Here’s the sequence: Islamic jihadists mount a major attack against non-Muslims. Officials begin investigating, whereupon Muslims begin to protest the “climate of fear” created by the investigation, and say they are struggling to understand why the attackers did what they did, and that they feel unfairly targeted by law enforcement. Rumors of beatings and torture by police begin to circulate.
Post-9/11 America? No, post-Nalchik Russia. From AFP, with thanks to Sr. Soph:
NALCHIK, Russia (AFP) – Local Muslims have denounced a climate of fear for believers and criticised state-backed Islamic officials as this North Caucasus city struggled to understand why dozens of local men took up arms against the state.
“There is complete police arbitrariness… and judges get their orders against Muslims by telephone,” said Ali Pshigotizhev, 55, an unemployed former radio presenter with a charcoal-grey beard.
Pshigotizhev’s son, Zaur, 29, a taxi driver, was arrested on suspicion of taking part in a wave of attacks on police and security forces outposts in Nalchik last week that officials said killed 12 civilians and 36 law enforcement officers.
Outside the main government building in central Nalchik, female relatives of the 92 militants officially reported killed in the attacks demanded authorities return their loved ones’ corpses for burial.
“He saw so much injustice in the police force that he decided to retrain as a lawyer,” said the aunt of Khasbulat Kerefov, 24, who said her nephew had gone missing during the attacks.
Under heavy rain, the women described beatings and humiliating abuses in local police stations. Many said their sons, brothers and nephews could not get jobs or university places because of their beliefs.
“They call us the Wahhabists. They are people and we are non-people,” said Marina, 19, whose 33-year-old uncle, a builder, took part in the attacks and who declined to give her surname for fear of police reprisals….
Many believers were angered at the closure of six mosques in and around Nalchik last year.
“They were training to use weapons in the mosques… that’s why they were closed down,” Marina Kyasova, a local interior ministry spokeswoman, told AFP in a building still scarred by bullet holes from the militants’ attacks.
“We should have acted more forcefully… We shouldn’t just copy democracy and human rights from other countries — we should adapt them to our own conditions,” Kyasova said….
During the 1990s, young Muslims from the republic travelled to the Middle East for Islamic studies.
Some believers say they brought back true Islam, incurring the suspicion of the authorities but officials say problems with the police started after these men were brainwashed with extremist ideas.