Will the Volga Region become the second Caucasus?31.07.2012 | 18:55
Events in Kazan may become the starting point for the formation of a new reality in the the Volga Region, where the special operations, assassinations and bombings have become commonplace. What should be done not to turn the formerly rich and peaceful republics in the heart of Russia into North Caucasus?
The fact that the events in Tatarstan develop in the most negative way for the tranquility of the republic has been sounded by the experts long before the terrorist attacks and the killing of Deputy Mufti Waliullah Yakupov. The developing conflict between the Islamic creeds makes the situation common with the North Caucasus. Victorious march of Wahhabism (Salafism), walking not only in Russia, "annoys" the followers of the Hanafi school of thought, more traditional for Russia.
In fact, according to an expert from the Russian Institute of Oriental Studies, Ruslan Kurbanov, there is nothing unusual. "In the history of the Islamic world from time to time there occur updates of religious practices and forms of belief. In Dagestan, for example, during the life of the Companions of the Prophet Mohammed there has established one form of Islam. Then, this form of Islam was replaced by Sufism, then, in XVII century, the fundamentalist view of Islam established there again. And so on. Similar processes took place in the lands inhabited by the Tatars and Bashkirs", Kurbanov says.
"In our time, another update of religious practice and ritual forms takes place", the expert continues. "It just so happened that the revival of Salafi version of Islam takes place in our time, and throughout the world, not only in Russia", Ruslan Kurbanov says.
Another practice also makes the North Caucasus and the Volga Region common: state intervention in matters of faith. In general, the Russian experience of the state's participation in the life of the Muslim community should be studied and analyzed separately. A similar practice is in Tajikistan, where the law sets the "correct" doctrine. And nowhere else. As a result of such government intervention in the life of the Ummah we and got what we see in the North Caucasus. Now, this scenario occurs in the Volga Region.
This practice did not emerged yesterday, but back in the 90s, when Muslim leaders of various Russian regions, fearful of losing influence, began to use the administrative influence for resolving intra-religious issues. As a result, in Dagestan, for example, the administrative and power resources began to work in favor of one side of religious conflict. Followers of the other side, respectively, started to "get it" with all the ensuing consequences. The result of such "prevention" was the radicalization of a significant part of the faithful. The involvement of security forces in the fight on behalf of the state has led to thousands of corpses, the sea of blood and the appearance of underground in the woods. Many rightly call the situation in Dagestan a "civil war".
But the current dramatic situation - this is not just the result of stupidity committed in the 90s. All of this has deep roots. "In Russia, for the past 200 years, official religious leaders entered into a bureaucratic system. Their position is of two kinds. On the one hand, they are not officials, because they are clerics. On the other hand, they are not full leaders of public opinion in a religious environment, since they bear the stamp of the administrative system, as most of them were assigned through administrative channels. And they draw their status from the support by administrative system. Of course, all sorts of corruption schemes on the distribution of money allocated to all sorts of half-state funds, etc., are forming around this "administrative pin", stuck into a lively and bustling religious field. There is no proper control on the part of believers over these structures. This is a "blank" area with huge sums of money. Of course, as a consequence - a tough fight of our spiritual guidance for influence in this area. There is a competition not only for the money, but also for the possibility of direct access to the leaders of our state. Therefore, our spiritual departments are non-transparent corporations which also undergo raider seizures, firing at competitors, and all of this is being masked as anti-dissent", Ruslan Kurbanov believes.