Islamist lawyer flees amid sharia law threats
A Muslim lawyer has gone into hiding amid threats and an outpouring of criticism after he publicly demanded the creation of sharia courts in the country.
Dagir Khasavov canceled an interview and went to an undisclosed safe house Thursday after armed men thought to be from Chechnya appeared at the station's premises on Novy Arbat, according to Khasavov's son. He said the men had identified themselves as members of Chechen tyrant Ramzan Kadyrov's security service.
Kadyrov issued an angry statement earlier this week in which he accused Khasavov of provoking Muslims and damaging Islam.
Arslan Khasavov said that his family was being threatened. He said, "We receive threats, although not from serious people," but refused to elaborate further. Khasavov did not confirm a report by the BBC that his father had left the country.
The Investigative Committee said Friday that it is looking into whether Khasavov's comments violate the section of the criminal code which bans inciting national or religious hatred.
Dagir Khasavov said in a television interview Tuesday that Muslims reject the country's court system and that attempts to prevent the creation of Sharia courts would end in bloodshed. He said, "We will flood the city with blood."
His comments sparked outrage. The liberal Yabloko party called upon authorities to open a criminal case against him. Muslim clerics stressed that their believers respect the constitution, which calls for the separation of and state.
Experts pointed out that, despite being unconstitutional, sharia courts already exist in the country. Alexander Verkhovsky of the Sova Center said, "In practice such courts already work in the rural North Caucasus."
Arslan Khasavov suggested that the television station had aired his father's quotes out of context. He wrote on his blog, "Why has the full recording not been shown?"
Posted by: ryuge