Chirkeisky's death is therefore likely to bring to an abrupt end the dialogue that began in late April with his support between Daghestan's Sufis and the Salafi minority in the hope of bridging the gulf between them. The Salafis are regarded with suspicion and hostility by the siloviki, who equate Salafis en masse with the armed Islamic insurgency that professes the same strain of “pure” Islam.
Oleg Orlov, head of the Russian human rights organization Memorial, identified Daghestan's security forces, together with the Islamic insurgency, as having a vested interest in sabotaging that dialogue.
Chirkeisky is the second prominent Sufi sheikh to be assassinated in Daghestan in the past year. Sirajudin Israfilov, 56, the imam of a Sufi mosque in the town of Derbent, was shot dead at his home in October.