All rise! Сourt is now in session!
20/06/2011 17:37
Gocha Guniava
Expert's Club

Underestimation of the religious and ethnic factors in the North Caucasus, neglect of traditions and psychological characteristics of Caucasians brought Russia's Caucasian policy into a dead-end and created a real threat to the integrity of the Russian state. Stubborn practice of solving all problems with the use of force and rate of growth of xenophobia have made trajectory of development of Russia similar to the situation that was created in the last years of the Soviet Union that ended in its collapse.

The wave of unrest in Chechnya and Ingushetia emerged with new force in Dagestan and Kabardino-Balkaria. The situation has deteriorated extremely in North Ossetia, which until now has been considered more or less stable republic.

Not only followers of Wahhabism who are identified with terrorists are falling Victims of Islamophobic hysteria which has been raised by security services and political forces that are interested in break-up of the Islam religion and Muslim community, but also senior Muslim clerics and public figures. The federal and regional authorities oblige them not only to verbally denounce Wahhabism, but also to identify their active members and report to authorities about them. Blatant interference in religion and the function of clerics brought dismal results in the region.

On June 17th, newly appointed Interior Minister of the republic of Adygea Alexander Rechitsky announced that his agency drew up a tripartite agreement with official leaders of the Muslim communities and the Orthodox diocese of Adygea and Krasnodar Krai and the main purpose of which was to fight extremism.

During the last year 12 Muslim clerics were killed, including spiritual leader of the Kabardino-Balkaria and public figure Anas Pshikhachev. And only a few days ago head of the Makhachkala Institute of Theology Maksood Sadykov was also killed. Mufti of the North Ossetia Ali Evteev was first dismissed and then expelled from the homeland for his sympathy for Wahhabism.

A situation when Russia while being at war with Wahhabism annually sends 20,000 Muslim believers to a country (Saudi Arabia), with which it has diplomatic relations and where Wahhabism (Salafism) is the official state religion raises questions in society.

Start of the fight against Wahhabism was aimed at increase in the level of confrontation within the Muslim community. The fight against Myuridizm in the North Caucasus in XIX century served the same purpose. And short-sighted politicians involuntarily turned Myuridizm and Wahhabism into a force which united and organized rebellious people.

It was probably raising in the North Caucasus Islamophobia that made well-known Ossetian poet, 70 year-old Shamil Jigkaev take up a pen and write a poem-pasquinade that insulted all Muslims and not just Muslims and which caused his tragic death. Law enforcement agencies used his killing to start mass repressions against the Muslim community of North Ossetia and to bring in division among them. 14 activists of the Muslim religious department were arrested and charged with possession of arms, drugs and prohibited literature.

None of the killings of religious clerics in the region have been solved; neither executors nor those who ordered those killings were determined. And this raises well-grounded suspicions in the society that often it is security services that are behind those dirty crimes.

Systematic calls of the Russian leaders to constantly toughen forceful methods are followed by growing "success" of heads of the law enforcement agencies which are reflected in constant rise in the number of conducted special operations, killed and arrested people.

The number of those organizations and people that take a realistic view of the critical situation and are offering the authorities concrete suggestions for averting the catastrophe, has grown.

On June 17th at the initiative of the Public Chamber public hearing on the topic "the Dagestan Republic: religious-political conflict and search for ways of national reconciliation" was held in Moscow.

Raising of the issue of change of the existing law on the Wahhabism or its complete cancellation that practically means legalization of outlawed religious movement is a very significant moment of this event.

Participants of the forum assessed the above-mentioned law as an instrument to carry out repressions on dissident people.

Law enforcers and all levels of the government structures have been recommended to support ruling out of cases of kidnappings, tortures and executions without trials of public figures and ordinary believers.

They especially highlighted wrong practice of dividing of followers of the traditional Muslim faith and non-traditional Islam and comprising of illegal list of the latters by the law enforcement agencies. The meeting acknowledged that the conflict between Sufis and Wahhabis (the Tariqa and Salafits) is created artificially and foisted upon them by certain forces.

Representatives of Muslim believers - Imams and leaders of Salafits (Wahhabis) called on the authorities not to divide united Muslim community into well-wishing/ and ill-disposed parts. They believe that in the reality of Dagestan this attempt have already led to the civil war and put possibility of stay of this republic in the Russian Federation under a question mark. It was decided to send an appeal to the court of the Russian federation to study conformity of the law on Wahhabism with the requirements of the country's constitution. Public organizations of Dagestan as well as those of other North Caucasian republics have many times raised the issue of the law on Wahhabism and, in general, regarding the existing aggression towards this branch of the Islamist religion. A fact of putting this topic forward by the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation so actively indicates that the issue has not only ripened but it has already became overripe and it is impossible to sweep it under the carpet. It is obvious that the old practice of conduction of ethnic and political course in the North Caucasus is equivalent to support of the collapse of the Russian state. Old methods of putting the blame on Tsarism and the Stalin regime have also past its date.

It is a very important issue. The Constitutional Court should either leave in force the law on Wahhabism which will be equal to trampling over the human rights and sanctioning their killings or the law should be declared not to conform with the main law of the country which means that all those actions and those who for years have been carrying out the gravest crimes hidden behind this illegal law will be declared anti-constitutional. And relevant persons should be called to account.

The court departs to reach a verdict!

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