Russia: 'Muslim Russia'

Russia's Muslims are beginning to change the way they talk about the relationship between their religious community and their country, a shift that reflects their own growing self-confidence but one that frightens many ethnic Russians who see it as a threat to their own status.

Until recently, Daniyal Isayev writes in a commentary on the portal, the Muslims of Russia, like most analysts who discuss their community, typically spoke "about 'Islam and Russia,' 'Islam in Russia,' and even '[non-ethnic] Russian Islam." But they "never" referred to "'Muslim Russia.'"

Now, he writes, ever more of the faithful there are doing just that, a reflection of "how much is changing both in the world and in Russia itself" -- and "especially in the consciousness, self-conception and position of Muslims" living in that country


"Muslim Russia," he writes, "is Derbent, Kazan, Astrakhan, Ufa, Tyumen, Orenburg and so on. Today, this is also Moscow and St. Petersburg. {It] is the creativity of Pushkin, Lermontov, and Tolstoy, … an enormous territory and peoples of Northern Eurasia who were drawn together by the Golden Horde."

Moreover, "Muslim Russia is [also] the victories on the fronts of the First and Second World Wars, gold medals at the Olympics and scientific achievements of recent years." And the future of Muslim Russia, Isayev suggests, is certain to be even richer and more beneficial to the country.

That is because "Muslim Russia is not a finished or finally completed phenomenon. [It] is a dynamically developing present and a magnificent future of our country," one in which Russia's Muslims "every day acquire ever greater certainty in their own strength, in their own goals, and their own future."


Indeed, in this, the 21st century, it is entirely possible that "Muslim Russia can become the advance guard of the development of Islam in Northern Eurasia" and even of the development of the Islamic community of the entire world. "Only Allah knows," Isayev concludes, just what role in the future Muslim Russia is fated to play."

But there is one role that "Muslim Russia" is already playing: as a bogeyman to many non-Muslim Russians who feel that the rapid growth of the Islamic community in their country at the present time represents a threat not only to their way of life but even to the existence of the Russian state itself.


The existence of these two sets of attitudes, the increasingly self-confident Muslim one, on the one hand, and the increasingly defensive ethnic Russian one, on the other, points to more conflicts ahead, unless the authorities and cooler heads on both sides pull back a little and reflect on just how dangerous such clashes could be.

More on Window on Eurasia

Source: Window on Eurasia, h/t Atlas Shrugs

See also: Russia: Islam flourishes


Unknown said...

Hear hear.

Let's always remind ourselves -- when the frightened, ignorant and just plain obnoxious are seeing Al Qaeda agents in every Muslim face -- how often and how heroically our Muslim brothers have fought on our side for causes not always their own.

Forget Poitiers, it's buried in distant history. Muslims have been on the side of freedom in peace and war throughout the 20th Century until today.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that nazi germany had two divisions which consisted of muslims. That the Muslim Brotherhood and the Baathists can be traced back to nazi roots. That Mein Kampf and the Protocols of Zion are best sellers in many muslim countries.