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Antigay Tatar-Muslim Group Targets Schoolteachers

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- A Tatar-Muslim organization in Russia's second city of St. Petersburg is targeting gay teachers in the city's secondary schools.

In an interview with RFE/RL, Timur Isayev, the leader of a group called Deistsvie (Action), claimed that eight secondary schoolteachers in the city left their jobs recently after his group revealed their sexual orientations.

He did not elaborate. Isayev told RFE/RL that gay teachers were incapable of properly teaching children.

He said he was inspired to create his group after witnessing Russian Orthodox Christian activists carrying icons at an antigay gathering in St. Petersburg in 2013.

According to Isayev, Muslims in Russia must also show what he called a "right" attitude toward gays.

Russia passed a controversial law last year that bans the promotion of gay "propaganda" to minors.

Activists believe the law has triggered antigay sentiment in the country.