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Sunday, 23 September 2018


One country, two Sheikhs

2013-03-20 12:09

One country, two Sheikhs. 29176.jpeg

On March 18, Muslim clerics of Georgia met with journalists. Several akhoonds, speaking on behalf of the Muslim community, declared its disagreement to accept Vagif Akberov, appointed chief akhoond, as their spiritual leader. According to representatives of the mosque, the latter was appointed to the position on June 12, 2011 by the president Mikheil Saakashvili in a rather strange circumstances in closed private room. In turn, the religious representatives from different regions of the country - Kvemo Kartli, Shida Kartli, Kakheti and Adjara - elected a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad Mir Hussein Asadov as their spiritual leader.

Thus, the Council of the Spiritual Board of Muslims, or religious shura of Georgia, has elected a new Chief Sheikh. This is Mir Hussein Asadov. At the same time, Sheikh Vagif Akberov is holding this position since the summer of 2011, and no one has dismissed him. So it has happened that in Georgia there are two Chief Sheikhs. Who is real leader of the religious community now, and who is recognized by the mosque? Which of them is real, and who is an impostor?

It all began when the Prime Minister Ivanishvili congratulated Georgian Muslims and their spiritual leader Vagif Akberov with Novruz Bayram. This caused resentment among those who consider their leader another Sheikh - the newly-elected Mir Hussein Asadov. It became clear that at the state level, Vagif Akbarov is recognized as the Chief Sheikh of Muslims of Georgia. Religious persons are trying to get a meeting with Ivanishvili to ask him to deprive Vagif Akberov "of dignity and position" and recognize Mir Hussein Asadov, elected by the majority vote of Muslim brothers, a full-fledged Sheikh.

Muslims express distrust to the previous Sheikh and demand his resignation. They argue that Akberov was not elected by the Board of akhoonds, but was appointed by the authorities, including the deputy head of Constitutional Security Department of the Interior Ministry Vaja Liluashvili, Governor of Kvemo Kartli David Kirkitadze and president Mikheil Saakashvili. According to them, he is protected special services. For example, Romal Gasimov, Sheikh of Mtskheta, argues that Vagif Akberov is a KGB agent. Clerics are outraged at the fact that a man with a dark past, tried twice and having on his body tattoos, adopted in the underworld environment, was appointed Chief Sheikh. "What kind of example he can serve for the Muslims? He does not even know the Koran", religious representatives say. "The intervention of the president into the appointment of Sheikh is a sin, it is a prerogative of the Muslim clerics", they say and ask unwanted Sheikh to "resign".

But Vagif Akbarov is not going to give up his powers. He considers himself the Chief Akhoond of Georgia, duly elected for 10 years. "These people have no legal or moral right to demand my resignation", he said in his message to the Muslims of Georgia. In these circumstances, Mir Hussein Asadov cannot assume the duties.

Among the charges against Vagif Akberov, there is the following: "Why does he always sits in the Juma Mosque and does not go out while he has a special place in Digomi office?"

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