Author`s name Ольга Савка

Chechen muftis declare Jihad on Wahhabis and support the fight against gambling industry

The Council of Muftis of Chechnya has officially declared war on Wahhabism in Chechnya

Mufti of Chechen republic, Sultan Mirzoev, told journalists that the decision to declare Jihad on Wahhabism had been announced at a recent meeting between the clergy and representatives of Chechen law-enforcement agencies.

“Wahhabism is evil of the 20th and 21st centuries,” said Mr. Mirzoev. He said that all Arabists had arrived at the same conclusion with regard to those who fight against Wahhabism these days. According to him, they are jihadis who follow the path of Allah.

“We adopted an official fatwa so that everyone involved in the fight against terrorism and Wahhabism can be absolutely certain that they are doing the right thing,” said. Mr. Mirzoev. “We declared war on terrorism and Wahhabism,” added he.

“The meeting between the clergy and representatives of law enforcement agencies was the largest one held since the day of a tragic demise of Akhamad Khadyrov,” said Mufti of Chechnya. (Chechen president Akhmad Kadyrov was assassinated on May 9th, 2004). According to Mr. Mirzoev, participants of the meeting came up with clear-cut definitions for Wahhabism and terrorism.

He said that those who kill innocent people should be either restrained or imprisoned or destroyed. “Those whose hands are smeared with blood, who refuse to lay down their weapons – those should be annihilated using any means and ways,” said Mufti of Chechnya.

Mr. Mirzoev reminded reporters that Chechen terrorists had killed 16 regional imams. “I was badly wounded by the terrorists myself. Does it mean I have to keep my mouth shut?” said Mr. Mirzoev. He also said he was ready to take up arms and fight terrorists if need be.

First Vice-Prime Minister of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, said that the Council of Muftis had made a very important and timely decision.

“On behalf of the Chechen leadership I welcome the decision because the members of law enforcement agencies should be certain that their actions are consistent with the doctrines of the Quran and Islam,” said Mr. Kadyrov.

Mr. Kadyrov pointed out that the decision had been taken by all the clergy of Chechnya. He said that several dozens of most reputable Chechen theologians took part in the meeting. All of them were unanimous in their opinion on the fight against terrorism. They believe those fighting against terrorists are involved in the most pious deeds.

“It is our duty to steadfastly follow the fatwa that our clergy has adopted today,” said Ramzan Kadyrov.

As it was reported earlier, speaking at the meeting with the most prominent members of Chechen clergy, Mr. Kadyrov called on the clergy to step up their work with the Chechen youth. The clergy should work with young people more actively to keep them from joining the illegal armed groups. “The things that happen in Chechnya today are likely to go on forever unless you work more effectively with the young,” said Mr. Kadyrov.

In the meantime, Alexei Malashenko, expert and member of the scientific center of the Moscow Carnegie Center, expressed skepticism with respect to potential effects of the declaration of jihad on the Wahhabis in Chechnya. “It is a pure propaganda statement, it will have no effect on the general situation,” Mr. Malashenko was quoted as saying by Interfax.

“The Moslems who reject Wahhabism can not be recruited with the help of jihad,” said Mr. Malashenko. He believes the real Wahhabis in Chechnya or other regions of the North Caucasus will make fun of the statement. “I do not think that pro-Russian forces in Chechnya should pursue their goals using the formula: you declare jihad on me so I declare jihad on you,” said Mr. Malashenko.

The Chechen clergy also approved the ban imposed by the Chechen government on gambling enterprises in Chechen republic.

“We conducted a thorough research of the issue and concluded that the gambling sector was not consistent with the doctrines of the Koran, Islam, and moral principles,” said Sultan Mirzoev. He made reference to hundreds of appeals from the Chechen people who were deeply resentful because “gambling houses began to mushroom all over Chechnya,” as he put it. “It is simply immoral that a handful of people are making fast profits while the majority of population can hardly make both ends meet and our country is still in ruins,” said Mufti of Chechnya. “We are very grateful to those who raised the issue, and we also would like to thank the government for taking the right step,” added he.