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Wahhabism 'Spreading Through Siberia,' Claims Chechen Mufti

Mufti Salah Mezhiev VK

Chechen Mufti Salah Mezhiev has called for a radical branch of Islam to be registered as an “extremist sect” in a bid to stop its spread across Russia.

Mezhiev claimed that Wahhabism — the fundamentalist branch of Sunni Islam which originates in Saudi Arabia — should be declared an “extremist sect,” the Interfax news agency reported Tuesday.

He called the movement a “phenomenon” spreading throughout central Russia and Siberia, and called on Russian Muslims to “make a stand.”

"Wahhabism should be recognized as a sect and banned at a government level," Mezhiev told Interfax.

The religious leader also called on the Russian media not to refer to terrorists as “jihadis.”

Jihad is about adhering to the norms of Islam,” he said. “These people should be called devils.”

Mezhiev made the comments following the World Conference of Muslim Scholars, which was held in late August in Grozny. The conference issued a religious ruling which referred to Wahhabism as a “misguided sect.”

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