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Russian Islamic Expert Likens Kazan Rally To Start Of Arab Spring

Kazan Mosque and Historic Site File Photo
file photo

Kazan, 6 August: The Sunday (5 August) rally of Tatar nationalists and Islamic fundamentalists, which called for the overthrow of secular authorities in the region instead of demanding as stated that reprisals against Muslims should stop, was the continuation of a chain of well thought out previous rallies, famous Islamic expert Rais Suleymanov has said. (Passage omitted)



"This is very reminiscent of the start of 'Arab revolutions' in Tunisia and Egypt," Suleymanov, who heads the Volga Region Centre for Regional and Ethnic-Religious Studies at the Russian Institute of Strategic Research, said.

"First, there are calls to observe human rights, they speak about reprisals and totalitarianism of the existing political regime and then they demand its overthrow, and similar rallies take place on a regular and constant basis," he said.

In his view, the city square in front of the Kamal Tatar State Theatre has turned into an analogue of Al-Tahrir Square in Cairo.

In his opinion, political demands have become the peculiarity of the Sunday rally.

"The chairman of Milli Majlis (the organization that unites Tatar nationalists), Fauziya Bayramova, who held a speech from the stage, demanded the creation of an Islamic state, the resignation of Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov, trial for Deputy Prime Minister Asgat Sapharov - who had acknowledged the problem of Wahhabism, and the dissolution of the State Council (the legislative body of Tatarstan)," Suleymanov, who witnessed the rally, said.

Such statements by the leader of a separatist organization were supported by fundamentalists, who immediately started chanting loudly "Allah Akbar", the expert said.

"By the way, at the rally there were flags of Hizb ut-Tahrir, recognized as a terrorist organization by the Russian Supreme Court and whose members already participated in terror acts in Tatarstan - in the explosion of oil and gas pipes in 1999, 2003, 2005, in the creation of the armed underground in Nurlatskiy District in November 2010 and in January 2012, when one of its members Rustam Yusupov was found to have a laboratory for the production of explosives and suicide belts in his private home," he said.

Keywords: Russia, Government, Politics - Russia, Religion, Islam - Russia, Chechnya, Caucasus, Tatarstan - Russian News - Russia - Johnson's Russia List

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