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Tatar-Bashkir

Tatarstan Mufti Injured, Aide Killed In Separate Attacks

A former deputy mufti Valilulla Yakupov was shot dead.
A former deputy mufti Valilulla Yakupov was shot dead.
By RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service
KAZAN, Russia -- The government-backed top Islamic leader in Russia's mainly Muslim republic of Tatarstan has been injured and his former deputy killed in two separate attacks. 
 
Officials of the Muslim Spiritual Directorate said mufti Ildus Faizov sustained injuries when unknown individuals blew up his car on July 18 in the Tatar capital Kazan. Faizov, 49, has been hospitalized. 
 
Officials said that in a second incident, the mufti's former deputy, Valilulla Yakupov, was shot dead near his home in Kazan.
 
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks.
 
The Russian Investigative Committee and Tatar officials said probes were under way to apprehend the attackers.
 
Both men were known for their opposition to extremism and radical Islamists who support the strict Salafist version of Islam.
 
Russia’s Council of Muftis in Moscow condemned the attacks, describing them as terrorist acts.
 
Start Of Ramadan

The council’s Damir Gizatullin stated that “the saddest is the fact that these barbaric actions were conducted on the eve of the holy month of Ramadan.”
 
Muslims of the world are preparing to start the month of Ramadan on July 20.
 
Gizatullin added that the attacks “will fail to blow up our society, as the majority of Muslims in Russia are Sunni Muslims who support moderate Islam.”
 

In Pictures: Aftermath Of The Bomb Attack

The mufti's former deputy, Yakupov, also 49, was a historian who founded Russia’s first Islamic publishing house and authored a number of theological and historical research works and articles.
 
He was often a guest at various round tables and televised discussions devoted to Islam and its traditional roots in Tatarstan and some other mainly Muslim regions of the Russian Federation.
 
When expressing his views regarding religious extremism, Yakupov often said that 70 years of atheism in the Soviet Union had led to complete ignorance among youth in Tatarstan about the traditional Sunni Islam that has deep roots in the region.
 
Yakupov said this ignorance had led some young Tatars to follow Islamic sects that espouse violence and intolerance after the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991.
 
 
With additional reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jack from: US
July 19, 2012 15:20
this attack is very similar to the one perpetrated by US government-supported terrorists in Syria. There is little doubt Muslims terrorists are sponsored and supported by US government and proxy Arab regimes like that in Saudi Arabia. US government is the major sponsor of terrorism
In Response

by: Irek from: Los Angeles
July 20, 2012 06:39
I am a Tatar and Muslim and a natural born US citizen
Your comment is an ignorant insult to all of the above.

In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
July 20, 2012 07:34
Send him to Guantanamo, Irek, and torture his there to death - like you, natural burn US citizens, have done to so many people in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. How does he dare to "ignorantly insult" the sacred nation of Beavus, Butthead and George W. Obama???
In Response

by: Abdulmajid
July 20, 2012 11:50
Bah, what else can you expect from an inhuman islamophobic twerp who regularly insults the Bosniaks and other Muslims. Who with his writ shows he has confuse "anti-imperialist" ideas and who supported Milosevic, Kaddafi and now supports Bashar al Assad. And if he were still around he would support Saddam Hussein too.

by: Ray F. from: Lawrence, KS
July 19, 2012 15:52
I don’t follow developments regarding Islam in Russia, but I have a question regarding the official Islamic leadership and their role within Russian politics. Have leaders of the mosque become entwine with local politics. For instance, some Orthodox believers claim that their church leadership has become too close to the Russian political authorities and have discredited the faith in the process. While there have not been any church explosions, some have taken to strident protest (i.e. Pussy Riot).

Is something similar true for the official Islamic leadership in Tatarstan? Could this attack be a political statement? If the average person can’t improve his lot with either the ballot or prayer, he might resort to explosives.

by: Marko from: USA
July 20, 2012 12:06
This seems alarmist and what is emerging today seems more like a dispute over money than terrorism. Tatarstan is a pretty prosperous region; I doubt much of anything in the way of terrorism will happen there outside of an isolated incident or two. Besides, violence in the North Caucasus continues to decline; this has been an extremely quiet summer fighting/terrorism season in Chechnya and Ingushetia and pretty darn quiet even in Dagestan. A clear success for Putin. Six weeks or so to go yet, but the extra troops sent in during the spring seem to have done a good job at tamping down the level of violence (which was more at the simmering that the boiling point to begin with...)

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