RFE/RL Russian Federation Report: excerpts


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Subject: RFE/RL Russian Federation Report: excerpts

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RFE/RL Russian Federation Report: excerpts


RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
________________________________________________________
RFE/RL Russian Federation Report
Vol. 3, No. 36, 19 December 2001

A Survey of Developments in the Regions Outside Moscow Prepared by the
Staff of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

.............

BIN LADEN'S TIES TO ANOTHER MUSLIM COMMUNITY IN RUSSIA UNEARTHED. Ten
years ago, terrorist Osama bin Laden's brother, Tariq, contributed
$20,000 toward the construction of a new mosque in Ulyanovsk, a city
he also visited, "Obshchaya gazeta" reported on 6 December. According
to the weekly, the construction of the mosque led to a split in the
local Muslim community there, as questions were raised about how the
presiding mufti for the oblast, Ayup Deverdeev, was spending the
money. As a result, there are now two competing Muslim religious
administrations in the oblast: One is run by Deverdeev, and the other
by Fatykh Alliulov. Allegations of Wahhabism are also being made,
according to the weekly. Last month, the home of an emigre from Iraq
was burned down. The Iraqi emigre is perceived by some people in the
city to be an "unselfish man wishing to leave behind a good memory of
himself" as he helps with construction of the new mosque, while others
believe he is a "wandering Wahhabi" intent on stirring up trouble. JAC

.............

TATARSTAN

SOME PARENTS OBJECT TO TATAR CLASSES... Parents and Tatarstan Republic
Education Ministry officials participated in a public discussion of
obligatory Tatar-language and -literature lessons under the auspices
of the daily "Vechernyaya Kazan," RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 18
December. According to the bureau, many of the staunchest critics of
the lessons argued that they distract children from learning other
languages and weaken their speaking and writing skills in Russian.
Despite the use of Russian in all classes aside from Tatar language
and literature, the parents said the policy violated pupils'
democratic freedoms. (Other subjects are taught in Tatar in only a few
secondary schools in the republic.) Meanwhile, Education Ministry
officials admitted during the discussion that there is a lack of
highly qualified Tatar teachers and good textbooks, but emphasized
that current federal and republican legislation allow for compulsory
learning in Tatar. JAC

.AS TATAR NATIONALISTS PROTEST CENSUS PLANS. The presidium of the
moderate nationalist group Tatar Public Center has sent an appeal to
the Tatar people protesting against the recent decision to divide
ethnic Tatars into six separate groups in the countrywide census to be
conducted next year, Interfax-Eurasia reported on 13 December (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 10 December 2001). According to the appeal, census
organizers are attempting to "divide the [Tatar] nation." The previous
day, former Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk told RFE/RL's
Tatar-Bashkir Service that he does not believe it is possible for
Tatarstan to become a "classic" independent state, and suggested that
Tatarstan officials should instead seek more rights, freedoms, and
broader national autonomy as part of the Russian Federation. Kravchuk
also recalled that during negotiations for a new union treaty in 1991,
Tatarstan's President Mintimer Shaimiev had a more "progressive, more
democratic" point of view than the leaders of other autonomous
republics, many of whom were trying to preserve the Soviet Union. JAC

.............

***********************************************
Copyright (c) 2001. RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.

"RFE/RL Russian Federation Report" is prepared by Julie A. Corwin
(JAC) on the basis of a variety of sources, including reporting by
"RFE/RL Newsline" and RFE/RL's broadcast services. Regular
contributors are Liz Fuller (LF), and Virginie Coulloudon (VC). It is
distributed every Wednesday.

Direct comments to Julie A. Corwin at corwinj@rferl.org. For
information on subscriptions or reprints, see:
http://www.rferl.org/reprints/content.asp 
Back issues are online at http://www.rferl.org/russianreport/

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