Interesting that Aslanbekhov thinks this will strengthen Russia against the jihadists, while the article opines that it will weaken it. “Eye on Eurasia: A super-mufti for Russia?” from UPI, with thanks to EPG:
Tartu, Estonia, Apr. 25 (UPI) — Russian Presidential advisor Aslanbek Aslanbekhov has called for the election of a single supreme mufti early next year to oversee all the Muslim communities of the Russian Federation, someone he said who could assist the government in its struggle against terrorism and fundamentalist Islam.
Aslanbekhov’s proposal was greeted coolly by the Russian Federation’s current Muslim leaders, most of whom view it as a direct threat to their power and influence and despite the fact that the introduction of a single muftiate will reduce rather than strengthen the Russian government’s control over Islam, Moscow seems virtually certain to go ahead.
Aslakhanov presented this idea at a Moscow meeting “Islam for Peace” organized by various Muslim groups, Interfax reported. He told “Kommersant” that it was only his “personal idea” (www.kommersant.ru/doc.html?DocID=572461), but his comments and those of another Russian official at the session suggest otherwise.
On the one hand, Aslakhanov suggested that his ideas would find favor within the Kremlin once he did share them with official there, adding that any opposition to them by Muslim leaders up to now simply reflects their personal ambitions and unwillingness to subordinate themselves to anyone else.
“The muftis don’t want to elect a chief mufti,” Aslakhanov said, “because each of them wants to be the chief.” But if such an election does take place, he continued, “anyone who does not want to subordinate himself to the law and the regulations adopted on the territory of the country where he lives, well, those are his problems.”