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Polosin: Russian imams are helpless in theology

31.05.2012  |  16:17

Polosin: Russian imams are helpless in theology. 27288.jpeg

On the eve, in Moscow and Grozny, the "Islamic doctrine against radicalism" held a meeting, on the basis of which a document called "peace fatwa" was adopted. Some Russian experts considered the Moscow-Grozny meeting the Salafis' attack. Copious citations of Sheikh Ibn Taymiyya's fatwa, Osama bin Laden's favorite theologian, in the text and the active presence of imams from Saudi Arabia, is rather alarming. GTimes correspondent talked to a member of the presidium of the conference, the director of scientific and educational center "Al-Vasatyya" Ali Vyacheslav Polosin about the "peace fatwa" and many others.

- The text of the Declaration emphasizes the authority of Ibn Taymiyya, the founder of Salafism. Copious quotation of Taymiyya makes us think about the adopted document is not the best way.

- Citation of Ibn Taymiyya is associated with the addressee of the Declaration: it is addressed primarily to those who like to cite him. He lived almost a thousand years ago, when neither Salafism nor Wahhabism existed.

Organizers of this conference wanted to show the young people that Taymiyya himself never advocated pseudo-jihadist ideas. For example, Ibn Taymiyya taught that Jihad can never be a goal, it is - just a mean. The goal must be positive, for example, dissemination of knowledge about Islam, morality, law-abiding. Jihad in Arabic language means assiduity, and it can be different. For example, a journalist who wants to write the truth needs the jihad of writing. In a situation when another country attacks our country, we need the jihad of sword. The Moscow Declaration shows that all the scholars of Islam, including Ibn Taymiyya, advocated peace and not war.

- Foreign delegates in Moscow and Grozny were mostly from the Gulf. Because of this some of our Islamists dubbed this event the "Salafi meeting".

- Sufism is traditional Islam for Kuwait. Dr. Maatouq, former Minister of Justice and Religious of Kuwait, is a Sufi. In Saudi Arabia, the most significant changes are now taking place. In Saudi Arabia there is a number of "Al-Vasatyya" centers teaching moderate Islam. The author of the Moscow Declaration is Sheikh Abdullah bin Baya. He is a frequent visitor to the United States, where the political elite take him, and where he lectures on "Al-Vasatyya". Sheikh bin Baya is also a Sufi. So when they say that "Salafis have been meeting for two days in Moscow and Grozny", either they are wrong, or they are knowingly misleading others. And the majority of meeting participants were supporters of the "Al-Vasatyya" and moderation. Some Egyptians were Salafis, but they have repented and became followers of moderation. And some detractors have slandered all these people!

In 2006, speaking in Grozny, Vladimir Putin said, "I want the Russian Muslims, being citizens of Russia, to feel part of the global Islamic Ummah". He said the same earlier in Kuala Lumpur, at the opening meeting of the organization "Islamic Conference". Russia's accession to this organization was initiated by Vladimir Putin. Islamic Ummah of Russia has been inactive in this direction for six subsequent years. Then we had to take matters into their own hands. But the isolationists, the opponents of Putin's policies, say they "will deal with the Russian Muslims without help of the Arabs". How are they going to deal with them while they have given birth to a generation of radicals for the last 22 years?

Many of our imams and muftis traditional look helpless in the field of theology. On the Internet there are lots of Salafi websites in Russian, which actively write about Russian affairs, such as the terrorist attacks in the Moscow metro and the airport "Domodedovo". A Saudi or an Egyptian Bedouin makes his fatwa on this site: it's not a very good attack, because some Muslims were killed. If no Muslim would have died, then the attack would have been good. Where are answers of our Muftis to such "fatwas"? I believe that those religious leaders who are trying to hang a label of Salafi on the Sufi, in fact, they're afraid to give answers to pointed questions, because their opponents can expose their ignorance of the Quran and Sunnah.

Arthur Pryjmak

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