Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Morals Police Being Set up in Russia’s Daghestan

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 22 – One of the most disturbing features of more radical Islamic countries – a morals police whose members seek to impose the most restrictive features of shariat and adat on all members of the population even when the latter are not violating public law – is now coming to the most Muslim republic in Russia’s North Caucasus, Daghestan.

            Activists in the Khunzakh district of Daghestan have announced their intention to form “voluntary popular militias of sportsmen who together with the police will patrol the streets” and root out violations of Islamic precepts on acceptable behavior (

                Zaynalabil Gadzhiyev, the president of the Federation of Professional Boxing in that republic, says he supports that idea because “recently it is impossible to go to a part and not see people sitting on benches, kissing, hugging, drinking beer, and in general behaving shamelessly. Young people have been corrupted.”

            Consequently, he says, “it is long past time to create a moral police in Daghestan.” Such a step, Gadzhiyev argues, will bring “only good,” and thus it should be taken not only in one isolated district but throughout the republic.  That will bring stability and peace to all of its residents.

            “Sportsmen,” he continues, “are very correct and worthy guys,” and “it would be good to involve in this joint work the police and the Muslim religious leadership” so that young people could have explained to them “politely, in a brotherly fashion and in the Daghestani manner” what is permitted and what is not within “our national traditions.”

            Such morals police units, Gadzhiyev says, are needed now not only in Daghestan but throughout the North Caucasus. Caucasians and Muslims have their own customs and traditions. No one must forget about this, but in the republic people are gradually beginning to do so … focusing on Europe and the Americans” and taking their cues from them.

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