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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 19, 2004

19 August 2004
Chally Mayor Said To Be Winning The War With Gambling Machines
Having succeeded in forcing the removal of slot machines from Chally streets, Mayor Ildar Khalikov said during a 17 August press conference that he is planning to rid the city of the gambling machines installed in businesses as well, Intertat reported on 18 August.

Meanwhile, the republic's capital Kazan is still having problems coping with the popularity of the gaming machines, which are frequently installed at bus stations and other public places. The machines are often blamed for a gambling epidemic among adults and children in major Tatar cities, and an upsurge of crime among teenagers, who are especially vulnerable to the "gambling virus."

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Clerical Leader Suggests Higher Titles For Muslim Spiritual Board Chairman
Ferit Salman, deputy chairman of the Ufa-based Muslim Spiritual Board of European Russia and the CIS, has proposed granting his superior, board Chairman Telget Tajeddin, with the titles of supreme mufti and sheikh of the sheikhs, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported on 18 August. Tajeddin became well-known for declaring jihad on the United States following its counterterrorist operation in Afghanistan in 2002. Tajeddin's Spiritual Board maintains a rivalry with the other Russia-wide Islamic organization, the Moscow-based Council of Muftis, led by Rawyl Gaynetdin.

Before entering into open confrontation with Tatarstan's Muslim Religious Board in the late 1990s, Salman served as a Muslim cleric in a Kazan mosque.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi