“Russian Muslims” (RM) in Russia and other CIS countries are called Russian by birth of people who profess Islam.
Accurate data on the size of the RM are not available due to the fact that the All-Russian Population Census does not allow determining the correlation of the ethnic and religious affiliation of respondents. The available data is very contradictory. The numbers of ratings voiced in the media range from a few to a hundred thousand people. Mufti Ravil Gainutdin and other functionaries of the Russian Mufties Council talked about "tens of thousands of Russians adopting Islam." Advisor Gainutdin "Russian Muslim", Vyacheslav-Ali Polosin in an interview estimates the number of the Russian community of "Russian Muslims" in all 10 thousand people, thereby refuting his boss .
On Islamic Internet resources one can see the information that there are more than 100 thousand and even several hundred thousand RM in Russia. As proof of these figures, the following argument is usually given. According to the Kazakhstani census of population 2009, 54 thousands of 277 Russians practicing Islam lived in the country, with the total Russian population of 3 million 793.764 people. Accordingly, it is proposed to determine the approximate number of the Republic of Moldova in Russia, based on the number of times the number of Russians in Russia is greater than in Kazakhstan. However, many experts questioned the census 2009 of the year in Kazakhstan: this census ended with a scandal in connection with the identified embezzlement of funds allocated for its conduct, and therefore, due to insufficient material support, there were a lot of errors in data collection and processing. In particular, according to the testimony of the head of the Kazakhstan statistics agency Alikhan Smailov, “it turned out that a lot of the population was rewritten twice - we deleted about 300 thousands of duplicates from the database” .
Most experts agree that the functionaries of the Russian Mufties Council and the Republic of Moldova themselves are inclined to exaggerate the size of this ethno-religious group. Well-known Islamic scholar Roman Silantyev estimates the number of Russian Muslims in approximately 7000 people. At the same time, according to police officers, in Astrakhan alone there are about 1000 (one thousand) Russian Muslims who are Wahhabi supporters.
Estimating the size of the RM in the Volga region is all the more difficult.
At the same time, there is a tendency to increase the number of the Republic of Moldova in Russia, incl. in the Volga region. Thus, in recent years, the number of the Republic of Moldova has significantly increased in Nizhnekamsk (Tatarstan), Baymak (Bashkortostan), Ulyanovsk, Saratov, Astrakhan, in the Rivne district of the Saratov region, pos. Askino (Bashkortostan) (according to the police and Muslim clerics).
RM can be divided into 3 main groups:
1. Adopted Islam for ideological reasons, as a result of spiritual quest
2. Replaced faith for family reasons. This group consists of Muslim wives, in isolated cases - the husbands of deeply religious Muslims. From representatives of this category should be distinguished those who converted to Islam for some other reason, and then finds a spouse among Muslims.
3. Adopt Islam from opportunistic (socio-economic) considerations. Meet among representatives of the business elite and government officials in Tatarstan and Bashkiria. They also include those representatives of the criminal criminal environment who embrace Islam by joining organized criminal groups formed by Wahhabis.
4. Soldiers who are forcibly converted to Islam in Afghan or "Ichkerian" captivity. In some cases, representatives of this category, having received freedom, remain in the bosom of the Muslim religion. According to various estimates, the whole of Russia is no more than a few dozen people.
The Republic of Moldova adheres to the following directions of Sunni Islam: Wahhabism, Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), Tablighi Jamaat (TD), Nurdzhular, traditional Islam of the Hanafi and Shafiit mazhab. Shiites make up a small group.
According to employees of special services and clergymen of traditional Islam, a certain part of the Republic of Moldova are Wahhabis. The outlook of the members of HT and TD is often characterized by syncretism: the doctrine which they hold includes not only the provisions of the doctrines of these organizations, but also elements of Wahhabism. Against the background of these unconventional for the peoples of Russia, the trends of Islam in a clear minority remain adherents of traditional Islam. Formally, adherents of the Hanafi mazhab in Tatarstan and Bashkiria are representatives of the business elite and government officials who converted to Islam for short-term reasons. Representatives of the Shafi'i madhhab are in Ufa (Bashkiria) among ethnic Russians who are members of the Tariqat Sufi organization (followers of the late Dagestan Sheikh Said Chirkeyi).
