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"Innocence of Muslims" may hit Russia?18.09.2012 | 12:09
The excitement over the "Innocence of Muslims" in the Middle East and North Africa is gradually subsiding. Now a wave of indignation has moved to Europe. In Denmark and the UK hundreds of outraged Muslims surround the U.S. Embassies.
"Innocence of Muslims" has touched the innermost feelings of Russian Muslims. Should Russia expect something similar to the happenings in Benghazi and Cairo?
"The situation with the "Innocence of Muslims" was planned in time and place - told GTimes well-known journalist and blogger El-Murid, co-author of "Libya. Syria. Further - Everywhere!" The film's authors have published it on the Internet three months ago, and only recently this video, translated into Arabic, was shown on the Egyptian television. Exactly by the 11th of September".
According to the blogger, the "Innocence of Muslims" has two sets - "act like me" and "beat your friends in order to intimidate the others". By this logic, it appears that the response of Russian Islamists would first affect representatives of the central authorities of Russia. There is always a reason to hit the authorities: Moscow's support for the Assad regime, the persecution of Islamic radicals, the situation in the North Caucasus, etc. Even the fact that Moscow has the U.S. embassy - this is a reason for Muslims' rallies in Russia.
"The public of Dagestan and the North Caucasus is outraged by the "Innocence of Muslims", as well as the general public in the Middle East and North Africa", Ruslan Gereyev, Director of the Center for Islamic Studies of the Northern Caucasus told GTimes. "It is obvious that the appearance of the film can cause retaliatory actions of radical Muslims in Russia. The "Innocence of Muslims" - this is not the first anti-Islamic outburst. So-called "liberals" have often provoked the people to action against the Muslims and the Islam. Unfortunately, in Russia there are people sympathizing with the "hellish pastor" Terry Jones who had publicly burned down the Koran. There is evidence that he was one of the producers of the "Innocence of Muslims". All Muslims, including Russian Muslims, were outraged by the film. But how else they may react to the blasphemy, the insult to the Prophet Muhammad? Islam has never accepted the depiction of the Prophet, not mentioning a caricature.
In Dagestan such incidents cause protests and tension, since the atmosphere in the North Caucasus is already extremely strained. We shouldn't expect rallies and demonstrations in the Caucasus. The situation may be worsened by the absence of targeting work of Muslim clergy with the congregation. I believe that the mullahs and imams must talk to the Muslims, telling them that they should not panic. The authors of the "Innocence of Muslims" had the task to sow confusion and panic among the Muslims of the world", Gereyev concludes.
Yevgeny Satanovskiy, the president of the Middle East Institute, believes that attempts to organize Muslim rallies in Russia over the scandalous film are quite possible.
"In Russia, a significant number of people, who had studied in Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries, is sharing Islamism ideas. Only in Tatarstan alone, the number of the Salafis accounts up to three thousand people. Not mentioning Bashkortostan and Dagestan.
On the other hand, Russia, in contrast to Europe, does not have millions of immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Arab or African countries - a direct source of the actions of radical Muslims. Current Russian government is not inclined to flirt with the dissent mood, even if its aspirations are directed not at the Kremlin, but at the U.S. administration. It is unlikely that our government will be happy with actions by hundreds or thousands of Muslims. Today demonstrators are protesting against the film "Innocence of Muslims" and Washington's policy towards the Muslim world, and tomorrow they turn into protests against the Kremlin. Terrorist component has not disappeared from the Russian Islamism, it is active and has the same roots as the protests in Europe", the president of the Institute for Middle East told GTimes.
Rais Suleymanov, the head of the Volga center for ethno-religious and cultural studies, believes differently. "The scandal over the Danish caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed caused outrage in Tatarstan, which was quite peaceful. They agreed on the call to boycott products from Denmark. But in Tatarstan there are not much goods from Denmark. They are outraged by the "Innocence of Muslims", but major part of the outraged people has not watched this film. I think there won't be any mass protests", Rais Suleymanov says.