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New Chechen mufti to fight against Wahhabism


GROZNY, May 31 (RIA Novosti) - New Chechen Mufti Sultan Mirzayev, 40, said that his key task was "ideological fight against Wahhabism and active promotion of traditional Islam."

"Imams and religious figures should explain the danger of the Wahhabite ideology, give balanced arguments and refer to the Koran," the mufti said in a RIA Novosti interview on Tuesday. The work with young people is a priority task. "In addition to radical Islamic trends, Chechnya has many other problems, including drug addiction. Clergymen should use their weapons to fight this evil," the mufti said.

According to him, clergymen will work with people who "joined illegal armed units by mistake or ignorance and were not involved in serious crimes."

Mirzayev plans radical reforms and reshuffles in the Muftiat. He intends to replace religious leaders in some Chechen districts. "There are many drawbacks in the work of some muftis and imams caused by their passivity," he said.

Mirzayev was elected Chechen mufti by a unanimous decision of the majlis comprising 22 representatives of local Moslem communities.

The new mufti graduated from Buinaksk Islamic University and the Volgograd Construction Institute. He was the first deputy mufti of the Chechen Republic before the election.

According to Mirzayev, his predecessor resigned because of poor health.

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