Republic of Daguestan shown in Russian map. Image via Wikipedia
This is from some days ago, but important nonetheless:
Village imam was shot dead during evening prayer in Russia’s restive Dagestan region late Saturday, the region’s interior ministry said.
Imam Magomed Makhdiyev was shot in the back and head by an unidentified gunman in Karamakhi village mosque during evening prayer, Dagestan’s interior ministry said on its website on Sunday.
Makhdiyev died at the scene, the ministry said.
It was the second known murder of an imam in less than a month in Dagestan, where religious and educational leaders appear to be increasingly targeted as Russia fights an Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus.
A school principal was targeted early Saturday in a different region of Dagestan. Sidikullah Akhmedov, who worked in the Sovetskoye village school, died on the spot near his home from wounds to the stomach, the ministry said.
via Russia: Muslim murders imam as “adversary of Islam” for opposing hijabs – Jihad Watch.
Image via Wikipedia
Alexander Cherkasov, who has closely followed the North Caucasus for 15 years for rights group Memorial, said whereas in the past rebels wanted freedom from Russia, a struggle that dates back over 200 years, now they are influenced by jihadism, a global fight against alleged enemies of Islam.
“Part of it is homegrown. Corruption leads many to seek out what they call true Islam, but political Islam, by way of foreign financing and insurgents, is certainly playing a role,” he told Reuters.
In early February, Russia said its forces had killed the al Qaeda operative and Egyptian militant Makhmoud Mokhammed Shaaban in Dagestan, who the FSB security service said had masterminded several bombings.
A myriad of web sites that have come to characterize the insurgency show videos of “martyrs,” something unheard of in the region five years ago. They feature mostly local men, framed by Caucasus flags, chanting in Arabic ahead of suicide missions.
That’s right: political Islam is certainly playing a role.