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Moscow's Islamic Clerics Reject Creation Of Shari'a Courts


Muslim migrant workers attend special prayers on the first day of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha in Moscow in November 2011.
MOSCOW -- Russia's Kremlin-backed Islamic clerics say Shari;a courts should not be created in the country.

Talgat Tadzhuddin, head of the Central Religious Directorate of Muslims, and Moscow's Chief Mufti Albir Krganov said such Islamically inspired courts would violate Russia's legal separation of church and state.

They were responding to a proposal by Daghestani lawyer Dagir Khasavov, who said in an interview that Muslims in Russia want Shari'a courts because they do not trust the existing secular courts.

The opposition Yabloko party says it will sue Khasavov for "inciting hatred and extremism."

The Russian Interior Ministry is investigating whether Khasavov's remarks included extremist words.

But a spokesman for Russia's Orthodox Church, Vsevolod Chaplin, said that Muslims in Russia should not be deprived of their customs -- and that Shari'a courts could be established under the law.

Based on reporting by Interfax, RFE/RL’s Russian Service, and REN-TV