01/13/2005, 00.00
RUSSIA – CHECHNYA
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Islam in school curriculum to fight terrorism

Alleroi (AsiaNews) – The Chechen government has decided this week to add religious education to the school curriculum in order to fight terrorism.

The President of the Chechen republic, Alu Alchanov, announced that a course on the 'Bases of Islam' was very important to protect the young from terrorism which tends to hide behind "the slogans of religious extremism".

"The terrorists," the President said during the opening ceremony of a new school in the village of Alleroi, "try to distort Islam, which professes peaceful coexistence and tolerance to other religions, for their own purposes."

Mr Alchanov noted that it was necessary that teenagers know the bases of Islam to prevent them from "taking up fundamentalist positions".

The President added that the government would pay closer attention to the new generations because it is on them that "the future and the revival of Chechnya depend".

The new school inaugurated on January 11 has been named after Chechnya's late president Akhmad Kadyrov, who died in a bomb attack in Grozny in May 2004.

President Kadyrov had visited Alleroi, in the Kurchaloi region, in 2003 and had promised that another school would be built in the village.

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