FREDERICK FLORIN

MOSCOW—The man known as ‘Putin’s attack dog’ has spent years promoting a violent response to the publication of controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. When a teenager from a Chechen family beheaded a school teacher in France on Friday for sharing these images with his class, Ramzan Kadyrov, the Putin-backed ruler of Chechnya, took to social media to lecture France about its “unacceptable attitude to Islamic values.”

Kadyrov has worked hard to make the French controversy a cause célèbre in the Muslim-majority region of Russia. He gathered hundreds of thousands of Chechens for an anti-Charlie Hebdo rally, just a few days after terrorists killed 12 and injured 11 people at the satirical newspaper’s office in January, 2015. That was the biggest rally ever seen in the Northern Caucasus. With a white vest on, Kadyrov spoke to a crowd of about a million people, calling on Muslims to rise against…

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