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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Iman, Not "President"

Moscow, August 13, Interfax - Officials in Grozny are discussing various possible job titles for the leader of the Chechen Republic, the Chechen president'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," he told Interfax.

"He [Kadyrov] clearly expressed his opinion in a document sent to parliament today. He is convinced that only one person in the country, namely the head of state, must be called president. The rest is the product of the 1990s when Russia saw a parade of sovereignties. Parliament will carefully study Kadyrov's request, discuss options and choose the most suitable [title] for Chechnya," Karimov said.

Asked whether the job could be titled "imam," he said he saw "no contravention to the fundamental law."

"Why not? Although I do not know what parliament is considering. My personal opinion is that it is a concise title that is easy to write and to pronounce. The main thing is that, regardless of the options, the powers and duties of the top official in the republic are not changing. If I were a member of parliament, this is precisely what I would have proposed, but I do not know what opinion will be reached by the MPs," Karimov added.



In a related story, Ramzan 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

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