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Russian Muslims: Aliens at home

10.09.2012  |  13:23

Russian Muslims: Aliens at home. 28197.jpeg

In the social network "VKontakte" there is a group dedicated to Russian Muslims. A member of one of such groups, Anastasia Evstifeeva, said that adoption of Islam immediately made her a pariah. "I have problems with people. Many do not understand me and are hindering me. Even close people are jeering at me". Another Russian Muslim woman in the same social network said her father, when he had seen his daughter with a book on the Muslim prayer, nearly disowned her. "He shouted that he was ashamed of what I am, "that he does not want to know that I am a suicide bomber, blowing up peaceful people". Brothers of the young Muslim woman treated her similarly. Later, the situation in the family settled. Young Russian Muslim woman is dreaming that someday she will give her relatives a davaat -

she will explain them the basic provisions of Mohammed's faith. Under Islamic canons you cannot give davaat forcedly. To do this, you need a desire of the listeners.

Unfortunately, there are examples of how the Russian people, after adopting Islam, follow the path of the Wahhabi. Alexander Tikhomirov, born in Ulan-Ude, also known as "Amir Said Buryat", was one of them.

Traditional Muslims of Russia even earlier treated the Russian Islam neophytes guardedly, and after the appearance of the "Russian Wahhabi" - even more so. "People who change the faith have labile psyche, susceptible to outside influence. Such people are being manipulated by experts on agitation and propaganda often of radical direction", Zagid Makhmudov, Dagestani expert on youth work, told GTimes.

According to him, the problem of the so-called "Russian Wahhabi" is psychological rather than national. Russian Muslim becomes Wahhabi not because he supposedly renounced his roots or orthodoxy. Such a person has never had a strong spiritual support. "Radicalism of the newly converted is a consequence of marginalization due to the fact that there is a conflict between a new consciousness and conscious behavior with a hereditary condition of the subconscious. So, for the Russians the Orthodox Church is the most comfortable religion. Separation from it - this is confusion, unpredictable behavior, marginalization and so on. You can lead such people anywhere", the expert said.

If there were no Islam, such lost people would have come to the Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons. "For example, Christian sects are working actively in Dagestan, and representatives of the peoples of Dagestan often come to them. It all depends on the activity of the "mission", the ability of the "missionaries", society and the state to defend its interests in the spiritual sphere of life of its citizens", Zagid Makhmudov said in an interview to GTimes.

Radicalism of neophytes of any faith is like a teen puberty. In psychology, there is a religious term "syndrome of the neophyte". "Russian Muslims, converted to Islam, are experiencing the "syndrome of the neophyte". Experiencing certain guilt for the fact that his people did not profess the "true faith", they have a zeal, which turns into fanaticism and fundamentalism", the expert of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies Rais Suleymanov told the edition. 

"Without a theological tradition of Islam in their history, since the  Orthodoxy is traditional religion of the Russian people, the Russians are easily influenced by Islamic radicals, or begin to profess exotic for Russia form of Islam. Thus, the National Organization of Russian Muslims (NORM) is positioning itself as an exponent of the interests of Russian converts to Islam, professes the Muslim of Maliki school, common for North Africa, while the indigenous Muslims of Russia profess Islam of the Hanafi and Shafi'i schools. But, not being able to understand the intricacies of these theological religious and legal schools of Islam, Russian Muslims usually choose Wahhabism and other forms of fundamentalism, such as "Hizb-ut-Tahrir", Suleymanov said.

According to experts, on the one hand, ethnic Muslims treat the Russian co-religionists tolerantly, because if an ethnic Orthodox adopts Islam, it looks in their eyes like a triumph of righteousness of their own religion. "However, the excessive zeal of Russian Muslims, which is often accompanied by criticism of the religious traditions of ethnic Muslims for the departure from the "pure Islam", is causing resentment among the indigenous Muslim people who consider reproaches from Russian Muslims a threat to their ethnic identity", Rais Suleymanov said. In an interview to GTimes he noted that in Russia there is still no single imam - Russian by nationality.

"Ethnic Muslims in Russia are ready to see in the Russians their brothers in faith, but do not want them to hold any positions in the spiritual hierarchy. Tatars and Caucasians will take Russian as a Muslim, but they do not want to see him as the clergy. As a result, in the Muslim Ummah of Russia the Russians are considered "younger brothers". Russian Muslims become aliens at home, in Russian. In the eyes of the other Russians - Orthodox - they look like traitors. But even among the ethnic Muslims Russians remain a second-class, since they are even being prevented for becoming imam. To prove that they are the real Muslims, Russians are ready to extremes, showing devotion. And this is a direct path to terrorism", the expert sums up.


Orhan Iskanderzoda


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