After the fall of the Soviet Union and the final collapse of the communist ideology, people began to wake up a natural interest in religion. But the process of turning to the faith of their ancestors turned out to be long, painful and far from being as harmless as one might have hoped at the beginning of the 90s. It turned out that atheistic in the past the state is not ready to meet the demand for religion. Our interlocutor, the imam of the Central Juma Mosque of Makhachkala, Magomedrasul Saaduyev, is convinced of this, that the true sources of religious extremism lie.
"MIC": Magomedrasul-hazrat, is it really possible to say that the tense situation in Dagestan is a consequence of the atheistic line pursued in Soviet times?
“As a result of the 75-year-old communist-atheistic rule, a spiritual vacuum has developed in the hearts and minds of citizens, including in the regions where Muslims lived. Before the revolution, the father could pass on his son’s religious experience to his son, and for this in every aul there was a mullah, a mosque where the Koran was read. During the Soviet period, this experience was lost. The tradition is interrupted. For example, I grew up in a religious family, my father taught me something, but I could not openly declare this even to my friends or relatives. Everyone was afraid of the KGB. Religious life was barely warm.
Indeed, after the collapse of the Union, many wanted to learn Islam, but the authorities were not ready to give these people the full knowledge. Religious ignorance of the population has become a breeding ground for the spread of all sorts of pseudo-religions and pseudo-ideologies. Certain destructive forces took advantage of this state of affairs. In the villages and mosques, people began to appear, who undertook to interpret the holy Quran for their own selfish purposes, manipulating the consciousness of people who were illiterate in religious matters. The lack of literate, learned people, the ulama, who would have full knowledge of the Koran, were competent in these matters, enjoyed the confidence of the population and were not afraid to engage in open dialogue with demagogues. The same applies to the official preachers of Islam, imams of mosques and even muftis - they were not enough.
"MIC": Why do young people have such an interest in Islam?
- The youth is observant and sensitive to change. When young people saw that the ideological system - communism - fails, they became disillusioned with it. But man cannot live without an idea, without faith. Where to go, how to live? So there arose a completely understandable, natural interest in his roots, in his faith. In religion, young people began to find answers to their questions, she helped in solving personal problems. This process is also noticeable among representatives of the youth of other faiths, but is especially evident among Muslims. Islam rightfully takes its rightful place in the minds and hearts of people, which can only be welcomed. The only problem is that true Islam is distorted for the reasons mentioned above.
According to my observations, the guys go to the forests not primarily from religious families who received vaccination in the form of necessary knowledge in their time, but from atheists, where they did not hear the words about God, about faith. They do not have immunity, when one of the new friends, fellow students begins to misinterpret the Koran.
"MIC": What to do in this situation?
- Unfortunately, Islam still has not received due support from the state - one that would satisfy everyone who wants to know their faith. The teaching of religion takes place mostly in private madrasahs or abroad, where it is impossible to establish control over the curriculum. What is sown in young heads under the guise of Islam, only Allah knows.
For a state to successfully fight against pseudo-Islam, it must give its citizens the opportunity to learn true Islam. One of the ways out of the crisis is to expand the network of basic Islamic educational institutions - institutes and universities. It is necessary to attract even more competent scientists from Arab countries, to pay them a decent salary. Pseudo-ideology based on pseudo-religion can be defeated only by true ideology based on true religion. Maintaining and spreading the truth about religion is the task of the state. The only way to get out of the crisis.
"MIC": Has something changed with the coming to power in the republic of a new acting president?
- With the arrival of the leadership of the Republic of Ramazan Abdulatipov, at last, the thought was voiced about the need for a first-class Islamic university in Dagestan, which will be able to compete with educational institutions of other Islamic countries. This is our long-cherished dream. Glory to the Almighty, she began to come true.
