An Iman of Tuskharoi village mosque in the North Caucasus republic of Chechnya has this week been accused by a Russian court of distributing extremist literature.
Khzazhi Muptazov, an Iman from Chechnya’s Itum-Kale district was found to be in possession of extremist material considered illegal under Russian law. Among the materials confiscated were books banned by Russian authorities for their radical Islamist content.
Muptazov claimed that he had purchased the literature “to introduce the basics of religion to mosque-goers” and also stated that he was unaware that the books were illegal.
News of the Iman’s arrest comes after rising concerns from international Muslim communities that young Muslim men are being radicalised in order to fight for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Chechnya has previously been the home of several Islamic militants and terrorists who have committed crimes in the name of Islam.