Gereyev: Sufis are being set against Salafis intentionally13.11.2012 | 16:33
Another murder of the Muslim cleric has happened in Dagestan. Two days ago an unknown persons shot Haji Aliyev, the Imam of the mosque of the village of Khadzhalmakhi in the courtyard of his house. The victim was known to the whole country religious educator, advocate of traditional Islam and merciless critic of religious extremism and terrorism. Edition's source Ruslan Gereyev believes that the killing of Haji Aliyev was a sign of an end to the recently launched dialogue between Sufis and Salafis.
Haji Aliyev was known religious educator in Dagestan, a follower of Sufi Islam and implacable critic of radical Islamists. He criticized the "jihadists" both during the Friday sermons and at gatherings of the village residents. The Imam denounced not only terror, but any violence Muslims committed against Muslims.
November 11 this year, at about 19.45 local time the Imam came home after the prayer. In the courtyard of his house unknown person started speaking with Haji Aliyev in a raised voice. Sometime later, they shot the educator at point-blank and retired in an unknown direction.
Aliyev has been the Imam of the village mosque in Khadzhalmakhi, located in Levashin region of Dagestan, in the heart of the country, for more than twenty years. Among the natives of this region there are a lot of famous names. Among them the mayor of Makhachkala Said Amirov, the late Minister of Finance of Dagestan Hamid Hamidov and his brother Abusamat - the current head of the financial department of the republic. The most famous natives Levashin region is the current President of Dagestan Magomedsalam Magomedov and his father, Magomedali Magomedov.
Over recent years, the village of Khadzhalmakhi was the scene of political wrangling, which sometimes escalated into bloodshed. Main conflict was between representatives of the two national associations - Dargins and Avars. December 11, 2010, there was killed the head of the village administration Abumuslim Nurmagomedov. A little earlier, the conflict on the ground of power fell on the election to the rural and district councils. Supporters of the candidate-Dargin repeatedly blocked the road of national importance passing through Khadzhalmakhi, which connects Avar mountain areas with plain and the major cities of the country. The two rival forces have repeatedly tried to attract the Imam of the mosque in Khadzhalmakhi Haji Aliyev, since his name was known to the whole country. But the Imam replied something like this: I'm out of politics and I will support the one elected by the people.
Islamic radicals have tried several times to intimidate "obstinate" Imam. In May 2012 they planted to Aliyev a flash card with threats. However, Haji Aliyev was adamant. In addition, when in the republic there was declared the dialogue process between the Sufis and the Salafis, he welcomed this since he hoped it would help to end the bloodshed in Dagestan.
Chechen Mufti Sultan Mirzayev called the killing of Haji Aliyev "insolent defiance and cowardly attack". "This is a blatant act of inhumanity, brazen challenge to all Muslims, vile attack on the feelings of the faithful. Bandits, who had committed this crime, offend the religious feelings of all people, ignore all the principles of universal morality. Criminals are hiding behind pseudo-religious slogans, trying to usurp the right to judge the faith of Muslims and deprive people of their lives. Through these brutal actions they are trying to sow fear in the hearts of the peoples. But this will never happen! Those responsible would be punished severely!"
Ruslan Gereyev, Director of the Center for Islamic Studies of the Northern Caucasus also outlined his views on the bloody events in Khadzhalmakhi for GTimes.
"It's an alarming trend. This is a bad signal for the entire Dagestani public, not just religious. Deceased Imam opposed religious schism in Islam and extremism and called for dialogue. And in current situation someone wants to wreck the dialogue. October 31, in Derbent there was killed Salafi Imam Karimullu Ibragimov, after ten days - Sufi Imam Haji Aliyev. Someone seems to intentionally setting the Sufis against Salafis. But Sufi-Salafi dialogue must not be wrecked, since this is the aim of the Imams killer. Under these conditions, the dialogue becomes particularly important event that should exist and must be continued. Neither Sufis nor Salafis have expressed direct rejection of dialogue as a mean of solving many of the problems in the religious sphere of the republic. There are a lot of such problems. Main of them is lack of state-confessional relations in Dagestan. The power should be interested in the dialogue and must make it a priority in the official religious policy".