Thursday, October 4, 2018

No ‘Supreme Mufti’ of Russia Exists, Ashirov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, October 4 – There is not now nor has there even been a “chief” or “supreme” mufti of Russia, Nafigulla Ashirov says. All who claim such titles are “imposters” whose personal ambitions to create a Muslim ‘patriarchate’ have led them and many of their followers into delusions.

            The head of the Muslim Spiritual Directorate (MSD) of the Asiatic Part of Russia directs most of his criticism at Ravil Gainutdin, the head of the Council of Muftis of Russia (SMR) and the MSD of Russia, who sometimes styles himself as the “main” mufti of Russia (

            But Ashirov’s argument applies as well to Talgat Tajuddin of the Central MSD who has sometimes styled himself as “the Supreme Mufti of Holy Rus,” a title that many Muslims in Russia find even more offensive than that which Gainutdin and others have insisted be used for themselves.

            “In every region and republic, there are muftis” who are not subordinate to someone else, Ashirov says. They may cooperate with others; but there is no hierarchy of the kind that exists in the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and that some in the Russian government and among Muslims believe should be a model for them.


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