Ideologically accepted groups of Islam should also be divided into several subgroups:
1. Interested in esotericism (occultism). As a rule, before coming to Islam, they are adherents of various "new-age" flows (without necessarily being members of the "new-age" sectors). In Islam, they are attracted by the mysticism of Sufism. By adopting Islam, as a rule, they do not lead the life of a “practicing Muslim” (an analogue of the church life among Christians), they rarely attend a mosque, mostly attending meetings of supporters of Sufi movements in apartments. Some try to find a spiritual mentor in Dagestan (to become a sheikh’s muridom), but after that, as a rule, the life of a “practicing Muslim” still does not lead.
2. Accepting Islam on the basis of fascination with the culture of the East, against the background of the study of oriental languages and the complimentary attitude to the culture of Muslim countries. Basically, this group consists of representatives of the intelligentsia. There are many Shi'is followers among this category.
As a rule, the life of a “practicing Muslim” is one.
3. Accepting Islam from revolutionary, anti-state motives. They can be described as going to Islam in order to be revolutionaries and fight with the state. Christianity they consider unsuitable religion for such purposes, "religion of wimps." These are mainly from right-wing (nationalist) and left-radical groups.
4. Representatives of the criminal (criminal) environment, who adopt radical Islam, are adjacent to this subgroup, seeing in it a similarity with the “concepts” of criminal society. The value system of the criminal world implies contempt not only in relation to law enforcement agencies, but also to the state as such. This is very reminiscent of the ideological attitudes of radical Islamists, for whom the Russian state is a Khafer (infidel state). This category in radical Islamist ideologies is attracted by the fact that previous sins (crimes) prior to the active adoption of Islam are written off, and the possibility to commit them is further justified, since new crimes (including robbery and murder) are treated as part of “jihad”. The increase in the number of this group of followers of radical Islam is promoted by the fact that, having got to prison, the radical Islamists are trying to find new like-minded people, and they look like victims of the state  in the eyes of the other cons.
Representatives of the last two subgroups and make up a significant part of the RM in Russia. These 2 categories (conventionally “revolutionaries” and “felons”), as a rule, find a common language among organized criminal groups (bandit groups). They strive to be “practicing Muslims”: they try to read namaz every day for five times, but officially they often don’t attend mosques, calling them “kafir” (due to the fact that the mufti, who are in charge of these mosques, cooperate with the state).
Some researchers propose to distinguish among the RM a group of adherents of “Aryan Islam” and “Marxist Islam”. Representatives of "Aryan Islam" connect Islam with Russian nationalism, racism. Islam for such neophytes is either "the path to the rebirth of the Russian nation" or "the path to the rebirth of the white race." For representatives of “Marxist Islam” Islam is “a means to the worldwide liberation of the oppressed,” they connect the Islamic religion with left-wing doctrines.
However, the stay of the Republic of Moldova in these 2 categories is short-lived, and sooner or later they become adherents of Wahhabism or the “Party of Islamic Liberation” - “Hizb-ut-Tahrir”.
Some features of the worldview of representatives of Russian youth who converted to Islam
Surveys among young Moldovan people living in cities of the Volga region showed that the representatives of this category of Russian youth answered the question about the reasons for adopting Islam and said that they see in modern Orthodoxy a “religion advocating non-violence and tolerance”, “the religion of the weak” .
The poll also revealed a negative attitude of this group towards the ROC, which, in their opinion, serves the state and at the same time lives “at the expense of the people”.
This group of the Republic of Moldova also negatively relates to the functionaries of traditional Islam (for the same reason), however, in relation to the latter, it shows less negative.
