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Tatar-Bashkir Report: October 8, 1999

8 October 1999
Tatar Official: Wahhabism Under Control In TR
"I don't have any serious concerns regarding the spread of Wahhabism in Tatarstan. Religious confessions in our republic, both Muslim and Orthodox Christian, do not accept any extremism," State Council chairman Farit Mukhametshin told Tatarinform agency on 7 October. The same day the deputy chairman of Tatarstan's State Security Committee, Ilgiz Minnulin, said that "some foreigners trying to campaign for ethnic and religious extremism have departed the republic." The first deputy chairman of Tatarstan's Muslim Religious Board, Valiulla Khazrat, recently told the press that "Wahhabist ideas are in an embryonic stage in the republic. There are no groups of Wahhabism followers among Tatar Muslims." Valiulla said there were "absolutely no Wahhabis in Kazan, only a few of them in the republic's second city Chally." He emphasized that at "the meeting of Muslim religious schools heads of TR in September, aimed at perfecting the educational programs to prevent the development of a North Caucasus scenario and keeping the situation under control."

Journalist Sues Central Election Committee
The "Moskovskii Komsomolets" correspondent in Kazan, Lew Ovrutsky, sued Tatarstan's Central Election Committee on 7 October for violating his constitutional right of equal representation in republican parliamentary elections. Ovrutsky stated that the equal representation election right states that there cannot be more than a 15 percent difference in the number of voters in any two districts in the republic. He claims that this right is being violated in Tatarstan, where Kazan election district #1 has some 800,000 voters and Alabuga election district #38 has only 8,000. The Supreme Court of the Republic of Tatarstan has postponed a hearing on the case until 11 October. The Central Election Committee applied for a delay to the hearing, stating that it needed time to prepare the necessary documentation.

New Land Tax Rate To Be Set
Officials in Tatarstan's State Committee for Land Resources and Land Reform are finishing an estimation and registration of all agricultural properties in Tatarstan, the republican press reported on 8 October. Tatarstan's State Council will use the data for setting new property tax rates. The estimation process of city properties in the republic's major cities reportedly began on 1 October.

Humanitarian Aid To Chechen Refugees
Thirty-two tons of humanitarian aid from Tatarstan will be sent on 9 October to internal refugees from the conflict zone in Chechnya that have fled to Ingushetia, the republican press reported on 8 October. The aid consists of 27 tons of flour, 3 tons of corn, 300 blankets and 2 tons of medicine.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi