26 May 2009, 14:00
Muftis suspect Wahabis involved in murder of Dagestan's deputy head Muslim
Makhachkala, May 26, Interfax - The Coordination Center of North Caucasus Muslims has linked the murder of Ahmed Tagayev, deputy head of the Dagestani Muslim Spiritual Board and head of the public organization called Za Nravstvennost (For Ethics), to his professional activities, and in particular, his opposition to radical Islam.
"He was a well-known religious figure, but if they want to intimidate us, they will find it is very hard to intimidate a religious person," Anas Pshikhachev, first deputy chairman of the Coordination Center, told Interfax-Religion on Tuesday.
The mufti linked Tagayev's murder to his professional activities, "as he was strong opponent of Wahhabism."
The Coordination Center of North Caucasus Muslims will soon hold a meeting, where it will raise the issue of how to protect Islamic clergy from extremists, he said.
Tagayev was killed in Makhachkala on Monday.
This is not the first such incident in Dagestan. In November 2008, an attack was made against the Dagestan mufti's advisor, Sultan Sultanmagomedov, and his driver. Both sustained shrapnel wounds from the explosion. Urmagomed Gajimagomedov, a servant from a local mosque and a vocal opponent of extremists, was killed in October 2007.
There are up to one hundred of subvertionists and around 1,500 Wahabis in the republic, Dagestan's Interior Ministry said last autumn.