Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Russia's Muslim south triples sharia bride price

Expand Messages
  • emrys@globe.net.nz
    Russia s Muslim south triples sharia bride price http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6662AC20100707?loomia_ow=t0:s0:a49:g43:r2:c0.103896:b35490636:z0 Wed Jul
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 10, 2010
      Russia's Muslim south triples sharia bride price

      Wed Jul 7, 2010 8:24am EDT

      MOSCOW (Reuters) - The pricetag on a bride in Russia's Ingushetia
      province has been tripled by the regional government, in a sign the
      Muslim North Caucasus region is slipping out of Kremlin control as
      sharia law eclipses Russian.

      Against the backdrop of a bubbling Islamist insurgency, the revival of
      Islam in the North Caucasus following the break-up of the Soviet Union
      almost 20 years ago has brought sharia law to the region, revered by
      both rebels and ordinary citizens alike.

      The issue of the 'kalym', a price paid by a groom to the family of the
      woman he chooses to marry, is the latest example of a broader trend
      that has troubled the Kremlin.

      "The increase of the kalym was decided by the residents themselves,"
      the Kremlin-backed leader of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, told
      Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

      At an Ingush conference for Muslim scholars and elders this week,
      attended by Yevkurov, the money a groom must pay the bride's family
      for her hand was increased from 12,500 roubles ($401.9) to 40,000
      roubles ($1,286), the local government said on official website

      "It is time to raise the rates, and with them the responsibility of
      the groom," a statement on the site said.

      Wary of the dangers of separatism after two bloody wars with Chechnya
      since the mid-1990s, the Kremlin has watched uneasily as central power
      yields to Islamic tenets in the region.

      Polygamy, illegal under Russian law, is encouraged by local
      authorities in the region. Last month rights workers blamed police for
      paintball attacks on Chechen women for not wearing headscarves, and
      Islamist fighters in Ingushetia have gunned down kiosk workers for
      selling vodka.

      During their meeting, Putin looked concerned as he told Yevkurov that
      the price rise for a bride did not correspond to Russian inflation.

      Putin added he was not sure if the practice, widespread in the
      Caucasus and Central Asia, was Muslim in its nature.

      "We have yet to thoroughly examine this," he told Yevkurov.

      At this week's Ingush conference, it was also decided to raise ten-
      fold the price for settling a blood feud, to 1 million roubles
      ($32,150), with the aim of decreasing the centuries-old practice that
      is widespread across the North Caucasus.

      "Of course, it is better to move away from all this," Putin quipped to
      Yevkurov after he proudly announced the new price.

      One of Russia's most popular newspapers, Moskovsky Komsomolets,
      splashed the bride price increase on its front page on Wednesday,
      jocularly headlined "Camel Rate."

      "This erodes Russian security. If sharia is higher than the (Russian)
      constitution, it means that it is alright to kill policemen, soldiers
      and simply infidels," the paper wrote, referring to the near-daily
      attacks on law enforcement staged by rebels in the region.

      Yevkurov, who narrowly survived a suicide bomb attack on his life last
      year, is widely seen as a moderate secular leader, unlike Chechen
      firebrand boss Ramzan Kadyrov.

      Kadyrov, a devout Sufi Muslim, has been allowed by the Kremlin to
      usher in Muslim-inspired rules such as periodic alcohol bans and
      headscarves in state buildings, in exchange for maintaining a shaky
      peace in the volatile region.

      (Reporting by Amie Ferris-Rotman; Editing by Maria Golovnina)

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.