A single Islamic State University is also necessary because Dagestan is a multinational republic. Many peoples live here who do not understand each other, and the Russian language acts as an inter-ethnic one. A person who has studied the Koran, written in Arabic, cannot independently translate it from his native, say, Avarian, immediately into Russian. And even as a scientist, he cannot transfer his knowledge to the neighbors of another nationality. Teaching Islam in Russian at a state Islamic university will largely solve the problem of training and spiritual education.
Why is the situation in Chechnya easier to take control? They live in fact alone Chechens. Imams, muftis can directly address in Chechen the people, the ummah - the Islamic community, as well as those who are hiding in the woods or are only planning to do so. In Dagestan, everything is more complicated. In what language do preachers speak to those who hide in the woods? There is such an "international".
To explain to the parishioners the essence of faith has, alas, in Russian, which not everyone is equally good at. We urgently need a powerful Islamic university where they will comprehensively train preachers, ulama, who could freely express their thoughts in Russian and Arabic.
"MIC": Most of all in Dagestan kill law enforcement officers and spiritual leaders. Why?
“They obviously kill those in whom they feel danger.” Extremes in Islam appear when there is no deep knowledge, when they are superficial, devoid of root. Once a person delves into the truth, he will understand his delusions. This is precisely what the extremist leaders fear. They want to serve their people forever in the darkness of half-knowledge and ignorance.
One Orthodox priest, when asked what problems were in their Church, answered: “Godlessness and ignorance”. Muslims have exactly the same problems. The murderer of respectable, respected, literate people of Said-efendi Chirkei and the rector of the Institute of Theology and International Relations Maksud Sadikov can only be an atheist or ignoramus.
"MIC": There is no fear that extremists will shoot down their opponents and thereby gain an ideological victory?
- I have no such fear. Even with our limited capabilities, we are training specialists and a lot of them. Given that the government has heard us and is ready to meet, we will cope with this task.
There are many examples when people who were mistaken and were ready to go into the woods, after openly communicating with imams, began to change their beliefs to less radical ones, traditional for Dagestan. Among those who are still hiding in the woods for religious reasons, there are those who are ready to lay down weapon and surrender. The reason is not fear for one’s life, but an understanding of past delusions. It has long been the thought in the air that all Muslims of Dagestan, who are on opposite sides of the barricades, should unite on the basis of traditional Islamic values without bringing something alien into them. We are actively working in this direction. If God gives - Inshalla, it will be a big breakthrough in the matter of peaceful settlement of the issue.
"MIC": This position is not shared by the entire leadership of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Dagestan (SAMD). Some imams are convinced that dialogue with supporters of neosalafizm (Wahhabism) is impossible and this is just a waste of time. You are criticized for it.
- The final decision on the dialogue was made primarily by the mufti of the republic, and most ulama supported this idea. Only through dialogue, by opening our eyes to the truth can one come to peace. If a man from the forest sincerely takes a step towards us, is it right to push him away? Of course not. We are not afraid of dialogue and are ready to fight to the end for everyone who wants to understand the ways of Allah. Allah says in one of the Sunn something like this: “If your opponents are prone to peace, and you bow to it,” so we always follow the commands of Allah and do not consider all of our opponents as a homogeneous mass. We are driven solely by one desire: for peace to come quickly in Dagestan.
I repeat, among those who are called gangsters and Wahhabis, many are looking for a way out of the forest. I cannot give names, because in that way I will put them at risk. For the same reason, they do not give a confession. But the man moved away from complicity, ceased to support his former comrades. Is this not enough?
"MIC": Thus, mutual understanding has been reached between the government, the Ministry of the Interior and the SAMD about the need for coordinated actions and there are all possibilities for a radical change in the situation?
- Yes, but besides the religious factor there is also an economic one. The government should understand that young people who are interested in religious ideas should work and provide for themselves, their parents, and not hang around.
