"Ukraine Moloda", 3.12.2009
Exposure and detention of the Crimean police in October of five supporters of exotic, but inherently ultra radical organization "At-Takfir wal-Hijra" which in their "sanctuary" close to Simferopol stored weapons, extremist literature and likely prepared "jihad" on the leaders of the Mejlis, gave impulse to the next information-analytical splash. The next is since, for the first time, as I remember, the topic of penetration on the Crimean peninsula of Islamic fundamentalism was brought to the attention of publicity about ten years ago.
It was a question of militant supporters of Wahhabism who participated in events in the North Caucasus, in particular, in the Chechen Republic and Dagestan. They and insurgents at once were identified by local politicians.
Wahhabites, Khizb, Takfir
And then vast "exclusives" appeared here and there in greedy for sensations media. Especially in performance of the talkative leader of the local "red" and doctor of history Leonid Grach (for some time he, as it is known, worked as professor of the local medical university. - author). For example I will quote some of his "passages", "Those who yesterday fought against Russian armies, nowadays easily go across Crimea, sunbathe, and get medical treatment... On the well-known mountain Ay-Petri there appeared a camp of insurgents... The Wahhabites gather in Foros, next to Michael Gorbachev's former summer residence, and in Simferopol. They register the real estate on figureheads". Nevertheless local police again and again calmed the people, especially about the field military preparation of insurgents in the Crimean Mountains. As there was no any acknowledgement to these inventions, in the due course the talks about the Wahhabites disappeared the same way as they appeared.
In the due course, in 2003, just right at the height of the well-known armed operation of the USA army "Freedom to Iraq", in Crimea they started to speak about a new threat - Khizbs, or supporters of Islamic political party "Khizb ut-Tahrir" ("Party of Islamic liberation" - Arabic). Though this formation does not have something in common with extremism or terrorism and, I will remind, is presented by legitimate cells in 40 countries of the world, (it is forbidden only in Germany - for the declared anti-Semitism - Russia, Uzbekistan and some other countries. - Author). It defends idea of revival of Islamic way of life "by establishment of the Islamic state - Khalifat". And not by violent methods, if to trust statements of the party leaders.
Crimean Khizbs, for example, through the Simferopol independent Muslim community "Davet" (nowadays it "pulled" them to claim to the local court about cancellation of registration of the community. - author) carry out open press conferences, spread religious literature - so to say, by all means try to attract coreligionists into their "sect", as the local Muftiyat unequivocally expresses concerning these communities. Say, Khizbs bring only harm as they create confusion and intensity in the Muslim environment. Therefore, the Spiritual Management of Muslims of Crimea and the Mejlis continue to declare basic aversion of their "dissenting" ideas.
And here now whence came up Takfir. However, in "classical" terrorism on open spaces of Crimea they are not noticed yet. At least those three across who casually came two brothers-hunters in a wood strip in the Simferopol area. And those two, who later, on October, 23rd, were captured in a place of residing at time of the general antiterrorist doctrine of "Legion". Nowadays this five as the head of the department of public relations of the Crimean militia Alexander Dombrovsky informed me, continues to stay in the investigatory insulator. As he said, three first incriminates cattle abduction (five episodes are stated. - author) and illegal storage of hunting shotguns and a revolver, and two another – of Kalashnikov automatic machine and charges. These two were disclosed in a local press - a 48-year-old ideological conductor of religious movement "At-Takfir wal-Hijra" Amet Emiraliev, having a nickname "Ahmed-telemaster" from the Bakhchsarai area and his associate who in addition is suspected of murder attempt of Imam of a rural mosque Arseny Dzhelilov in Bakhchsarai area on May, 18th, 2008, that is in the next anniversary of deportation from Crimea of the Crimean Tatars. But, probably, soon official charge concerning them, as it was specified by Dombrovsky, will be retrained, as the investigation still proceeds.
The recognized expert of Islam in Crimea is the vice-president of the republican committee on affairs of religions Ayder Bulatov. By the way, he publicly declared one and a half years ago the first occurrence on peninsula of the followers of the Takfir movement. Nevertheless, Ayder Ametovich is not inclined to see in it any irreversible menacing tendencies nowadays. "I consider, - mister Bulatov says, - that fears concerning this radical organization are a little bit exaggerated. Yes, radical Islamists are present here. However, they are very inadequate people who, actually, can be present in any faith. But there are no more than three-five persons. In Crimea they do not have social base, support. After all, most of them do not adhere to basic canons of Islam. And Takfir pursue and punish those who passed from it, hence they have to deal with all Crimean Tatars. Police assert that in the refuge of "At-Takfir wal-Hijra" found by them beside the village of Chistenkoe, there is extremist literature. Though, according to my data, that refuge was used for storage of the cut hulks of the stolen cattle. Concerning the literature, it is not considered to be forbidden. I know the employees who store in boxes "Mein Kampf". But it is freely on sale! It was informed that arrested persons hired people in their organization. I doubt that eight classes of education are enough for this. And their weapon - some antiquated sawn-off shotguns, rewound by "insulating tape". It is probable to shoot from it. Definitely: in the exposed Takfir there were not so much practicing Muslims, but fragments of ethnic criminal groupings. They elementary sheltered their offences beside Islamic slogans. They, of course, should be isolated from the society. I think, we will forget about all extremists already after January, 2010; the Islamic factor is simply used before elections".
(Given in reduction)
The full version of the article is on the web-site of the newspaper "Ukraine Moloda"
Related articles in Ukrainian media:
Different View on Events in Crimea ("The Day" newspaper)