Saudi Islam minister visits notorious Chechen president

Saudi Islam minister visits notorious Chechen president
2 min read
26 August, 2019
Saudi Arabia's Islam minister visited Grozny this weekend, where he met with Chechnya's president.
Chechnya leader Kadyrov has a notorious reputation [Getty]
Chechnya's notorious president hosted Saudi Arabia's minister of Islamic affairs, call and guidance this weekend after the unveiling of Europe's largest mosque near Grozny.

Islam Minister Sheikh Dr. Abdullatif Al-Asheikh headed a Saudi delegation to Grozny where he was hosted by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov at his palace, a man who has been accused of numerous human rights abuses including the detention of gay men.

Kadyrov welcomed Al-Asheikh to Grozny, who gave passed on greetings to the Chechen president from Saudi Arabia's King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to Arab News.

The visit was to mark the unveiling of the "Pride of Muslims" mosque in Shali, a town near Grozny, a mosque which has space for 30,000 worshippers and another 70,000 in its grounds.

Saudi cleric Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League, headed the first Friday prayers at the marble-decorated mosque.

A leading Kadyrov aide, Amruddi Edilgiriev, described it as the world's "third most beautiful mosque", after Mecca and Medina, according to The Times.

Kadyrov has been criticised by human rights groups for the brutal suppression of critics in Chechnya, while activists say the former rebel leader rules the territory like a "personal fiefdom".

Kadyrov has been personally accused of torture and murder, and is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The leader of the Muslim-Russian province has also spoke in favour of Russia's intervention in Syria, and offered troops to help bolster the regime's armed forces.