A group of Ingush residents have made an official complaint about the republic’s former Sufi mufti, Isa Khamkhoyev. In a letter addressed to the federal authorities, they argue that the activities of the ex-mufti aggravate the religious situation, and a failure to address the problem could lead to grave consequences.
The letter, which was signed by 200 people, mostly residents of the Nasir-Kortsky District of Nazran, was sent to several federal institutions, including the President of the Russian Federation, the Federal Security Service, the Investigative Committee, and the Prosecutor’s Office.
The signatories accuse Khamkhoyev of engaging in provocative acts which could lead to an internal conflict.
‘We’re asking for attention to be paid to the attempts of the former mufti of Ingushetia, Isa Khamkhoyev, to destabilise the region and to sow discord and enmity between the inhabitants of our republic’, the statement reads.
The authors of the letter bring up a chronology of events over the past three years, in which two prominent non-Sufi clerics critical of the Muftiate — Khamzat Chumakov and Isa Tsechoyev — were attacked. In 2015, according to the authors of the letter, Khamkhoyev attempted to take over a mosque in Nasyr-Kort where Chumakov preached. They write that it was down to pure chance that no-one was injured, and that no adequate investigation had been conducted, which may provoke further violent action against the clerics.
We are forced to live in a state of war, all the time waiting for new bombings and murders of us and our imams. We were able to prevent criminal attempts several times, but the negligence of law enforcement can reduce our efforts to naught’, the statement reads.
In 2015, the Ingush president tried to force Khamkhoyev’s resignation as mufti. However, he refused to comply and instead travelled to Chechnya, where he was warmly received by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. Khamkhoyev, together with Chechen clergy, launched a campaign to discredit Ingush clerics who don’t preach Sufism.