Gaynutdin, Ravil Ismagilovich

(1959– )
   Also Ravil Gaynutdinov or Rawil Gaynetdin. Ravil Gaynutdin is the chairman of the Spiritual Administration of the Muslims of Central Russia and the Council of Muftis of the Russian Federation; he is also the grand mufti of Moscow. A Kazan Tatar, Gaynutdin’s power base is built on alliance with Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov and through support from Tatarstan’s Islamist elites. During the 1990s, he challenged Sheikh ul-Islam Talgat Tajuddin for leadership of the Russian ummah (Muslim community). His openness to Wahhabism (vakhabizm) and close relations with Saudi spiritual authorities have proved somewhat controversial. His strong support for Chechen separatists placed him at odds with the Kremlin, particularly after the rise of Vladimir Putin in 2000. In recent years, Gaynutdin has campaigned for greater understanding between the major faiths.
   See also Islamism.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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