Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has announced plans to donate 10.3 million rubles ($131,500) to help men cash-strapped by the coronavirus pandemic “buy” brides under Islamic law.
The families of 207 grooms in Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Chechnya would each receive 50,000 rubles ($635) for their sons to get married in accordance with traditional Islamic practices, the region’s Spiritual Board of Muslims told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency Monday.
The funds would come from a $77-million foundation named after Kadyrov’s late father, a rebel who switched sides to fight alongside Russian forces during the region’s second separatist conflict.
A 2015 report claimed that, in addition to prominent ethnic Chechen businessmen, all Chechen residents are required to pay a share of their salaries to the Akhmad Kadyrov Fund.
Chechnya, which has imposed one of Russia’s strictest Covid-19 lockdowns during the outbreak, banned traditional Islamic weddings in mid-April. The region lifted the ban on May 25 with restrictions that include requiring a low number of guests, modest celebrations and only two cars tailing the newlyweds’ limos.
Kadyrov has long sought to impose Islamic values in the majority Muslim republic of Chechnya, including encouraging women to wear headscarves and men to take up to four wives despite polygamy being forbidden under Russian law.
The dowry system is not recognized under U.S. law.