Religious dispute is better than automated guns

SOCHI /Bocharov Ruchei/, August 19 (Itar-Tass) —— Fighting terrorism and extremism in Dagestan should continue, Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev said during his meeting with Head of the republic Magomedsalam Magomedov on Friday.

“One of the factors which suspend the development of Dagestan is a threat to security, the existing threat of terror and extremist character,” Magomedov said.

“Unfortunately, we are not able as yet to provide fully law and order and security in the territory of the republic, though we have been doing a lot lately,” he said. “These are complex problems, and they cannot be solved by force only, but I am sure that the force component should be supported and improved.”

Magomedov asked Medvedev to assist Dagestan “with formalities for such structures” and to support implementation of the programme to organize the Secure City CCTV system, where it would be necessary to install video cameras at major roads, transport hubs and at places where many people may be at a time.

“We are unable to afford the technical video monitoring of our cities,” Magomedov said. “We need support and I would like to ask you for it.”

He assured the president that Dagestan has been implementing actively a complex of measures aimed at ideological opposition to terrorism and extremism, at formation of the youth’s correct values, attracting religious activists and respected spiritual leaders, as well as institutes of civil society.

“We plan to organize in autumn an international congress, conference which will feature internationally recognized Islamic theologians,” he said. “We would like this congress to adopt a special document disapproving of acts of terror or extremism, of radical trends, and we hope the document will read that those involved in such activities get excommunicated.”

“This is a very serious approach and the conference should have a motto Islam Against Extremism and Terrorism,” he continued. “Decisions of those respected scientists should be a basis for those involved in terrorism to realize that their deeds are condemned both by the society and the religious leaders.”

Commenting on the situation in Dagestan, Medvedev stressed that fighting extremism and terrorism in the republic should continue.

“The measures we undertake for making order, I hope, will continue,” he said. “A lot has been achieved lately, according to the information I receive from the special services and law enforcement authorities.”

Besides, the president said, it is necessary to try “returning people /from bandit groups/, to restore their normal mentality.”

“Those unable to do so who continues to resist – well, their fate is sad: either go to jail or be killed,” Medvedev said. “Those who are ready should be returned home by all possible and legal means.”

Magomedov said that the work continues and the authorities managed to return over 40 people already.

“As for the religious dialogue, and the dialogue, devoted to various nuances inside Islam, I think it is very useful,” Medvedev said and reminded about his recent meeting with the North Caucasus’ muftis.

“It is much better to be involved in a religious dialogue or even a dispute at a table, then to be involved in it by means of automated guns,” Medvedev said. “Discussions are useful, no doubt, but I hope that experts will have a scientific dialogue, and the discussion will be devoted to major dogmas of the religion and not to ways of life and economic issues.”

“All these initiatives are useful and should be continued, they require a serious attitude from the republic’s authorities and support from political forces – this is the way to restore law and order and civil peace,” Medvedev said.

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