Chechnya bans `stealing bride` custom, terms it anti-Islamic

The pro-Russia head of the Caucasian republic of Chechnya today banned the ancient custom of `stealing brides`, which boiled down to abduction of young girls for forcible marriage, saying it was `un Islamic`.

Last Updated: Oct 18, 2010, 21:01 PM IST

Moscow: The pro-Russia head of the
Caucasian republic of Chechnya today banned the ancient custom
of `stealing brides`, which boiled down to abduction of young
girls for forcible marriage, saying it was `un Islamic`.

"This is the Russian Federation, laws of which qualify
abduction as a crime. We practice Islam, the religion, which
unequivocally condemns such practice and does not recognise
the marriage without the true consent of the girl.

I declare with full responsibility that we will root
out forever the abduction of girls from our society," Head of
Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov declared at his televised meeting with
the Chechen elders.

Chechen Mufti Sultan Mirzayev expressed the support
for banning "bride stealing".

"They should be tried under the laws of the Russian
Federation. We have decided that none of the Imams will
reconcile the involved parties," Mufti Mirzayev told Rossiya
24 channel.

Under the Russian laws abduction carries a punishment
of up to 15 year prison term, and vendetta in accordance with
the Caucasian tradition.

Besides Chechnya the custom of `stealing brides` is
common in other Caucasian regions also and could not be rooted
out even in the Communist rule.

In 1970s a highly popular Soviet comedy `The Caucasian
Prisoner` had blasted this custom. Very often the abducted
Caucasian girls, to avoid social boycott, claim that they were
abducted by their consent and agree for marriage with her
kidnapper.

PTI