Islamic radicalism in Russian society

Islamic radicalism in Russian society

By Vestnik Kavkaza

Recently, American congressman Dan Rohrabacher, who heads the foreign political subcommittee of the House of Representatives on Europe, Eurasia, and new threats, stated at a press-conference that radical Islam had caught the United States and Russia “by the throat” and the two countries should learn cooperation. His colleague Steve King thinks that the USA should study anti-terrorist approaches of FSB and use the most effective of them. In Russia the problem of radical Islamism is understood even better than in the US.

According to the president of the religious union “International Islamic Mission” Shafig Pshikhachev, religious organizations try to put down radicalism in the context of the problems which exist in the Russian society. “One of the main steps which should be done is education. Steps are taking by religious organizations. Of course the economic field, the social field should be revitalized for the young generation could fulfill their potential.”

According to Pshikhachev, the migration process is important. “They say that the situation is being improved. Steps are being taken. But I believe these steps are insignificant for Russia. We shouldn’t speak about radical Islam or radicalization of Islamic young people only, because today radicalizations is taking place not only in Russia, in the Islamic world or among Muslim young people living in Russia,” the religious activists noted.

The member of the expert council under the Council of Muftis of Russia, Rinat Mukhametov, stated that today Islamism is presented by a wide spectrum of various organizations from the Turkish Justice and Development Party to Bosnia and Malaysian Islamists. At the same time, the mass media, many political activists and experts focus their attention only at radical Islamism. “For example, the Muslim Brotherhood is actively fighting against jihadists in Egypt and Tunis,” Mukhametov said.

However, he believes that it is a very dangerous phenomenon for Russia. “It not only leads for a conflict and contradicts our national interests in the Middle East, but also leads to a conflict inside our country. It will cause numerous clashes in our 20-million Islamic world. They constantly impose on us ideas that the problem of migration is connected with the Islamic issue in Russia; they politicize the problem of construction of mosques and activities of religious organizations. They Islamize the problem of federalism and ethnic republics, international relations,” the expert emphasized.

According to Mukhametov, today the whole spectrum of this complicated phenomenon is narrowed down “only to the problem of radicalism, extremism, exaggeration of the problem.” He thinks that a huge work in the socio-economic, political, and social spheres is demanded. “There is a big problem in the socio-religious space. Our religious and Muslim institutions are not always ready for the challenges. A serious infrastructure, system of the youth energy should be established to direct it into a constructive sphere, but don’t rely on the force structures only. It is not right to narrow down the problem to radical Islamism, it contradicts our national interests and the scientific point of view; it contradicts interests of either Muslims or the whole Russian society,” Mukhametov concluded.


Vestnik Kavkaza

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