Al-Chirkavi’s death actually wanted his supporters to pick up arms in an attempt at revenge. Al-Chirkavi had been a major supporter of reconciliation attempts among the different Muslim factions in the region.

Meanwhile, Putin did his best to calm waters in Tatarstan, visiting the largest Koran in the world, a 800-kilogram mammoth tome prepared with the help of Italian masters, and meeting with the wounded Faisov. Putin officially presented the cleric with the Order of Friendship, a national medal, and posthumously gave his deputy the Order of Courage.

During the presentation, Putin, speaking about extremism in Russia, said that religious extremists have no future, and that “they will not get anywhere in any region of Russia.”

Sign up for our Worldcrunch Weekly newsletter now


Be a part of the conversation. Click to show comments
About this article source Website: http://www.kommersant.com/about.asp

Kommersant ("The Businessman") was founded in 1989 as the first business newspaper in the Russia. Originally a weekly, Kommersant is now a daily newspaper with strong political and business coverage. It has been owned since 2006 by Alisher Usmanov, the director of a subsidiary of Gazprom.

Load More Stories

Unlimited access to exclusive journalism, the best world news source across all your devices

Subscribe Now Photo of Worldcrunch on different devices

Your premium access to Worldcrunch is provided by

University of Central Lancashire

Please register to begin


By registering you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.