Staunton, Sept. 28 –Ramzan Kadyrov says that Vladimir Putin has agreed to his request for the construction of a new mosque in the Russian capital, a statement that if it leads to the building of the first new mosque there in more than 25 years will boost the Chechen leader’s standing with Muslims in the Russian Federation.
Putin spokesman have not confirmed this and so it is unclear whether Putin in fact has made this promise or whether Kadyrov is claiming something that in fact did not happen. So far this year, Kadyrov has intervened twice without success in Moscow city disputes with Muslims and so his latest claim should be treated skeptically (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/392951).
But however that may be, Kadyrov has put Putin and the Russian and Moscow governments in a difficult position: he has shown to the Muslims of the Russian Federation that he is on their side and forced the two sets of authorities either to agree with what he has demanded or show that they aren’t willing to do so.
If the former, the Muslims of Moscow will certainly demand more mosques; if the latter, they will become increasingly angry at Russian officials who do everything possible to support the construction of more Orthodox churches but block similar efforts to build Muslim mosques and prayer houses.