Sunday, February 23, 2020

Plan to Create Single Muslim Spiritual Directorate by Fiat Seen Provoking New Ingush Protests

Paul Goble

            Staunton, February 18 – Ruslan Volkov, nationalities minister in Ingushetia, is pushing create top-down a single Muslim Spiritual Directorate (MSD) that would oversee all Islamic groups in the republic, a move needed, he says, to replace the Ingush Spiritual Center of Muslims that was banned last fall and to bring Ingushetia into line with all other republics.

            Many see Volkov as tone deaf when it comes to dealing with Muslims. He isn’t an Ingush or a Muslim and doesn’t know local customs. His call for a single state-created MSD, they say, is equivalent to an Ingush going into the tundra to teach Chukchis how to herd reindeer (

            (Muslim Ingush – 90 percent of the republic’s population -- are especially angry at him this week because he has scheduled the official commemoration of the deportation of the Ingush on February 23 at a time when Ingush normally go to mosques for prayers. The time he has set only works for officials who want their appearance to be on television.)

            Yusup Dolgiyev, a Muslim theologian in Ingushetia, Volkov, Kalimatov and their Moscow bosses would have been wise to leave well enough alone and even restore the Muslim organization Yunus-Bek Yevkurov banned for insufficient reasons because what Volkov is proposing to do is un-Islamic and very dangerous.

            “A muftiate is not created by order of the head of the republic or even more the directive of a minister. A muftiate imposed from above will lead to a deepening of distrust among the people in the republic vertical and carry with it the risk of popular uprisings and disorders.” That is something these outsiders need to consider.

            According to Dolgiyev, “Ingush Muslims need not simply a mufti for the Ingush but an Ingush who can list his relatives back 20 generations, whose family is on that all Ingush know and respect. Mufti Abdurakhman Martazanov and his predecessor Isa Khamkhoyev completely corresponded to these requirements.”   

            “If Kalimatov doesn’t want to become a second Yevkurov, let him return to the legal field our old Spiritual Center of Muslims with its mufti and alims and help us rather than lead an attack on religion, Dolgiyev concludes.

            Meanwhile, four cases against those who protested last March wound their way through the courts. First, Zelimkhan Balkhoyev was sentenced to 18 months in a prison camp but will be released on March 2 given time already served ( Second, Adam Badiyev was sentenced to 22 months incarceration but for the same reason will be released no March 11 (

            Third, a Stavropol court found Akhmed Nalgiyev guilty of attacking siloviki. He denies his guilt and will appeal ( And fourth,  a court began hearing the case against activist Bagaudin Myakiyev who attracted attention last summer by saying that he had been beaten by prison guards (

No comments:

Post a Comment