The city court of Naberezhnye Chelny in Tatarstan sentenced the teacher and founder of the Muslim school for girls Nakie Sharifullina, who was found guilty under Part 1 of Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code (“organization of the activities of an extremist organization”). She was sentenced to two years’ suspended imprisonment, informs “Idel.Realii” with reference to the lawyer Ruslan Nagiyev. The reason for the criminal prosecution was reading the books of the theologian Said Nursi.
At a court hearing on August 31, the prosecutor of Naberezhnye Chelny asked for seven years in prison for Sharifullina.
According to the lawyer, the decision to appeal the verdict has not yet been made. He noted that the defense side met the court decision “with relief”, since the incriminated article provides for a punishment in the form of imprisonment from 6 to 10 years.
Nakia Sharifullina completely denies her guilt and says that “apart from studying the Koran, she did nothing.” Nakia Sharifullina turned 63, she is sick.
Searches were carried out in the house of Nakia Sharifullina in March 2020. The police seized Said Nursi’s books and opened a criminal case. It is connected with the prohibition of the religious organization “Nurcular”, which is based on the teachings of Nursi. “Nurcular” in 2008 was recognized as extremist in the Russian Federation, although experts have repeatedly stated that the works of Said Nursi do not contain calls for anti-social or anti-state actions.
Nakia Sharifullina was under house arrest for 8 months, then the measure of restraint was changed to her not to leave the city.
In March 2014, Nakia Sharifullina was already found guilty under Part 1 of Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code (organization of the activities of an extremist organization) and fined 100 thousand rubles.
Nakia Sharifullina is a well-known teacher in the city, the founder of the first madrasah for girls in Naberezhnye Chelny. She created the same institutions in other cities at the request of the muftiat.
In 2020, public figure Fauzia Bayramova wrote a letter in support of Sharifullina, which she sent to Turkish President Recep Erdogan and Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov. After that, Bayramova was summoned to the prosecutor’s office of Naberezhnye Chelny and was given a warning.
In 2020, the Islamic leader Gabdrakhman Naumov was accused of creating a branch of “Nurjular” in Tatarstan.
Nurcular is a Turkish religious community that spreads the ideas of Sunni Islam. It was formed after the First World War on the basis of the interpretation of the teachings of the Turkish theologian of Kurdish origin Said Nursi (1876-1960). The community is mainly represented in Turkey, but there are followers in other countries.
Contemporaries and researchers positioned Nursi’s teaching as tolerant. He preached the ideas of brotherhood, mercy, called for restraint in observing Sharia, but at the same time opposed the establishment of a militant atheist system in Turkey.
In 2002, the FSB reported that it had succeeded in suppressing the activities of the “Nurcular sect, whose members were engaged in espionage.” According to FSB director Nikolai Patrushev, members of this organization conducted “pan-Turkic and pan-Islamist treatment of Russian youth, studied recruitment candidates in order to form a pro-Turkish lobby in local government structures, and infiltrate law enforcement agencies and public associations.”
In 2006, the prosecutor’s office of Tatarstan appealed to the Koptevsky District Court of Moscow and achieved the recognition of Said Nursi’s books as extremist literature. According to the experts (psychologists and psychiatrists), to whom the prosecutor’s office referred, the text of the books made an attempt “to exert a subconscious influence on the reader in order to form irrational values and views.”
In the same year, the Council of Muftis of Russia presented an alternative opinion of a group of experts consisting of a doctor of theological sciences and a doctor of sciences in the field of religious philosophy. Experts found that in these books, Said Nursi explains the basics of Islamic doctrine and interprets the Qur’an. “The books do not contain any extremist statements and do not call for violence or religious enmity,” the experts concluded.
In 2008, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, having satisfied the petition of the General Prosecutor’s Office, recognized the activity of the religious organization “Nurdzhular” as extremist and banned it on the territory of Russia.
According to the rector of the Russian Islamic University, historian and academician Rafik Mukhametshin, nowhere in the works of Said Nursi there is not a single mention of either Pan-Turkism or Pan-Islamism. “To put him on a par with various extremists would be not just a manifestation of ignorance, but also a misunderstanding that religious figures of such a plan are, on the contrary, in demand today. Because they called for peaceful solution of problems and moral improvement, ”he said.
International organizations – including the US Commission on Religious Freedom and the ECHR – asked Russia to reconsider its decisions on recognizing Nurcular and Nursi’s books as extremist.
Leave a Reply