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Muslim lawyer threatens “bloodbath” in demand for sharia in Russia

Country/Region: Russian Federation

A Muslim lawyer has called for the introduction of sharia courts in Russia, threatening a “bloodbath” if the demand is opposed.

Chechen Dagir Khasavov, the founder of an organisation that defends the rights of Muslims, said in an interview broadcast on 24 April by the independent channel Ren-TV:

Muslims do not want to get involved in the multi-layered court system, it is alien to them. You think that we come here to Russia like to some alien place. But we think that we are at home. Maybe you are alien, and we are at home. And we will set the rules, the rules that suit us, whether you want it or not. Any attempts to change it will end in blood, it will be the second Dead Sea. We will flood the city with blood.

Russian_lawyer_Dagir_Khasavov_4x3.jpg
Chechen lawyer Dagir Khasavov

The statement provoked a backlash in Russia, and Khasavov fled the country after receiving death threats. The Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation after experts from The Russian Institute of Culture found that the speech was aimed at exciting hatred and animosity based on religion, and could be considered a call for extremist activity.   

Khasavov’s call for sharia courts in Russia was rejected outright by Mikhail Fedotov, the head of the country’s Presidential Human Rights Council.

He said on 25 April:

The creation of parallel justice systems is impossible in a modern law-governed state. It undermines the foundation of the justice system.

Attempts to force sharia courts on people are only possible in theocratic states.

Mr Fedotov said that the only way sharia courts could be created in Russia was to give them a role in arbitration hearings.

In 2008, the British government acknowledged that it had for some time accepted the role of sharia tribunals in arbitration, in certain limited fields. Opponents fear a slippery slope effect; that the acceptance of certain aspects of Islamic civil law could eventually lead to the introduction of full-blown sharia.

Khasavov has subsequently claimed that his words were distorted and said that he was referring only to inter-family cases, not criminal law. His son believes Khasavov was provoked, possibly by Chechen authorities.

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  • “Jesus Christ performed tremendous miracles in all our lives through this Shalom Camp.” A pastor spoke of how God had worked through a Barnabas-sponsored weekend Bible camp for persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka. The camp was attended by believers from five different churches that had been the target of threats or attacks by Buddhist or Hindu extremists. The participants heard teaching on the Biblical basis for persecution and took part in group discussions; they came away refreshed and encouraged, and for many the camp was a time of great spiritual renewal. Give thanks to the Lord for the peace He has brought to these persecuted believers, and ask that the weekend will continue to bear much fruit in their lives. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Pray for a church leader in Sri Lanka, S.S. Johnpillai, who was threatened at gunpoint by attackers who claimed to be Special Forces officers. The minister was in a hut next to his church building in Guadalupe, Trincomolee when, he said, the men “appeared out of nowhere”. The intruders put a gun to Johnpillai’s head and accused him of holding a Communion service in honour of the founder of the Tamil Tigers, the government’s opponents in the country’s long and bloody civil war. The government had that day made it a criminal offence to commemorate the group. The gunmen ignored Johnpillai’s protests that he had not dedicated Communion to the group’s founder, and they threatened to shoot him. Ask the Lord to support and strengthen Johnpillai as he recovers from this terrifying ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Lift up to the Lord persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka, where at least 65 anti-Christian incidents took place during 2013, including repeat attacks on several believers and their property in October 2013. However, a Sri Lankan government minister from a Buddhist nationalist party denied the accounts, saying that they might be “made up”. The minister claimed that Sri Lankans are “one family … trying to live together after a long civil war”. Pray that the Sri Lankan government will recognise the danger that our brothers and sisters face from militant Buddhists and that the authorities will provide effective protection for vulnerable Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Condemned Christian mother Aasia Bibi’s final appeal hearing is scheduled to take place tomorrow (14 April) having been deferred twice. She was sentenced to death for blasphemy in November 2010 having been falsely accused of insulting Muhammad following an argument with Muslim co-workers. Aasia has been languishing in jail since the accusation was made in June 2009. Pray that her appeal will finally go ahead and that the judges will have the courage to acquit and release Aasia; there are concerns that they may give in to pressure from hardline Islamists who have been calling for her execution. Pray that Aasia, her husband and children will know the Lord’s peace as they await the verdict. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Apr 2014 00:00

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