25 June in Pyatigorsk, a conference devoted to countering the spread of the ideology of terrorism in the North Caucasus. The report “The main ideological attitudes of religious extremist organizations operating in the North Caucasus region. Formation of informational content for the de-radicalization of youth ”.
In the North-West Federal District, for several years now, a fairly high level of terrorist threats has been maintained. The bandit groups, despite the measures of forceful influence on the part of the special services and the forces of law and order, still retain the ability to restore their numerical potential and infrastructure. One of the reasons for this is the presence in the region of an abusive base, represented primarily by young people between the ages of 17 and 30, who have fallen under the influence of the ideology of religious-political extremism.
Our state, like the whole world, has been trying for many years to find effective measures to counter terrorism, which hides its true face under the guise of religious or political ideologies.
Among the main reasons for the radicalization and involvement of youth in terrorist organizations are the growing spread of the ideas of religious-political extremism and Wahhabism, which are at the core of Al-Qaida’s activities and all its cells, including the Emirate of the Caucasus.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the process of religious revival began in the country. These conditions were considered favorable by certain representatives of foreign Muslim countries - supporters of Wahhabism.
Many religious education centers, where representatives of the Muslim clergy were trained in Soviet times, found themselves abroad. Muslims of the North Caucasus had to build their own system of religious education. This process inevitably faced a shortage of personnel and a lack of religious educational literature, based on the principles of traditional Islam in Russia. These shortcomings began to be reimbursed by foreign “benefactors” who offered cadres, literature, and much more.
The assistance to the Muslim countries was rendered and continues to be rendered by the special services of a number of western states in order to shatter the situation in Russia.
As a result, in the middle and higher Muslim educational institutions that appeared on the territory of the North Caucasus at the end of the last century, both the teaching staff and textbooks were often of Arabic origin. Thus, the ideology of Wahhabism was introduced among young people.
Since the end of the 20th century, the spread of this trend throughout the world has become an important component of the foreign policy strategy of Saudi Arabia. At least six thousand Arabian charitable foundations distributed in various countries of the world, including Russia, Wahhabi literature and sent preachers to local Muslims. Similar literature was disseminated through Russian pilgrims who visited Saudi Arabia during the Hajj. In one of these brochures, published in Russian, it was recommended no more, no less - “to kill Muslims who do not attend the Friday prayer”. By the way, Christianity in Saudi Arabia is prohibited, and its confession is punishable by death.
Not one thousand Russian citizens studied at foreign “Islamic universities”. Upon returning to Russia, they created various institutes and funds specializing in Wahhabi propaganda. Their representatives published newspapers, appeared on radio and television, and the most active managed to register their own media, including television.
In the course of the spread of Wahhabism in Russia, the differences between historically formed Islam, which became known as “traditional”, and Wahhabism itself, were sharply manifested. The latter began to eat away traditional Islam.
Some young people who were not properly educated in traditional religious or non-religious families were interested in Wahhabism. Someone was attracted by the maximalist monotheism of the Wahhabis, someone by the proclaimed simplicity and purity of morals in the context of the moral decay of the surrounding society. Many Muslims paid attention to the simplicity and cheapness of rites in Wahhabi organizations. For others, the solidarity of the Wahhabi Jamaats became an alternative to nepotism and corruption.
Wahhabism, in turn, is characterized by a programmatic rejection of the freedom of conscience. In its ideology laid religious intolerance, the preaching of religious hatred, a call for the violent eradication of all non-Wahhabi systems and ideas.
Wahhabism proclaims the inferiority of citizens on the basis of their attitude to religion. Christians who worship icons, according to the Wahhabi ulama, are among the worst creatures before Allah. For non-Muslims, discrimination on religious grounds is proclaimed. “We should not trust them even the lowest leadership positions. The doors of all media and communications must be closed in front of them so that they do not spread their poison among Muslims, ”we read in the book Al-Almaniyah (secular lifestyle) and its disgusting consequences.
Is Russia an Enemy of Islam?
Wahhabism spreads appeals aimed at inciting religious hatred, accompanied by the use of violence or threats of its use. “Jihad is necessary in the name of Allah. We must declare war on everyone who fights against Allah and His Messenger so that all paganism and all religion would disappear belong to Allah. ” Moreover, by "paganism" is meant any, not necessarily religious, non-Wahhabi system of ideas and actions. According to the Wahhabi ulama, apostasy should be punished with death - the transition from Islam to another religion. “Kill someone who changes his religion,” says one of the Wahhabi books.
