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Mufti of Tatarstan nearly blown up, his deputy gunned down

July 20, 2012, 14:14 UTC+3

The crimes were committed almost simultaneously

1 pages in this article

MOSCOW, July 20 (Itar-Tass) — On Thursday, chief mufti of Tatarstan Ildus Faizov was blown up in Kazan, his former deputy Valiulla Yakupov was gunned down at the entrance to his house. The crimes were committed almost simultaneously. The mufti after the attack was rushed to hospital, and Yakupov died on the way. The main version of the investigation suggests that the Wahhabi movement members are responsible for the high-profile attack.

Kazan until now has not seen such high-profile attacks, especially against Muslim leaders, Moskovsky Komsomolets writes. The date - July 20, when the holy month of Ramadan begins for Muslims, attached a special cynicism to the act.

Tatarstan has been considered an island of stability in the world of Islam, the newspaper notes. Obviously, these two crimes are directly linked and it is most likely that one group is behind them. The investigation is considering all versions - from the professional, economic activity to the involvement of so-called religious fanatics in the crime. The investigators do not overlook domestic versions as well, but, given the stir caused by the crime, they are unlikely.

The main version of the investigation suggests that the crime was committed by local Wahhabis, Kommersant emphasizes. They have just recently stepped up their activity in Tatarstan. As a rule, it rarely came to firing and explosions, but Faizov and Yakupov, active speakers in the mosques against the religious extremists, were regularly receiving SMS-messages and letters to their e-mails with threats. They did not turn to police or the Federal Security Service (FSB), and the law enforcers themselves did nothing to respond to the aggravation of the situation in the republic. “No pre-emptive steps were taken,” President Putin said on Thursday referring to the case.

The head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, has blamed the attack on Wahhabi activists, Novye Izvestia writes. “The two Muslim leaders are known as the consistent opponents of religious extremism and its vanguard - Wahhabism. The tragedy clearly shows that nothing is sacred for the Wahhabis, they have no true faith, no pity for the people,” Kadyrov said in a statement posted on the website of the Chechen Republic.

Deputy Chairman of the Russian Muftis Council Rushan Abbyasov is certain that Faizov and Yakupov were attacked by the people who have no relation to religion. “A Muslim cannot take such an action, if he respects the Koran. This is rather a political order of the forces, for which political and economic stability of Tatarstan - one of the most prosperous regions of Russia - is disadvantageous. Some are trying to undermine this stability, pressing on the religious feelings of the people,” Abbyasov said.

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