Islamic philosopher Yusuf Kardavi has published Fatwa (also spelled as Fatawah or Fatawa, a set of rulings and decisions of Islamic doctrine; affirmed under a recognized authority such as True Mufti), in which he calls Chechen insurgents to continue military actions against Russian troops and promises Heaven in return.
“To support oppressed Muslims anywhere on the planet is a duty of every true believer. There is no doubt that Chechens lead a just fight in an attempt to protect their country, their religion and their dignity. By doing so, they demonstrate the best type of Jihad in the eyes of Allah.”
“The amazing fight that our brothers are fighting in Chechnya can be regarded as one of the best kinds of Jihad on the way to Allah. They are fighting for their country, dignity and religion, against the tyrannical oppressive power, which is not afraid of Allah and does not pity any living creatures.”
Vice Chairman of the Duma Committee of religious organizations Alexander Chuev considers that this Fatwa can in fact “become the basis for stirring up major international dissentions in order to justify multiple terrorist acts in Chechnya.” Chuev has stated this in his interview to “Echo of Moscow.”
According to him, “today, the worst problem of Islam is a problem dealing with the fact that while this is one of the youngest religions, it is going through a certain stage of development and demarcation with radical teachings.”
“Only time will show where this religion will survive or turn into some sort of a political teaching,” noted Chuev. “Unfortunately, the situation appears to be similar to what was happening to Christianity in Middle Ages but with a different edge. For Christianity has never advocated violence. In Islam, unfortunately, certain types of fighting are considered to be an integral part of the teaching itself.”
“Today, Islam faces demarcation; it will either choose a peaceful way, the way of normal civilized religion, which will find its proper place in history, or it will simply be divided into religion and something that we call politics or extreme ideology,” concluded Chuev.
In the meantime, head of the Muslim fund Gayar Iskandyarov expresses a totally different opinion. “This is just an opinion of the famous Muslim philosopher of modern days. He makes it public and wants to inform all Muslims,” noted Iskandyarov to “Echo of Moscow.”
“Personally, I agree on some of the issues with Yusuf Kardavi. Chechens have been fighting for their independence; such fight is sacred for any nation,” remarked he. “However, this war in Chechnya has undergone major changes and nowadays all of its best people are dead. Only criminal foam remains on the surface these days.”
“That is why I do not know how to abide by Yusuf Kardavi's Fatwa. This is a very serious question,” added Iskandyarov. “If I were to decide, I would have simply suggested Russia to step away from Chechnya just a bit and let it become conscious again and decide for it self which way to go.”
According to Iskandyarov, the Fatwa “will only be read in those mosques, which acknowledge both Kardavi and his Fatwa.” “Muslim world does not have ultimate authoritative figures. Kardavi is a well-known theologian. I do not know however what kind of a politician he is,” concluded he.
Co-chairman of the Russian Mufti Counsel Nafigulla Ashirov in turn, does not think that the Fatwa can somehow affect current situation in Chechnya.
As far as Russian Muslims are concerned, Ashirov said that it is least likely that “Russian mosques will officially adopt the Fatwa.”
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