Celebration is also one of the negative factors. At all times, Muslim rulers were especially worried about youth employment. One scientist came to the governor, Sultan Omar, and said: “Take people by work, otherwise they will choose harmful activities for themselves.” And we have people in many regions, young people do not want to work, to learn, too. So there are harmful thoughts, protest moods. If we manage to solve these two problems, order and peace will come in Dagestan.
"MIC": The society is now vigorously discussing the problems of wearing hijabs and separate training. How relevant is this and is a compromise possible?
- In Islam, this is all clear: from the 8 – 9 age, the girl should be closed, that is, wearing a hijab. In Islam, this is a matter of principle. And this needs to be understood by government officials. If there are fundamental questions like this, then they need to compromise, make concessions.
No normal Muslim would agree to have his daughter at school forced to remove her headscarf. In Islam, these moments are given a very great importance, to be exact, then with the appearance and awareness of a Muslim begins. Here compromises are unacceptable. Therefore, the ban on wearing the hijab is perceived by many Muslims as a ban on Islam. And because of this, blood often flows, people die. Why bring matters to such a situation.
Is the state more important than any rules that change easily than the customs of one of the traditional religions - Islam? In this case, the state should be ready to escalate the confrontation, because, I repeat once again, for a Muslim the ban on wearing the hijab is actually a ban on Islam.
"MIC": How do you propose to solve the problem?
“I don’t see any problem here.” Why can't we study together, sit at the same desk, or even just be friends with two classmates, one of whom is wearing a hijab and the other isn’t? The girl in the hijab remains the same student with all the requirements for her. I can even assume that a Muslim woman will have a better time, since she will have more time to study, to study, than from her social friend, who needs to watch TV and flirt with boys. A real Muslim woman will not do this.
If you do not turn a girl who came to a lesson in a hijab, a mockery, an ugly duckling, and treat her religious feelings with understanding, respect, to whom this will be bad? School and its director? I think it's time to look at the girl in the hijab as normal. After all, they look like the norm now in many schools of Russia at schoolgirls in mini-skirts or with a cigarette. No one is struggling with this much more negative phenomenon. Why are the hijab so ganged up? This is the result of Islamophobia, promoted by the Russian media, which are probably not interested in the stability of our multi-religious society.
Many citizens at the instinct level have developed a connection: hijab means a suicide bomber. Stupidity. Very offensive and painful parallels for Muslims. They will not bring peace.
If the state paid the same attention to the problems of drug addiction, juvenile delinquency or pedophilia, success would be evident. Alas, the stereotypes of the atheistic past in our country are too strong.
Partly help to solve the problem introduced by the foundations of the foundations of faith. On them, children and parents would be told through them about the basics of faith, Islam as well. We, the clergy of Dagestan, both hands welcome the introduction of this subject in schools. Such lessons, conducted by competent specialist teachers, will also contribute to stopping the outflow of young people to the forests due to religious misunderstandings.
"MIC": How do you look at the fact that among law enforcement officers, military personnel more and more Muslims?
- Only positive. 80 percent of the parishioners of the Juma mosque are young people, among them there are many in shape. They do not come out of curiosity, but as true Muslims. And not only on the Friday (obligatory) prayer, but also on other days. This is, thank Allah, the process of improving the people and power structures. Now in the army, in the internal affairs bodies there are no problems with the open confession of one’s faith. In many military units and institutions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs there are prayer rooms. I believe that this trend will have a positive effect on the activities and education of employees by true patriots of their homeland, Russia.
I know that among the employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic there are very God-fearing people who are very concerned about what is happening in Dagestan. These people need to be noticed and appreciated by the authorities, because conscience is not the basis for their fear of God. And there are not so many such employees in the era of dishonor and corruption. For the sake of the fear of God, they will not act contrary to the will of the Most High. After all, it is from atheists and ignoramuses, people who have lost their conscience, all the problems in the republic and in the state. Such people, being in leadership positions, including in power ministries, and bring a lot of problems, heat up the situation. The more truly religious people we have - Orthodox, Muslims, the more stable and safer will be the situation in the country.