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Prominent Islamic Scholar Sentenced To 6 1/2 Years In Russian Prison

Gabdrakhman Naumov appears in a Kazan court on November 2.
Gabdrakhman Naumov appears in a Kazan court on November 2.

A court in Russia's Tatarstan region has sentenced a prominent Islamic scholar to 6 1/2 years in prison for running a branch of a banned religious group.

Gabdrakhman Naumov was sentenced by a court in Kazan for leading a branch of the Islamic Nur movement, his lawyer Ruslan Nagiyev told RFE/RL on November 2.

Naumov is well-known in Tatarstan as a teacher at the Russian Islamic University and the former imam of a mosque in Kazan.

He was arrested in March 2020 and charged with being the leader of the Nur movement in Tatarstan, where Turkic-speaking ethnic Tatars live.

The Nur movement was founded in Turkey by prominent Islamic scholar Said Nursi, who before his death in 1960 had advocated against communist secularism and for the integration of modern science and logic into Islam.

The movement has millions of followers around the globe, especially in Turkey, but has been banned in Russia since 2008.

Russian authorities have said the group promotes the creation of an Islamic state that encompasses all Turkic-speaking areas and countries.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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