ChRI Parliament Condemns “Caucasian Emirate” Proclamation

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 8 Issue: 44

On November 14, the parliament of the separatist Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (ChRI) posted a statement on the Chechenpress website about the proclamation of a “Caucasian Emirate” by Dokka Umarov, the ChRI president and Chechen rebel leader (see Chechnya Weekly, November 1 and 8). The ChRI parliament said that Islam has been “the force which … strengthened the fighting spirit of our fathers and grandfathers” during more than 400 years of resistance against Russia. Morever the parliament’s statement noted that while the ChRI constitution of 1992 designated Islam as the state religion, it also proclaimed freedom of religion for representatives of other faiths and thus established“an adjusted balance between the lofty religiosity of our people and the civilized forms of our sovereign statehood.” The ChRI parliament stated that the proclamation of a “Caucasian Emirate” in the forms and formulations used by Umarov in his video “converts our struggle for national liberation into the category of so-called ‘international terrorism’.” The proclamation of a “Caucasian Emirate” also strips the resistance forces of “legal status and legitimacy,” which cannot be permitted, the ChRI parliament stated. According to the statement, leading Chechen alims (Muslim scholars) have denounced the proclamation as “political sabotage” against the ChRI and its constitution, and an “indisputable evil” from the point of view of Sharia law, which also plays into the hands of the “Kremlin regime and the clique of national-traitors.”

The ChRI parliament’s statement claimed that a group led by rebel ideologues Movladi Udugov and his brother Isa Umarov was behind the proclamation of a “Caucasian Emirate” and accused this group of “ideological sabotage” during the period between the two Chechen wars and of “unleashing” the second Chechen war. The ChRI parliament called on resistance supporters to “rebuff the provocateurs decisively and not permit another provocation launched by the anti-Islamic and anti-Chechen group.”