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    » 12/04/2012, 00.00

    RUSSIA

    Chechen leader Kadyrov to have mosque named after him

    Nina Achmatova

    Construction starts in the town of Shali. The building will be among the largest of its kind in Europe. According to Muslim leaders the people asked for the new mosque as a sign of "gratitude" for what Kadyrov has done for Islam. Controversy over funds for the construction of places of worship.

    Moscow (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. The 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. Not 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 government. At 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. It 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."

     

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    See also

    13/01/2005 RUSSIA – CHECHNYA
    Islam in school curriculum to fight terrorism


    30/08/2004 RUSSIA - CHECHNYA
    Violations mar Chechen elections, pro-Russia candidate leading


    21/10/2009 RUSSIA – CHECHNYA – EU
    Chechen “culture centres” in Europe, a mask for fundamentalism and dictatorship
    Summary executions of Chechen human rights activists or opponents to the Kadyrov regime push Chechen refugees to warn European governments. Chechen president praises Sharia, requires women wear the veil and limits the sale of alcoholic beverages.

    11/03/2010 CHECHNYA – RUSSIA
    TB is back in Grozny but doctors and facilities are in short supply
    Chechnya has 325 registered TB sufferers for every 100,000 residents, but many other fail to report the disease fearing social marginalisation. In comparison, there are about ten cases per 100,000 in Europe. The slow pace of reconstruction and demining as well as poorly paid staff contribute to the problem.

    19/10/2010 RUSSIA - CHECHNYA
    Chechen rebels attack Parliament and the Ministry of Agriculture in Grozny
    All fighters and an unknown number of other people have been killed in the operation. The President of the Parliament was able to escape. The attack came as the Russian Interior Minister visits the Chechen capital.



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