NPR Story
3:13 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Muslim Radicals Raise Russian Fears In Tartarstan

The Russian republic of Tatarstan used to be held up as a model of moderate Islam coexisting with Christianity. But Muslims there are increasingly worried that the region may be falling under the influence of radical imams who received their training in Saudi Arabia. In July, Tatarstan's top Muslim cleric was severely wounded by a car bomb, and his deputy was shot to death by gunmen. Police blame Muslim militants, but local Tatar nationalists say the attacks are really provocations created by a Russian government that wants a firmer grip on the oil-rich republic.