In Islam as a whole, in their opinion, there is a cult of militancy. “Islam is a religion of strong people,” they say. At the same time, they do not conceal that they sympathize with the members of the Wahhabi thugs of the North Caucasus, who (in their opinion) "are fighting against the cops serving the Putin regime."
Participation of the Republic of Moldova in terrorist activities
Of the number of Russian Muslims, of which there are several thousand throughout the country, there are more terrorists than of the representatives of the Tatar population (of which there are about 5 million) .
Through the media, the following Republic of Moldova involved in terrorist activities are the most "dissatisfied":
Alexander Tikhomirov (10.02. 1982 - 2.03. 2010, Ekazhevo, Ingushetia, Russia) is a member of terrorist groups, an Islamic preacher and one of the ideologists of the North Caucasian armed underground. More known under the name Said Buryat. Before leaving to the underground, he worked in the central office of the Council of Muftis. Destroyed as a result of a special operation of the consolidated detachment of the CSF FSB and SOBRM of the Ministry of Internal Affairs near the Ingush village Ekazhevo 2 in March 2010.
Victor Dvorakovsky (February 5 1987, Makhachkala, DASSR) - a participant in the Wahhabi terrorist underground in the Stavropol Territory. He was put on the federal wanted list when an improvised explosive device exploded in Pyatigorsk in a rented apartment. When detained on the night of 14 in July, 2011 of the year resisted, throwing a self-made bomb at the police and wounding one of them. The second bomb exploded in his hands, tearing off his left hand. The court sentenced him to 23 years of a maximum security colony.
Alla Saprykina (1982 - 28 August 2012, Chirkey, Dagestan). Among the Wahhabis was known as Aminat. The “common wife” of the militants of the Dagestan underground. 28 August 2012, Alla Saprykina killed herself, one of the spiritual leaders of the Muslims of Dagestan, Sheikh Said Chirkei, by means of self-exploitation.
The Republic of Moldova is also involved in terrorist activities in the Volga regions.
In June, 2004 of the year in the clothing market in Samara, an explosion occurred, which killed 11 people. According to the investigators, the organizer of this “sabotage against kafers” (as the Wahhabis call this attack on their Internet forums) has been for several years already been located on the federal wanted list, a native of the Volgograd region “Russian Muslim” Pavel Kosolapov. It is known that by adopting Islam, Kosolapov fought against the federal forces on the side of the Chechen Wahhabis, then became an instructor of the militant base, located near Serzhen-Yurt. Then Kosolapov led an international Jamaat, which, in essence, was a sabotage group leading the jihad against Russia. Currently located in the federal wanted list.
26 April 2011, in Volgograd, an improvised explosive device exploded outside the traffic police building. No one was hurt by the explosions. On the same day, another explosive device was discovered outside the Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which was disarmed by sappers. As established during the investigation, the explosive devices were laid by members of the international gang headed by the previously convicted Andrei Antonov, among the Wahhabis known as Umar. It is known that he accepted Islam while in prison. The gang also consisted of his relative - Alexey Antonov. All members of the gang were residents of Astrakhan. The gang was engaged in armed robberies of shops and apartments, considering it a jihad against the “Käfer State”. When the leader of the gang, Andrei Antonov, attempted to arrest, he attempted to blow up a grenade, and the operatives of the Astrakhan special operations police were forced to shoot him. The rest of the gang members were detained and received later from the court sentences ranging from 3 to 19 years in prison.
In different regions of the Volga region, law enforcement agencies in various years suppressed the activities of several international armed groups, whose members were the Republic of Moldova, and who were preparing to carry out terrorist acts.
