In a further sign of the advance of political Islam within Russia’s borders, Chechnya’s Moscow-backed President Kadyrov has defended the shooting of seven young Chechen women, the Moscow Times reports. Commentators have preferred to see Kadyrov in opposition to figures such as Dokka Umarov, who heads the Islamist “Caucasus Emirate”, but the report suggests that Kadyrov is at least as intolerant and misogynist as his supposedly more fanatical rivals.
Ramzan Kadyrov said the women, whose bodies were found dumped by the roadside, had “loose morals” and were rightfully shot by male relatives in honor killings.
“If a woman runs around and if a man runs around with her, both of them are killed,” Kadyrov told journalists in Grozny.
The 32-year-old former militia leader is carrying out a campaign to impose Islamic values and strengthen the traditional customs of predominantly Muslim Chechnya in an effort to blunt the appeal of hardline Islamic separatists and shore up his power.