We can formulate the main theses that are put forward by the ideologists of terrorism and religious and political extremism, including representatives of the "Emirate of the Caucasus" in the North Caucasus:
Wahhabis are consistently trying to implement all these provisions.
There is one more aspect of the problem, which usually remains imperceptible. The spread of Wahhabism in Russia with its preaching of religious intolerance, jihad, and religiously motivated terrorism — all this led to the growth of Islamophobia and xenophobia against ethnic Muslims. What kind of reaction can occur among Orthodox, Judea, non-believers in reading anti-Christian, anti-Judaic, anti-liberal ideological attitudes in Wahhabi writings, for example: Islam?
Islamophobia is the fear of Islam. The emergence of a fear of Muslims, of Islam is a characteristic feature of a certain part of Russian society. And this leads to the corresponding consequences, including to counteraction.
Russian Muslims should be focused on their own religious centers (Kazan, Ufa, Grozny). Experience shows that foreign religious influence promises nothing good to Muslims of Russia.
What should we oppose to the ideology of terrorism? Answering this question, it is necessary to dwell in detail on the role of the media in the de-radicalization of young people.
A feature of modern terrorism is the use of informational influence as an important element of manipulation of the consciousness and behavior of society.
Terrorists always seek to use the channels of mass media and the media to promote their views, and the dissemination of relevant information about the terrorist act is precisely the purpose for which they commit their large-scale and inhuman actions aimed at intimidating the population.
Moreover, they are not only aiming at highlighting their actions, but also trying to get journalists to recognize their legitimacy and morality, they are trying to attract new members to terrorist and extremist gangs.
The influence exerted by journalists on public opinion can now be called decisive, and the terrorists are trying to actively use this, carrying out their criminal activities.
The most difficult question is the optimal degree of media coverage of terrorist acts. Unfortunately, quite often journalists pay more attention to the race for the news or exclusive rights to them. Mass media themselves fall into the trap and become victims of targeted terrorist propaganda, broadcasting and disseminating the destructive ideas of terrorists around the world.
Modern terrorism is becoming increasingly associated with the activities of the media. Almost all terrorist groups have their own mass media, many contain their own Internet sites. In turn, terrorist acts (explosions, arson, shelling, murder) become for journalists of all publications a central information occasion.
Representatives of the media not only inform us about what is happening, but also formulate basic definitions, suggest conclusions, setting the framework for the interpretation of a particular event.
The media is a powerful tool for shaping public opinion. Therefore, an important direction in the activities of journalists is the work of discrediting terrorist and extremist organizations in society, creating an atmosphere of intolerance towards any manifestations of terror, political and religious extremism, actions aimed at undermining the integrity of the state and inciting ethnic and religious hatred. It is necessary to promote the dissemination of information exposing the criminal nature of terrorist and extremist organizations.
However, the impression is often created that journalists forget about their social responsibility to society, although they undoubtedly have to work in the interests of developing the legal education of people, and journalism should perform an educational and educational function.
There is an information war against our country, affecting all spheres of life, including culture, religion, history, interethnic relations, morality. Specific manifestations of this war are on television and movie screens, computer monitors, newspaper publications, and analytical studies of individual non-profit and non-governmental organizations, often acting for foreign grants. One of the consequences of this war was the fact that the educational aspect was almost completely excluded from our information space, from the sphere of education and the arts, as well as from the media. And for some reason, everyone thinks that only the state should do this. But, in our opinion, this should be the work of all healthy strata of our society.
In connection with the above, I would like to encourage the media to solve the following tasks:
People with such a position can do a lot to rid the country of extremism and terrorism.
The threat of terrorism is quite removable. It would be wrong to consider this phenomenon as fatally inevitable. But an indispensable condition for victory over him is the unification of efforts of all sectors of society.
The problem is not to destroy this or that gang, a terrorist organization or a gang leader. The main problem is to destroy the very ideology of terrorism.
Nowadays, it is extremely important to form citizens a sense of non-acceptance of violence as a method of struggle, as well as an understanding of the necessity of the efforts of the whole society to counter violence. It is extremely clear that this struggle must be waged in the fields of education, mass culture, the work of the mass media, the formation of public opinion, etc. Victory over terrorism is possible only when society wants it.