13 August 2010, 11:56
Renowned religious expert predicts negative consequences of calling Chechen President imam
Moscow, August 13, Interfax – If the Chechen President is called imam, it will alert world Islamic community, the author of numerous books on Islam history in Russia Roman Silantyev believes.
As was reported, Ramzan Kadyrov said on Thursday that he did not want to be called Chechen President as he was convinced that only one person in the country, namely the head of state, must be called president.
Later that day Kadyrov’s press secretary Alvi Karimov said "any title is acceptable for Kadyrov as long as it does not conflict with the Russian and Chechen constitutions." Asked whether the job could be titled "imam," he said he saw "no contravention to the fundamental law."
In his interview to Interfax-Religion Silantyev reminded that there had already been a title of imam in Caucasus and it was imam Shamil. "Title of imam in his case corresponded to the title of "minicaliph" or as Wahabi call it amir, a leader who personifies all the plenitude of secular and spiritual authority," the expert said.
"However, the person who bears plenitude of secular and spiritual authorities is Imam with a capital letter, and if Kadyrov decides to become an imam with a small letter, then he will automatically find himself among subordinates of life-long mufti of his republic Sultan Mirzayev," the interviewee of the agency said.
If Kadyrov, he further said, "will become an imam with a capital letter that I suppose he will declare himself a successor of imam Shamil and he will have the same authorities as imam Shamil, we will have a local caliphate in Russia with very interesting ensuing consequences".
According to Silantyev, this idea will "cause considerable resonance in world Sunnite community that is very jealous about the idea of reviving caliphate." He explained, head of caliphate can pretend both to spiritual and political leadership in the whole Sunnite world and "as minimum to the post of Muslim head in Russia."