22 September 2003, 21:54

Nur, Muslim movement

Nur ("Light") is a nationwide Russian socio-political movement including private individuals and legal entities that support the goals of the movement and take part in its activities. It was set up at a constituent congress in May 1995, aimed at protecting civil, political, and cultural rights of the Russian Muslims; developing their activity and initiative; and expanding participation in government and public affairs. It adheres to the principles of the extant structure of the nation and government and institutions of presidency and parliamentarism codified by the Constitution in effect; comes out strongly against the use of force in resolving religious and ethnic conflicts in the Russian Federation; and condemns religious extremism and terrorist methods in political or religious fighting. Nur's economic platform suggests measures aimed at boosting industrial output; developing trade and provision of services; considerable tax cuts for industry; organizing Muslim business and administration schools. They have drawn up a package of proposals for the Duma to develop and pass laws on government funding for Muslim schools of general education, music, arts, and sports; on the allocation of broadcasting time for Muslim programs on a nationwide television channel; on polygamy for the Muslims; and on the allocation of land plots for Muslim cemeteries.

The movement advocates military reforms and supports the idea of recruiting for the Russian Armed Forces on a mixed basis of contracts and conscription and creating purely Muslim military units, which Nur members believe will make it possible for young Muslim believers to freely satisfy their religious needs. The union's plans include: facilitating organization of Muslim marriage offices, maternities, children's and disabled people's homes, boarding schools, and Muslim old people's homes; and creating Muslim music, art, and sports schools.

Nur enjoys increasing support of the Muslim public around the country. It has offices in 72 regions. During the parliamentary election in 1995, it included 97 candidates in its federal list. Gaining about 400,000 votes (in favor of the federal list), Nur outran a lot of parties and movements, although they had become known much earlier. Maksud Ibnugajarovich Sadykov was in 1998 elected chairman of Nur's Coordination Council.

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