The criminal environment, the SIZO, prisons and colonies have become a breeding ground for the spread of unconventional for Russia currents of foreign Islam of a radical nature. The criminal world with its set of values and ideological attitudes gives many opportunities to religious fundamentalists to recruit new followers to their ranks who are behind bars in everyday articles of the Criminal Code.
The preacher Kasym Nurullin, a well-known preacher in the region, began working with prisoners among Muslim religious leaders in Russia, who did a lot in Tatarstan to nurture the spiritual prisoners. The peak of his activity fell on 1990-ies, and he actively contributed to the fact that almost in every colony or pre-trial detention center of the republic a prayer room appeared or a mosque was built. But the sincere service of Kasym Khazrat, who saw religion as an opportunity for moral improvement and rectification of those who violated the law, acquired other forms after the Department of Relations with the security forces (with the special contingent in the Muslim Religious Board of Tatarstan) ) became the head of Marat Kudakaev. Experts are inclined to believe that it was at this time that even a special theory of “prison jihad” appeared, according to which criminals could become the vanguard in building a caliphate - an Islamic state.
The term “prison jihad” is understood to mean the practice of involving a criminal element in the ranks of Islamic fundamentalists right on the territory of penitentiaries. The approach itself is clear: take in hand weapon and to kill a person “on the way of jihad” - this requires a certain courage and moral and psychological stability. And who, if not criminals, can be capable of such actions. Moreover, the values of the zone built on the system of unwritten thieves' laws can easily be replaced by the values of religious extremism: “live by the rules” - “live according to Sharia”, “Cop state” - “Käfer State” (infidel. - NG ") etc. Respectively, killing a “kafera” is equivalent to “stitching a sucker”. The Russian chanson and mournful songs about the “hard life of thieves” among the Wahhabis that are popular among the prisoners have their counterpart in the form of the work of the Chechen bard Timur Mutsurayev, whose songs are dedicated to the hard life of the “warriors of the jihad” wandering in the mountains. The romanization of the criminal world in the eyes of criminals themselves echoes the aesthetics and ethics of Wahhabism: common ideas about good and evil, right and bad, and life “by notions” is easily replaced by life “according to Sharia” in its fundamentalist understanding.
The most famous example of the fact that a prison can become a place for recruiting into the ranks of Wahhabism is the case around the colony number 2 of the city of Novoulyanovsk. It was there that one of the leaders of the Ulyanovsk Jamaat, Valery Ilmendeyev, created a cell of the “Emirate of the Caucasus”. Having adopted Wahhabi Islam still free, Ilmendeyev, being in the zone, immediately launched an active propaganda among the prisoners. Having become the “amir” of this prison jamaat, he managed to gather from the ranks of criminals a “shura” —the council of the jamaat, with the help of which he began to recruit cellmates into his ranks. The leader of the virtual Islamist state “Emirate of the Caucasus”, Doku Umarov, was given an “Bayat” (oath), while coordination was conducted with those like-minded people who were in the wild. Upon their release, the members of the jamaat were to go to the North Caucasus "to conduct jihad", and the second colony of Novoulyanovsk turned into a recruiting station for the terrorist underground. The situation is aggravated by the fact that prisons become camps for the recruitment of militants not only for the “hot south” of the country, but also for the Volga region itself, where in the summer of 2012, the terrorists who committed the terrorist attack against the mufti of Tatarstan Ildus Faizov and killed one of the major theologians of traditional Islam appeared Valiullu Yakupov. Both the first “amir” of Tatarstan, Rais Mingaleyev, and the second leader of extremists within the Ural-Volga region of the “Viladet Idel – Ural”, Robert Valeyev, had criminal convictions behind them, during which they served in Wahhabism in the zones.
The short terms that religious extremists are sentenced to make the situation just a stalemate. The success of the propaganda of fundamentalism among the prisoners leads to the fact that there are often cases when radical Islam preachers deliberately went to jail in order to recruit new adepts in the zone. In Bashkortostan, cases of repeated imprisonment of Hizb ut-Tahrir ideologues have been recorded, which, falling on short periods under the 282 article (from six months to two years), use this time to conduct dagvat (propaganda) in the criminal environment. We have to admit that one fundamentalist turns in his ideology to 7 – 10 cellmates who are serving sentences on “everyday” articles. Moreover, in the eyes of like-minded people on the outside, those who have served “for the faith” become an authority - this is especially impressive for young people. That is why, more and more often, experts are proposing the need to isolate religious radicals from other prisoners, perhaps by placing them in a single cell to serve their sentences.
The arrival of the leadership of the Kazan Muftiyat Ildus Faizov was marked by a new change in work with the prison special contingent. Airat Zaripov became the head of the department for coordination and interaction with the Federal Penitentiary Service, an agreement was concluded with the agency itself, after which an inventory of all literature in mosques and prayer rooms was first carried out, which was replaced with the appropriate Volga region religious law school. However, this is only the beginning of great work, and if in Tatarstan they have somehow begun to straighten out this area, the situation is more complicated in other regions of the Volga region.
For the time being, the penitentiary system of Russia is permeated with an invisible network of jamaats, forming a kind of prison caliphate: there are camps for recruiting militants, here is fertile ground for propaganda of the call to jihad, here and the possibility of gaining authority for further work in the wild.
Prison Caliphate Radical Islam is massively distributed in the penitentiary system of Russia
- Rais Ravkatovich Suleymanov