Friday, July 27, 2007

Caucasian muftis in the U.S.

On Wednesday there were federal Russian news reports that President Bush had "invited a group of Caucasian muftis to his rancho", and that the meeting had the (somewhat surprised) endorsement of top Russian political figures, including foreign minister Lavrov, but as is frequently the case with Caucasus reporting in the Russian Federation, this story turned out to be false.

What really happened was that a delegation of Caucasian muftis - from, it seems, North Ossetia, Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria - arrived in the United States as part of a routine U.S. State Department international exchange and information program called Muslim Life in America. They will stay until August 13. This was confirmed by Magomed Albogachiyev, deputy director of the Co-ordinating Centre of North Caucasus Muslims (KTsMSK), speaking to RIA Novosti from Washington, D.C.
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