|Radical Islamisation and fear spread in Chechnya|
|Written by Administrator|
|Monday, 21 March 2011 19:32|
AFP - The 28-year-old girl refuses to give her name for fear of reprisals but her anxiety speaks volumes for the rapid march of Islamisation in the conflict-torn Russian region of Chechnya.
"I wear the veil so I'm left in peace on the street. Women who do not wear the veil and a long dress risk being refused entry into university," she said in a hushed voice in the Chechen capital Grozny.
Chechnya may seem an unlikely venue for conservative Islam to pervade everyday life, given it was in this Russian region that the Kremlin fought two wars against militant separatists after the collapse of the Soviet Union and is still fighting Islamic militants in the mountains.
But while also bringing relative stability to his tiny fiefdom in the Caucasus, Chechnya's Kremlin-appointed leader Ramzan Kadyrov, 34, has been quietly allowed to de-secularise his Muslim majority homeland.
Mosques have sprouted up as Grozny rebuilds from the devastation of war while Kadyrov has lost no opportunity to make public show of his faith, including making highly-mediatised pilgrimages to Mecca.
But Kadyrov has also moved to draw up special Islamic rules for the region of 1.2 million which some observers say are a flagrant violation of human rights and Russian law.
Kadyrov on January issued a hugely controversial decree telling public servants how to dress in an Islamically-acceptable way at work.
"Men should wear a suit and a tie and on Friday (the Muslim holy day), traditional Muslim dress. For women, their heads should be covered with a headscarf, a dress that goes below the knee and sleeves that cover three-quarters of the arm," it said.
"Now you can perfectly well talk about the Arabisation of Chechnya," said one university professor who asked not to be named.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 March 2011 22:11|