Mar 17 2009
Activists accuse Russia of mistreating Muslims
MOSCOW (AP) — Two activists accused Russia’s government on Friday of encouraging prosecutors to target Muslims on trumped up charges of terrorism and extremism, and said the abuse could lead to anti-government unrest. (Well, Boo Fricken Hoo)
Sergei Komkov, president of the non-governmental All-Russian Education Fund, asserted the Kremlin was trying to pin social ills on innocent Muslims and warned it could backfire against President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
“There threatens to be a powerful explosion of public discontent in the next three or four years that could, if not stopped, lead to a change in the political leadership,” Komkov told a news conference attended by prominent rights activists.
Komkov said authorities in Russia’s southern regions are increasingly convicting observant Muslims on trumped up charges of terrorism and extremism, in an effort to satisfy what he claimed were quotas from the central government. (What a surprise, considering 99.9% of the terrorism in the world is the work of Muslims)
Long terms in Russia’s abusive prison system are turning those wrongfully convicted against society, said respected rights activist Lyudmila Alexeyeva, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group. Prisons are becoming a production line for criminals and others with a grudge against the authorities, creating a threat to the public order, Alexeyeva said at the news conference.
An estimated 20 million of Russia’s 142 million citizens are Muslims.
Experts and activists said prosecutors began unfairly targeting Muslims after Moscow’s Dubrovka theater siege in 2002, and the Beslan school hostage seizure in 2004. (Ya think? Gee I wonder why) Islamic militants were involved in both terrorist attacks, which killed some 500 people.
Komkov and activists said hundreds of investigators work for police and counterterrorism units created by then-President Putin after the attacks, and claimed they continue to prey on the innocent to justify their paychecks.
Isa Betsiyev, 40, a businessman and Muslim from the city of Kaluga, southwest of Moscow, said he has been harassed repeatedly by the counterterrorism branch of the Federal Security Services, or FSB, the KGB’s successor agency.
“They burst into my home in masks and flash some card at me. They collect my books (on Islam) and call me an extremist,” Betsiyev told the news conference. “This is how they make their money. This is how they justify their income.” Komkov said Betsiyev’s story was typical.
Popular ignorance of Islam as a peaceful religion helps authorities scapegoat Muslims, the advocates said. (Oh, that’s rich!)
Beslan memorial plan angers Russian Muslim leader.
By Christian Lowe
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Plans to build a memorial to the 333 hostages killed three years ago in the Beslan school siege have sparked a row between Christians and Muslims in Russia.
The local Russian Orthodox diocese says it will build a church in the grounds of Beslan’s school No. 1 to commemorate the victims — half of them children — killed in a clash between insurgents and Russian troops.
But one of Russia’s leading Muslim clerics has accused the Orthodox church of trying to hijack a national tragedy by building a memorial that he said would exclude the more than 20 million Muslims who live in the country.
“It is not acceptable to present this tragedy as the tragedy of followers of only one religion,” Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin, chairman of the Council of Russian Muftis, said in a statement. (But it was caused by only one religion – YOURS)
“We need a monument on this site that symbolizes a national tragedy, without any religious undertones, where everyone can come and shed their tears.” (And Muslims can come and dance in the streets as they did on 9/11)
Gainutdin is an outspoken Muslim leader in Russia, and other senior clerics have not spoken out about the memorial plans. But the row has exposed faultlines between the communities which, despite a conflict between Moscow and rebels in Muslim Chechnya, have had largely smooth relations. Russia is home to the biggest Muslim community in Europe.
Wrangling over the memorial could also aggravate already raw divisions between Muslims and Christians in the volatile North Caucasus region that includes Beslan.
Beslan and the area around it have a majority Christian population and many of them blame their Muslim neighbors for the bloodbath: the hostage-takers were Islamist militants from Chechnya and the neighboring Muslim region of Ingushetia.
Hey, notice anything familiar about this video?
Here we have Muslim casualties supposedly inflicted by Russians. But notice how similar these photos are to all the others coming out of Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and anywhere else Muslims provoke conflicts and suffer the consequences. Why is it that most of the photos are of Muslim children? And why is it that only Muslims seem to put their children in harms way? Sounds like the same damn music they always use, too.
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