In 2003, in the Ulyanovsk region, the police disclosed the activities of the Wahhabi gang, which also hunted down with armed robberies, considering it to be part of jihad. Initially, members of the gang were suspected of killing the crime boss. According to the investigators, then their attention was attracted by the fact that many suspects called themselves Arabic names instead of Russian names recorded in passports. So it turned out that a number of suspects, being Russian and by nationality, converted to Islam and are members of the Islamic Jamaat organization. The leaders of the gang were the Russian Muslim Sergey Sandrykin and the Chuvash Valery Ilmindeyev who converted to Islam. Gang members committed a series of robberies, kidnappings and other particularly serious crimes. The group members equipped a home mosque with one of their apartments in Ulyanovsk, read sermons here and conducted classes with Russian and Tatar youth, which aroused hatred and enmity towards the Gentiles .
In the autumn of 2007, a gang of Wahhabis known as "Tolyatinsky Jamaat" and preparing for the attack was neutralized by FSB officers in Tolyatti (Samara region). 4 April 2008 representatives of the FSB Directorate for the Samara region told media representatives that the activities of a group of religious extremists had been stopped in Tolyatti, and its leader was convicted of possessing an improvised explosive device. The fact that “a well-disguised group of people who were supporters of the extremist Islam movement is operating on the territory of Tolyatti” became known to operatives in 2006 year.
Later, the UBOP officers, together with the FSB officers, managed to find out that the participants of the Wahhabi “Jamaat” operating in Tolyatti conducted work to involve the residents of the city and the Stavropol district of the city in their activities, promoting the idea of armed jihad. Among the participants of the religious extremist group were Moldova. In March, 2008, the team leader was sentenced to one year under article 222 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Illegal acquisition, transfer, sale, storage, transportation or carrying weapons, its main parts, ammunition, explosives and explosive devices ").
In March, a Wahhabi gang was blocked by FSB special forces and SOBR MIA special forces unit in October 2010 in October (Bashkiria), one of the two main leaders of which was Belebey resident Vladimir Turaev. One of the terrorists, the Russian Muslim Alexander Yashin, even managed to break out of the encirclement and tried to take hostages in the city hospital, but was neutralized by special forces. It turned out that the participants of the internationally-composed Jamaat were engaged in kidnapping, extortion and robbery attacks for the subsequent receipt of material funds to finance gangs in the North Caucasus. They considered their activities as a jihad against the "Käfer" state. It also turned out that members of one of the religious-extremist groups that were part of the Turayev gang conducted a sabotage on the route of the high-pressure gas pipeline in the Birsk district of Bashkiria (fortunately, the explosive device they planted did not explode). Members of the gang planned terrorist attacks involving suicide bombers.
It is necessary to separately distinguish the “female extremist” category of the Republic of Moldova, consisting of young Russian women, who are associated with the Wahhabi bandit underground. They can be divided into 2 categories:
a) those who converted to Islam for ideological or family reasons, and deliberately went to cooperate with the Wahhabi bandit underground.
b) those who converted to Islam for ideological or family reasons, and by deception involved in the activities of the Wahhabi bandit underground.
Recently, on the territory of the Volga regions, there has been a negative trend of involving Russian girls who converted to Islam in the activities of the armed gangs of the North Caucasus. Wahhabis get acquainted with girls through the Internet, after which they convince them to enter into a "secret marriage with the Mujahid." At the very first meeting with a stranger, with whom the girl met on the Internet, the Muslim rite “nikah” (marriage) is held. After that, the girl is secretly taken to one of the republics of the North Caucasus. Sometimes even “nikah” is on the phone or on the Internet (which was never accepted in Islam) with a person whom the “bride” never met in real life, and he convinces her to come to one of the North Caucasian republics on her own. Already there, girls are involved in illegal activities as common wives, with the militants, as a rule, it is assumed that sooner or later they will become suicide bombers.
In April, FSB and police returned home a 16-year medical college student, Yulia Titova, secretly from her parents to one of the republics of the North Caucasus in Astrakhan. By adopting Islam, she declared her parents unfaithful and secretly married, having performed the ceremony by telephone.
It also turned out that the girl had taken an example from her cousin, who, by adopting Islam, had also “got married” by phone. Her husband was a member of a gang that attacked police officers in July 2010 in Astrakhan and an imam of one of the city’s mosques. In 2010, the gang was destroyed, and the young woman was left a widow .
