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TIMELINE-Islamic-style policies in Russia's Chechnya

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Mon, 22 Oct 2012 13:22 GMT
Author: Reuters
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MOSCOW, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Schools in Russia, a secular state, are now offering courses in the history of world religions. However, the material for the history of Islam being taught in Chechnya is being drawn from local religious offices and critics say it strays into religious teaching.

Here are Islamic-style policies in Chechnya ordered by Ramzan Kadyrov's government and religious authorities, and they impact they have had in the region. Some appear to contradict the constitution and spiritual leaders call some of them sharia.

2007: Kadyrov issues an edict, in violation of Russian law, that bans female staff and visitors from going bareheaded in state buildings such as schools, universities and ministries. Five ye a rs later, it is still strictly observed.

December 2009: Vakha Khashkhanov, the head of Chechnya's Centre for Spiritual-Moral Education, which Kadyrov set up, tells Reuters in an interview that polygamy is allowed in Chechnya as it is in the Koran.

May 2010: Kadyrov tells French newspaper Le Figaro that sharia, Islamic law, trumps Russian law in Chechnya.

June 2010: Men dressed in camouflage fire paintball guns at women without headscarves. Russian rights group Memorial said the assailants were policemen. Kadyrov tells state TV he was grateful to the assailants for targeting women not wearing headscarves.

August 2010: Chechnya's mufti Sultan Mirzayev, the region's spiritual leader and a close ally of Kadyrov, orders that eateries shut for the holy month of Ramadan. Though it carries no legal weight, it is obeyed, residents and witnesses say, even after daily fast is broken

- Many women complain they have been harassed by bands of men for not wearing headscarves in Chechnya. Some of the assailants said they were working under orders from religious authorities.

September 2010: Women without headscarves in the Chechen capital Grozny say they are barred by guards from festivities marking a new holiday in Chechnya to honour women. Female students are asked to wear headscarves in public schools.

February 2011: Chechnya's leadership says it wants state workers dressed in "Muslim clothes", including hijabs and long skirts for women. They insist it is a "recommendation", but it has been strictly followed.

September 2012: Classes in public schools begin teaching the history of Islam, which locals and critics say is more geared to giving religious education in schools. While the course is not mandatory most students are expected to take the class and Russian media have reported that attendance rates are between 99-100 percent. (Reporting By Thomas Grove and Amie Ferris-Rotman; Editing by Alison Williams)

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