(AsiaNews) - A mosque dedicated to the controversial Chechen president, Ramzan
Kadyrov, will be built in the town of Shali, according to RIA Novosti news agency.
press office of the local government announced that the ceremony of laying the
foundation stone took place on December 2. The
mosque, which will have a capacity of 10 thousand faithful, will be among the
largest in Europe and its construction should be completed within three years.
The place of worship will be dedicated
to the Chechen leader, as a sign of recognition for "services rendered to
Islam," said Khozh-Akhmad Kadyrov, Ramzan's uncle and head of the
Religious Council of the Caucasus republic of Russia. "Mosques
and madrassas (Koranic schools) continue to be built in the country - said the
religious - all public buildings have a prayer room and this is the result of
the efforts of our president." "Chechnya
has created the conditions for ensuring the freedom to study and profess
Islam," he added, explaining that the decision to build the mosque is
linked to the "numerous calls from resident Chechens," grateful for
the work of the head of the republic.
The new mosque, designed by Uzbek
architects, will be the second to bear the name of a Kadyrov after opening, in
2008, in the capital Grozny, of a mosque named after the late father of Ramzan,
the former Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov.
The news has sparked controversy.
only because the young president, 36, is considered by human rights defenders
as a bloodthirsty dictator who has imposed, unofficially, the Koranic law in
the republic. But
also because the source of funding for the large building is unknown. Grozny
receives large amounts of money from Moscow to maintain the "peace" -
reached, apparently, after two wars - only to use the money without any
attempts at transparency. This
has resulted in frequent reprimands of some ministers of the central
the same time the head of the republic has demanded civil servants at all
levels to make a donation directly from their salary, to replenish the Akhamd
Kadyrov presidential fund officially in charge of the so-called reconstruction
of Chechnya, but also in this case plundered for diverse and often of dubious projects.
is said that Kadyrov used fund resources to organize his now infamous birthday
parties paying the most famous international stars to the tune of thousands of
dollars to attend. To
those who dared to ask where the money came from for his lavish 35th birthday
in Grozny, last year, Ramzan replied: "a gift from Allah."