According to the staff of the central office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, voiced in the media, the trend of recent years has become Russian suicide bombers who converted to Islam.
According to the Center for the Geography of Religions at the Synodal Department for Relations between the Church and Society (OVTSO) of the Russian Orthodox Church, now in Russia more than 200 RM are under investigation, wanted or imprisoned for participating in gangs, preparing terrorist attacks and inciting ethnic hatred. This allows the Russian Muslims to be considered the most criminalized ethno-confessional group in the country.
Experience shows that quite often the Republic of Moldova in the Volga region are supporters of unconventional forms of Islam for Russia, which are usually associated with Islamic radicalism: Wahhabis, members of Hizb ut-Tahrir and Tablighi Jamaat.
Islamic scholar Rinat Pateev expressed the following opinion about the Republic of Moldova: “The actions initiated by ethnically Russian extremists are always much more radical than the actions carried out by“ ethnic ”Muslims” .
One of the Muftis of the Central Spiritual Board of Muslims (TsDUM) of Russia, Haidar Khafizov, considers the acceptance of Islam by the Russian people as an unacceptable and dangerous phenomenon for Russia due to the adherence of the Republic of Moldova to the radical interpretation of Islam .
The opinion of the former mufti of Tatarstan Gusman Iskhakov: “Examples of Russians who converted to Islam are not very encouraging: they usually have heightened aggressiveness, and their mentality is completely different” .
Such "differences in the mentality" of the Republic of Moldova from Christians and representatives of traditional Islam can be explained by the fact that Islam is often accepted by those marginalized representatives of the Russian people who see it as a means of combating the existing state system, or a means of justifying banditry.
At the same time, in the opinion of cultural scientists, Islam is not processed by the national culture of one or another people - this is a fundamentally internationalist ideology that makes its adherents aware of themselves as members of a supranational community and strive to unite with their bearers of similar values. According to this point of view, since Russians do not have their traditional version of Islam for the Russian people, they will always be vulnerable to pan-Islamist concepts, including in terms of ideology. before Wahhabism and Hizb ut-Tahrir. At the same time, such is not threatened by the Tatars or Bashkirs, if they are rooted in the "ethnic" version of traditional Islam - because “Their own” version of Islam for them is one of the signs of belonging to an ethnos (one of the means of ethnic self-identification).
According to Zagidi Makhmudov, the Dagestan republican expert on work with young people, the Republic of Moldova become Wahhabis because they do not have “strong spiritual support”, being far from Orthodoxy. In his opinion, the radical nature of the Republic of Moldova is due to psychological reasons: the conflict between the new (Muslim) consciousness and the subconscious feeling that this state (being in the Muslim religion) is not normal for the Russian. The consequences of this are “unpredictable behavior, marginalization and further down the chain.” “You can bring such people anywhere,” says expert .
The reasons for the departure of Russian youth in Islam
According to Islamic scholar Ruslan Gereev (Dagestan), who studies the problem of Russian Wahhabis, “the Islamization of Russians is largely the result of the poor performance of the Russian Orthodox Church and officials who do not pay proper attention to Russian youth” .
The “weak work” of the Russian Orthodox Church is manifested primarily in the fact that missionary work is not being conducted among Russian youth. Missionary departments of dioceses, as a rule, are not engaged in missionary work.
It is impossible not to acknowledge such a problem as the image of Orthodoxy imposed by the liberal part of the clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church, as a tolerant religion, which has no relation to patriotism and service to the Fatherland. Because of this, Orthodoxy is perceived by many representatives of the youth as “the religion of the weak,” in which the main thing is “to forgive the enemies, to substitute the cheek.”
It should be recognized that the main reason for the success of Islamic proselytism among individual representatives of the Russian people is that the majority of Russians are still divorced from their spiritual roots and are actually not familiar with the religion of their ancestors - Orthodox Christianity, and have a distorted view of this religion.
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