Caucasus


An extraordinary documentary, informative and enquiring.

Two Polish film makers travelled in search of why people fight in jihad. This took them to Chechnya, Qatar and Afghanistan. They interviewed the former Chechen President Zelimkhan Yandarbiev (two weeks before he was assassinated), Amir Khattab in the mountains of Chechnya (also subsequently assassinated), Shamil Basaev, and tribal elders of Waziristan, near the Afghan-Pakistan highland border, whose sons are being kidnapped by the Americans.

Congress of Caucasian Nations demands that State Office of Public Prosecutor stops xenophobia in mass media

The Russian Congress of Caucasian Nations has called on the Russian State Office of Public Prosecutor to escalate its efforts to prevent kindling of interethnic enmity in mass media and Internet publications; the “Caucasian Knot” correspondent was informed about it at the Congress’ Office in Moscow.

“We have prepared an analytical material and have sent it to the Prosecutor’s Office in the form of an appeal. We quote web sites and printed media and indicate the Articles of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, which penalize for such utterances,” Kantemir Khuntaev, head of the youth wing of the Russian Congress of Caucasian Nations (RCCN), said to the “Caucasian Knot” correspondent.

“These are the web sites of the MAIM (Movement Against Illegal Migration) and “Northern Brotherhood,” and the “Moskovskiy Komsomolets” edition, which publishes plenty of xenophobic and anti-Caucasian materials, however, in hidden forms, by using the so-called “hate speech.”

The “Caucasian Knot” has already informed that today at 10-11 a.m. the RCCN held a picket opposite the Reception Room of the State Office of Public Prosecutor in Moscow under the motto “Stop Ultra-Nationalism in Russia!” Some 25 persons took part in the action, mainly, the natives of both North and South Caucasus.

Congress of Caucasian Nations demands that State Office of Public Prosecutor stops xenophobia in mass media

In Russia and Caucasus, any Muslim sporting a beard or a headscarf is commonly referred to as “Wahhabi”. Wahhabism is officially banned in parts of the Russian Federation. This article outlines the clampdown on “Wahhabis” in Azerbaijan.

“By far the most popular center of alternative Islam in Baku is the Abu-Bakr Mosque, the construction of which was financed by the Kuwaiti foundation, Restoration of the Islamic Heritage, in 1997-1998. Between 7,000-10,000 worshippers, including some government officials, attend Friday Prayers at the Abu-Bakr mosque every week, and during religious festivals, the number can exceed 12,000.
 
“The imam of the Abu-Bakr Mosque, Hadji Gamet Suleymanov, is in his mid-30s (the same age as Ibrahimoglu) and received his religious education in Saudi Arabia. In contrast to the Cuma congregation, that of the Abu-Bakr Mosque formally registered with the Justice Ministry (in 1998) and with the State Committee for Work with Religious Structures in 2002.

“The Abu-Bakr Mosque appeals above all to the more disadvantaged members of society, such as the unemployed, and veterans of the Karabakh war. And in his sermons, Hadji Gamet focuses on poverty, corruption, and social injustice. But he rejects allegations that his community seeks to engage in politics or even aspires to political power. In an interview with day.az on July 21, he said “we do not intend to get involved in political processes in Azerbaijan. On the whole we are against religion expanding into politics.”
 
“The fact that many members of Suleymanov’s congregation rigorously observe the requirement that believers should grow their beards long and wear above-the-ankle trousers has led critics to brand them as “Wahhabis.”

“Strictly speaking, that term refers to followers of the 17th century theologian Muhammed ibn Abdul Wahhab and, by extension, to the puritanical school of Islam currently practiced in Saudi Arabia. Russian media, however, use the term “Wahhabi” indiscriminately to designate any practicing Muslim who does not recognize the authority of the “official” state-supported clergy.
 
“Even the Azerbaijani authorities disagree among themselves over the purported Wahhabi threat. State Committee for Work with Religious Structures head Orudjev was quoted by day.az on February 21 as saying that Wahhabism does not pose a threat to Azerbaijan. But the National Security Ministry claims to have identified and “neutralized” several Wahhabi groups in recent years. And Sheikh ul Islam Pasha-zade was quoted by zerkalo.az on July 12 as openly branding the congregation of the Abu-Bakr mosque as “Wahhabis” and as implicitly criticizing the Azerbaijani authorities for failing to crack down on them.”

Azerbaijan: ‘Alternative Islam’ Takes Several Forms

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“The death of Abdul-Halim Sadulayev, President of Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, is a great and very sad loss for the whole Chechen land. May I express my sincere condolences to his relatives, friends, and comrades-in-arms.

“He was the youngest Chechen president in history.

“The fate of his family was tragic. Shortly before Sadulaev became president, his beloved wife, mother of his five children, was captured and killed by the occupants. He could not save his wife, because he was defending the whole Chechen land and the freedom of its citizens. But he did not like to talk about this tragedy, because there are tens of thousands of other Chechen women and girls, who were tortured and killed in Russian filtration camps.

“Indeed, life of a president is hard. In Chechnya, which is occupied but not subdued, being a president is also a mortal danger. Yet, it is a great honour. Not only is the land of our ancestors, with its mountains, rivers and forests, entrusted to the president, but also its freedom, for which so many Chechens have sacrificed their lives.

