Chechen president Aslan Maskhadov on June 8 announced measures to enhance the role of Islamic institutions in the republic. Chechnya is to set up an Islamic State Bank, replace civil courts with courts administering Islamic law, and abandon the Latin alphabet (introduced after the breakup of the Soviet Union) for Arabic script. Maskhadov said the measures are necessary to restore order to Chechnya’s war-ravaged society. Only Islamic courts, he said, can put an end to lawlessness. (Itar-Tass, June 8)
At present, several interest-charging commercial banks and the National Bank of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria are operating in the republic. Islamic courts dispensing Shariat law are to take over immediately from secular courts, but the changeover to the Arabic script is expected to take several years. The transfer to the Latin alphabet was decreed by President Djohar Dudaev and Latin characters are used in official documents, but the majority of the population continues to use the Cyrillic alphabet that they were taught during the Soviet period.
Sergeev Begins His Military Reform.