Finland: Muslims pose challenge to Russia's stability

Finland: Muslims pose challenge to Russia's stability

Tundra Tabloids reports about a new Finnish Ministry of Defense report about the challenges facing Russia. 

From the report:

Islam and Muslims in Russia pose a serious challenge to Russia's internal stability and domestic policy. After the collapse of the Soviet Union the self-esteem and sense of identity of Russia's 20 million Muslims have been bolstered. In 1991 there were approximately 300 mosques in Russia; the present number approaches 8 000. Half of the new mosques have been built with foreign financing, mainly from Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia. In 1991 there were no Islamic schools in the Russian Federation. Now there are approximately 60 madrassas, attended by some 50 000 students.

Percentagewise, the largest Muslim populations are in the Volga-Ural region, Bashkorstan, Tatarstan, the North Caucasus and the Karelian Republic. In the Karelian Republic there are some 20 000 Muslims (3 % of the population).32


Paul Goble, an expert of Islam and the Muslim populationin Russia, estimates that the majority of Russian military recruits will be Muslims in 2015. In 2020 twenty per cent of the citizens will be Muslims, provided that the current demographic trends continue. If no changes occur, within three decades the majority of the citizens of the Russian Federation will be Muslims. Russian Muslims are a very heterogeneous group, ranging from Volga Tatars and multiethnic groupings in the North Caucasus to the new immigrants from the former Soviet republics in Central Asia.


Especially the Caucasians, regardless of their religious affiliation, face discrimination and persecution. Demographic changes and higher birth rates in Muslim areas instil fear in Russia, causing people to believe that Russia is gradually becoming an Islamic country.

This has resulted in problems with obtaining building permits for mosques as well as in racist aggression. The most worrisome feature is the increasing violence towards the Muslim population. Vandalism against mosques has increased throughout this decade. In 2006, an Imam was shot dead at his doorstep in the city of Kyslovodsk. Among other things, the increasing role of Islam in society was thought to be a motive for the murder. These types of ethnic tensions also caused the Kondopoga riots in the Karelian Republic in 2006.

In spite of all this, Russia's Muslim community is convinced that Muslims and Islam are part of the Russian identity and that they have a place in Russia. After all, as early as 922 Russia had its first Muslim nation, the Volga Bulgars. Umar Idrisov, head of the Muslim Religious Directorate in the Nizhniy Novgorod region, was asked whether a future President of the Russian Federation could be Muslim. He replied, "I may not live long enough to witness the wonderful miracle but I hope that, sooner or later, it will happen.
Russia emerged from two civilizations - the Turkish and the Slavic, Islamic and Christian. The first state religion in the area of Russia was Islam, so why couldn't Russia have a Muslim president?"

More at Tundra Tabloids

See also:
* Russia: 23 Hizb ut-Tahrir members convicted
* Russia: Muslims should copy from Jewish lobbying
* Russia: Islam to become primary religion by 2050?
* Russia: 'Muslim Russia'
* Russia: Islam flourishes

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