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Kyrgyz Grand Mufti Resigns Amid Controversy


Kyrgyz Grand Mufti Chubak-Hajji Jalilov
BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan's grand mufti, facing opposition over alleged corruption, says he has filed a resignation letter with the Central Asian country's Council of Islamic Clerics.

Chubak-Hajji Jalilov told RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service that he decided to resign due to health concerns, but refused to give further details about his condition.

The Council of Islamic Clerics must approve the resignation.

Jalilov has served as Kyrgyzstan's grand mufti, or the head of the Muslims' Spiritual Directorate, since July 2010.

His opponents among the Kyrgyz Muslim community have accused him of being involved in alleged organized criminal groups.

Earlier this month, Jalilov’s opponents announced their decision to create a so-called Alternative Spiritual Directorate in case he would not resign.

Rahmatilla Egemberdiev was named acting grand mufti.