…And Holds Forth on Educating the Young

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 8 Issue: 25

In his interview with Kommersant-Vlast, Kadyrov suggested that moral education is the best weapon against the rebels and “Wahhabis.” “You don’t have to set up checkpoints to fight terrorism,” he said. “You have to educate the youth properly. If there are nightclubs, brothels, if they sell women in the saunas, that [plays into] the hands of Wahhabism; they use those resources, they cover themselves in religion and attract young people to it. They should think about that in Dagestan and everywhere else that Wahhabism has developed. I suggest that Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Ossetia and Karachaevo-Cherkassia take advantage of the clergy. And empower it to speak the truth. When a person blows himself up and kills civilians, no matter what you call [that person] – a shahidka or a shahid – [that person] is a terrorist; things have to be called by their right names. The journalist or correspondent who writes about that should ask a Muslim who that shahid is for a Muslim. He is a bandit, a terrorist, an extremist, and we fight that evil. And it is wrong to associate Islam with international terrorism. We do not accuse Christians or Buddhists. Leave the religion of Islam alone. The religion teaches peace, kindness and creativity.”

Meanwhile, Chechnya’s Muslim Spiritual Board, the republic’s official clergy, plans to hold an international forum devoted to the fight against “religious and political extremism and terrorism,” Interfax reported on June 20. “The idea of holding such a forum is supported by the republic’s president, Ramzan Kadyrov,” Chechen Mufti Sultan Mirzaev told Interfax. “The Ahmad Kadyrov regional public foundation has provided assistance. The objective of the forum is to increase the activities of Russia’s Muslim population to combat religious and political extremism and terrorism and to support efforts of the authorities and public organizations aimed at promoting a policy of tolerance and respect for the peoples of multiethnic Russia. A permanent seminar on the problems of Islam in the North Caucasus is to be created as part of the forum.”

According Interfax, participants in the forum will also adopt a declaration to be addressed to President Vladimir Putin. The news agency quoted Kadyrov as saying that “this forum will offer yet another confirmation that religious extremism is alien to the Chechen people, while toleration and peacefulness are the main features of the Chechen Republic’s population.”