Wahhabism pervades Russia: Islamic spiritual leader appeals for calm

MOSCOW – Russia’s Islamic spiritual leader appealed for calm on Wednesday amid rising Muslim violence that witnessed the suicide blast killing of a top moderate cleric in the restive Caucasus region of Dagestan.

A security source in the Caspian Sea region said Tuesday’s attack on Sheikh Said Afandi al-Chirkavi that killed six others was staged by the 30-year-old widow of an Islamic radical who was identified by analysis of her severed head.

The attack came just a month after the assassination attempt against another prominent pro-government cleric in a different region that killed one and was claimed by a militant follower of the strict Wahhabist strain of Islam.

The religious violence and threat of new attacks against Muslims who work with the Kremlin has threatened to undermine President Vladimir Putin’s goal of reclaiming control on the restive region with the help of loyal clerics.continue



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