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Tatar-Bashkir Report: October 20, 1999


20 October 1999
DAILY REVIEW FROM TATARSTAN
Primakov, Shaimiev Urge People Not To Confuse Islam With Extremism
The leader of the electoral bloc Fatherland -- All Russia, Yevgenii Primakov, said that Islam is a part of world culture and it is necessary to draw a boundary between Islam and extremism, Tatar Radio and Television reported. Primakov made his comments at a nationwide Orientalists Congress in Kazan on 19 October that he attended during his two-day visit to Tatarstan. He said that Islamic studies should differentiate fundamentalism from extremism. The president of Tatarstan, Mintimer Shaimiev, said while opening the congress that the media have turned Islam into a boogeyman. He said nobody has the right to accuse whole nationalities and religions of having criminal intentions. Shaimiev added that it wasn't Wahhabism but "jadidism--which is our Russian tradition in Islam--and secures the firmest guarantee from spreading religious extremism" that was prevalent among Muslims within the Russian Federation. The anti-Islamic campaign was launched in the media over the last several months by the incursion of radical Islamic forces into Daghestan and was enflamed by the belief that recent terrorist bombings in Russia were carried out by Chechen terrorists. Tatarstan also became a target of the Russian media after it claimed that Wahhabism is taught in at religious schools in the republic.

Egyptian Trade Center To Open In Tatarstan
The establishment of a Egyptian Trade Center in Tatarstan was discussed at a meeting of Egypt's National Trade and Development Company's chairman of the board, Mukhtar Khusein, and officials from Tatarstan's Trade and Economic Cooperation Ministry in Kazan on 19 October, Tatar-inform reported. Over the last five years the Egyptian company has worked with Tatarstan in tourism, but now plans to broaden the cooperation. Egypt's Trade Center is also to promote cultural ties along with trade relations.

Company To Pay Ransom For Kidnapped Employee In Chechnya
Viktor Yeltsov, the general manager of Kamgesenergostroi hydroelectric construction company in Chally, said on 19 October that the company plans to pay rebel Chechens $250,000 for the release of one of its employees, who was kidnapped last year in Ingushetia, Tatar Television reported. Ravil Gallyamov, the deputy general manager of the company's Chechen division, was kidnapped during a business trip, and is currently being forced to oversee the construction of cabins. Yeltsov said that a special bank account was opened in Chally to collect donations from firms, organizations, and private persons who want to help pay the ransom. He said the Chechens initially demanded $1 million, during negotiations the sum has been reduced 4 times. Anatolii Geller, another resident of Chally, was freed from Chechen captivity last month, reportedly also after the payment of a ransom.

Chally Among Russian Leaders In AIDS Carriers
Tatarstan's Sanitary and Epidemiology Committee reported on 19 October that Chally has the 13th highest ratio of AIDS-infected residents in all of Russia. Of Tatarstan's total of 244 AIDS carriers, 166 are in Chally. While the number of AIDS-infected people has increased fourfold in Tatarstan over the last 10 months, it has increased in Chally by more than seven times.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

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