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Women without headscarves targeted in Muslim Chechnya
Reuters: Chechen women continue to be targeted for not wearing headscarves. Some women have been punched, or terrorized by men wielding automatic rifles.
"Many women in Russia's volatile Chechnya region said on Friday they had been harassed and some physically harmed by bands of men for not wearing headscarves during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Against the backdrop of a spreading Islamist insurgency, many fear that growing interest in radical Islam could fuel separatism in the volatile North Caucasus, where the Kremlin watches uneasily as sharia law eclipses Russian.
Residents and witnesses told Reuters that bearded men in traditional Islamic dress have been roaming the streets both on foot and in cars since Ramadan started on Aug. 11, demanding bare-headed women wear a headscarf.
The men's action follows a radical order earlier this week from Chechnya's spiritual leader to shut all cafes during the month of Ramadan as well as paintball attacks on bareheaded women in June."