ISSN 2330-717X

Magomed Khastyrov Becomes Acting Mufti In Ingushetia – OpEd


Five days after the sudden death of Mufti Abudrakhman Murtazanov from the coronavirus, his deputy Magomed Khastyrov has become acting mufti. The election of a new mufti will take place only after the pandemic passes and conditions permit, officials say (

Ismail Tsoroyev, the republic kady who oversees the shariat court system in Ingushetia, says that Islamic tradition establishes that a deputy takes over whenever a mufti dies unexpectedly. Normally, elections are held promptly, but the pandemic makes that impossible now.

Khastyrov, who was also deputy to Murtazanov’s predecessor, has not taken independent positions on key issues; but he has been prominent in denouncing the border deal between former republic head Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and in appealing the Ingush court decision banning the muftiate ( and

Somewhat ironically given his former chief’s death from the coronavirus, Khastyrov also took the lead at the muftiate in arranging for the closure of mosques and medressahs in the face of the epidemic (

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Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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