“In his last interview, published by the Bulgarian “Politika” weekly, Abdul-Halim frankly answered the trickiest questions of the journalists and defended his position very successfully. His speech was simple and unsophisticated, but it showed great depth of thinking and great purity of intentions.

“Politics is usually seen as a dirty business – and indeed, there are a lot of corrupt politicians. However, if all the politicians got a bit more alike our late president, the world would surely be a better place.

“Pity that we came to know and appreciate him so late… He was so young and handsome, but the God always takes the best people. Now Abdul-Halim Sadulaev is in the Heaven, together with our other presidents killed by Russia: Djokhar Dudayev, Zalimkhan Yandarbiyev and Aslan Maskhadov. And don’t believe they are dead. As Koran reads: “All those who follow the right way, I will take them alive, though you cannot understand this”.

“But look how many people with dead souls still live around us in this world! Surely, their fate is much worse than that of the fallen Chechen warriors.

“General Djokhar Dudayev, our first president, used to say “All the Chechens are generals, and I am only the last of them”. He loved his nation very much, and he believed in it. The death of another Chechen president cannot reverse the history, which is full of horrible crimes against the Chechen nation. The night is darkest just before the dawn.

“Time will come when the Chechen land frees itself from filtration camps and prisons, from block-houses and barbed wire. People shall return to their fireplaces, and Chechen towers shall rise again over Ichkeria’s mountains, resembling the real Kyonakhs. I wish the Chechen nation victory, bright sun, blue skies, and prospering land of Ichkeria.”

Alla Dudayeva is the widow of the first Chechen president Djokhar Dudayev, killed by Russians in 1996

Chechen Press

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‘During the first war 10,000 – 20,000 were detained in so called “filtration camps”, which were officially large scale non-selective detainment of individuals who were gradually “filtrated” to find members of armed forces and their associates who resist the federal forces. However, too many testimonies and especially the continuous disappearances of the camps where extrajudical executions, the practice of torture, ill-treatment, and killings, mostly of innocent civilians, occurred continuously. In the second war in Chechnya the strategy changed: there are now no permanent detention centres but “filtration points”. These are all “temporary filtration points” and are used for a day, a week or more. They are guarded areas – perhaps a disused factory or farm or just a bit of land enclosed with barbed wire, perhaps even tents, sometimes people are just detained in the open air but in an enclosed area. The detainees are brought in, undergo checks, may be tortured, are interrogated and very often held in covered vehicles. They bring the detainees in one at a time for questioning, they torture them, usually using electric shocks, they let them go, or sometimes they don’t, they take them away and bring in the next ones. When they finish their work they leave, it’s a temporary set-up. A “temporary filtration point” is the official name given to such set-ups by the federal forces, although there is no understanding of such a concept in any Russian legislation. Sometimes relatives must pay bribes to liberate prisoners or even to return the corpses of the victims.’

Human Rights Violations in Chechnya

Putin’s “War on Terror” aka genocide of the Chechen nation enjoys many parallels with the West’s “War on Terror” aka War on Islam. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed offers his analysis of US and Western connivance with Putin’s genocidal policy in Chechnya.

The Smashing of Chechnya — An International Irrelevance

Excerpts:

From 1994-96, the Russians waged yet another war to crush the Chechens’ popular plea for self-determination. Though the Chechens eventually managed to drive Russia out, Russian forces still succeeded in slaughtering 100,000 Chechens, wounding 240,000, and scattering 17 million anti-personnel land mines across the country. Russia had used “mass artillery, rocket barrages, and airstrikes to smash Chechen villages and towns”, “conducted wide scale torture, and razed most of Chechnya to the ground”, reports the Toronto Sun. The former Soviet Union’s imperialist imperative had also received wholehearted support from its former Cold War enemy, the United States. “President Bill Clinton… helped finance Russia’s war in Chechnya.” Clinton had “lent Yeltsin $11 billion to finance the operation”, and “even went to Moscow, lauded Yeltsin, likened Russia’s savage repression of tiny Chechnya to America’s civil war, and had the effrontery to call Yeltsin ‘Russia’s Abraham Lincoln’.” The extent of American support for Russia’s campaign to subjugate the Chechen people was even clearer when in 1996, “Clinton reportedly ordered the CIA to supply Moscow top-secret electronic targeting devices that allowed the Russians to assassinate Chechen president, Dzhokar Dudayev, while he was conducting peace negotiations with Moscow on his cell phone.”

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Mass Graves

It is surprising that the world community has not paid as much attention to the ditches where lots of bodies are buried together as they do in other parts of the world when they were found out in Chechnya. The dead bodies of people who had been lost since the beginning of 2001 have started to emerge in mass graves and the world has started to question Russia about them, but the ‘inquisitive mind’ has again gone out of the cycle. 25th February 2001 is a very important date in that, it was the revelation of the first mass grave. 200 corpses mass grave is found in Khan-Kala where there is a Russian military base , near Grozny. The legs and arms of the bodies were tied up and they were blindfolded. Before they could recover from this shock the Chechen people faced the second mass grave of 50 people. There was even the dead body of a one-year-old baby in that in Roshni-Chu.

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