Russia’s Muslim elite vows to tackle Islamist extremism

February 10, 2011
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(Russia's chief Mufti Ravil Gaynutdin in Moscow February 10, 2011/Sergei Karpukhin)

Islamist rebels take aim at Russia ahead of election year

February 8, 2011
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(Doku Umarov (C) with Chechen rebels in an undated video/www.kavkazcenter.com/Reuters TV)

Battle for alcohol in Muslim Russia is deadly business

February 2, 2011
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(Men drink vodka in a car in Ingushetia's largest town Nazran, January 30, 2011/Diana Markosian)

Moscow prison opens first prayer room for Muslims

January 24, 2011

butyrkaA prison where Soviet-era writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn was jailed and a third of inmates are Muslims from the North Caucasus and Central Asia, has become the first in Moscow to open a Muslim prayer room.

Russia’s Islamist rebels mull language switch to Arabic or Turkish

November 28, 2010

grozny (Photo: Workers clean blood from the sidewalk outside the parliament building in Grozny October 19, 2010 following a suicide attack there that killed four people/Kazbek Basayev)

Militants waging an Islamist insurgency in Russia’s mainly Muslim North Caucasus region have proposed using either Arabic or a Turkic language as a lingua franca for their affairs. The insurgents now communicate with each other largely in Russian, also the main language of the dozen or so Islamist web sites they are affiliated with, and of their video addresses.

Sharia law threatens Moscow control in Muslim Chechnya

August 26, 2010

grozny mosqueAspects of sharia law imposed in Muslim Chechnya in recent months are inching the republic closer to autonomy and posing a renewed threat to Kremlin control, analysts say. The Kremlin relies on its hardline Chechen leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, to maintain order in the violent region in the North Caucasus, where separatists were driven from power a decade ago after two wars.

Russia’s Muslim south triples sharia bride price as Islamic law advances

July 9, 2010

brideThe pricetag on a bride in Russia’s Ingushetia province has been tripled by the regional government, in a sign the Muslim North Caucasus region is slipping out of Kremlin control as sharia eclipses Russian law.

“Miracle” baby gives hope, draws pilgrims in Russia’s Muslim south

October 23, 2009

baby-legA “miracle” baby has brought a kind of mystical hope to people in Russia’s mostly Muslim southern fringe who are increasingly desperate in the face of Islamist violence. From hunchbacked grandmas to schoolboys, hundreds of pilgrims lined up this week in blazing sunshine to get a glimpse of 9-month-old baby Ali Yakubov, on whose body they say verses from the Koran appear and fade every few days.

Medvedev turns to Muslim clerics to counter Islamist radicals

August 31, 2009

grozny-mosquePresident Dmitry Medvedev has urged Russia’s top Muslim clerics to join forces to stop radical Islamist groups wooing young people in the turbulent North Caucasus.