Maksud Ibnugadzharovich Sadikov, rector of the Institute of Theology and International Relations in Russia’s mainly-Muslim Dagestan republic, was shot dead by unknown assailant near his home on Tuesday, the Russian International News Agency (RIA Novosti) reported.
Sadikov was one of the founders of the first academic institution in Russia’s volatile North Caucasus region to offer both secular and religious teachings.
“According to preliminary information, Sadikov and his nephew were shot by an unknown assailant by the entrance of his home in Makhachkala, capital of Dagestan, when they were getting out of a car,” the report quoted a local police source as saying.
Commenting on the incident in a phone call with KUNA, Yuri Mikhaylov, a Russian writer, condemned Sadikov’s death as a serious escalation in the activities of the terrorists seeking to destabilize North Caucasus region.
Sadikov, rector of the institute since 2003, sought to promote education as an effective weapon in the fight against religious extremism.
He spearheaded a project to translate the Holy Quran into Russian and the editorial board of the Imam Shamil encyclopedia, Mikhaylov noted, adding that Sadikov was involved in politics and held various federal government posts in the 1990s.
Sadikov’s death is a favor to the forces seeking to tarnish Islam and promote misinformation and unfair stereotypes on Muslims, he added.