The influence of a Russian muftiat on the processes in the Muslim ummah of Russia depends on the number of mosques that are part of this muftiate. The structure of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of the Republic of Tatarstan (DUM RT) now includes more than 1500 only mosques built. For comparison: the 400 mosques are part of the Spiritual Administration of the Russian Federation, headed by Ravil Gainutdin. The progressing “mechetization” of Tatarstan makes the processes in the DUM RT key, significant and most important for a significant part of the Muslim world of Russia. From 2013, Mufti Camille Samigullin, headed by the DUM RT, is a person whose personality and activity cause many questions and extreme concern to experts and many Muslims of Russia. About what is happening in the Muslim environment of Tatarstan, the Kazan Islamic scholar Rais Suleimanov, an expert of the Institute of National Strategy, the chief editor of the Muslim World magazine, spoke with Tomorrow.
"TOMORROW". Rais Ravkatovich, at the beginning of March 2015, information passed that two new members were introduced to the leadership of the Spiritual Board of Muslims of the Republic of Tatarstan - the former mufti of Tatarstan Gusman Iskhakov and the mukhtasib of Nizhnekamsk Yusuf Davletshin. This is true?
Rais SULEYMANOV. Yes it is. The Council of Ulema (Muslim scholars) of the Spiritual Board of Muslims of Tatarstan included new members, among which are Nizhnekamsk muhtasib Yusuf Davletshin and ex-mufti of Tatarstan Gusman Iskhakov. It is necessary to clarify: in addition to Davletshin, four more people were included, and a decision was made to include all former muftis of Tatarstan in the Council of Ulama. That is, in addition to Gusman Iskhakov (the years of 1998 - 2011), Gabdulla Galiullina (1992-1998) and Ildus Faizov (2011-2013) will also be included. It is emphasized that the current mufti Camille Samigullin will be in charge of the new expanded membership of the Council of Ulemas. It is not clear whether this means the abolition of the post of chairman of the Council of Ulemas (as long as Abdulla Adygamov occupies it). Also, it is not explained why the need for such a staffing of this structure of the Tatar muftiat is caused, an 15 person already joins the Council of Ulama.
So far, the Council of Ulama has been seen as a springboard for the legalization of some of the Wahhabis who are included there. Under the former mufti Ildus Faizov, who fought against the Wahhabis, the latter were expelled, and they tried to clean the muftiate from their influence. Now the Wahhabis seek to rehabilitate, giving the status of Muslim scholars. Among the tasks that are set before the new Council of Ulama, is the publication of fatwas (theological decisions on some issue). One thing is not clear: why do people with disreputable reputation need to be included in this body?
"TOMORROW". According to numerous media publications and expert testimonies, Iskhakov and Davletshin are long-time lobbyists and preachers of Wahhabism in the Volga region. Give our readers your assessment of the activities of both actors.
Rais SULEYMANOV. This was repeatedly written by local and federal publications, experts spoke publicly. The reign of Gusman Iskhakov - from 1998 to 2011 - will forever remain the heyday of Wahhabism in the region. He always sought to appoint Wahhabis to the post of Mukhtasib (the main imam of a city or district. –AP) or the imam of a large mosque. When Gusman Iskhakov was elected for the fourth (!) Time to his post in 2010, he publicly stated at one of his speeches that it was in graduates of Saudi universities that he saw good cadres for the Islamic clergy of the region, therefore, they would be supported and promoted.
Yusuf Davletshin is known as a graduate of the notorious Yoldyz Madrasah in Naberezhnye Chelny, which trained several terrorists who participated in hostilities on the side of the militants in the Second Chechen War and the organization of terrorist attacks on home bombings in Moscow in 1999. He first worked as a muhtasib in the Sarmanovsky district of Tatarstan in 2000-2005 parade, and then from 2005 after relocating his like-minded, other well-known Wahhabi preacher Ramil Yunusov from Nizhnekamsk to Kazan to be the imam of the main mosque of the republic Kul Sharif, a graduate of the performance of the subunit Ramil Yunusov from the Nizhnekamsk city of Kazan to the post of imam of the main mosque of the republic Kul Sharif, the graduate of the graduate of the graduate Nizhnekamsk, taking the baton from Yunusov. For years, 10 Davletshin has been sitting in Nizhnekamsk. During this time, some of Nizhnekamsk went to fight in the ranks of the "Emirate of the Caucasus" in Dagestan, willingly maintained ties with the well-known terrorist Said Buryatsky. The current president of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov spoke directly about the unhealthy situation in Nizhnekamsk in February 2014 of the year directly as about a city where the issue of religious radicalism was left to chance. What is worth the fact that the terrorists tried (fortunately, unsuccessfully) to fire petrochemical enterprises on the territory of Nizhnekamsk with self-made rockets in 2013 year. These same terrorists are all local people.
And now Gusman Iskhakov and Yusuf Davletshin are made members of the Ulama Council of the State Duma of Tatarstan. For Iskhakov, who, after leaving the post of mufti at the beginning of 2011, is generally a return from nothing. And for Davletshin - a kind of reward, now he will make fatwas.
Do you know what surprises me most? The position of the Kazan Kremlin officials, who oversee the religious sphere, is responsible for domestic policy in Tatarstan. Many of them have been working for many years in the “Muslim” direction, they are well aware of what ideological convictions these figures have, and often themselves participated in removing them from their leadership positions and appointing them to new ones. Officials are fully aware that, for example, ex-mufti of Tatarstan Gusman Iskhakov always patronized Wahhabis, and during the “Nurlat syndrome” (the appearance of a militant camp in the forests of southern Tatarstan in the Nurlat district in November 2010 of the year - A.P) did not condemn the terrorists, but tried to justify, and for this he was justly dismissed. They know that Yusuf Davletshin raised a whole cohort of Salafis in Nizhnekamsk, and the current mufti of Tatarstan, Kamil Samigullin, is a member of the fundamentalist Turkish jamaat “Ismail Aga”, which is very unfriendly to our country. From this jamaat, the preacher Fatih Kalender was recently invited to lecture to the Muslim clergy of Tatarstan. After all, how many times have they spoken and said that foreign preachers are a time bomb, that Tatar clergy should not be taught by teachers from the Middle East, which is better without them ... But no, everything repeats, as it was in 1990 years: again Tatarstan opens the door for foreign missionaries. And knowing all this perfectly well, these officials support all this, naively thinking that they can control the situation inside the Islamic community of Tatarstan, keep the Volga Wahhabis from slipping into terrorism, and protect Muslims of the Volga region from foreign religious influence. But this is again the attack on the same rake!
"TOMORROW". What figures or centers of power can be behind the assignments in the leadership of the SCM RT Iskhakov and Davletshin?
Rais SULEYMANOV. The great Tatar theologian Valiulla Yakupov (2012-1963) killed in 2012 by Wahhabis, who did a lot to popularize the traditional for Tatar Islam, belongs to the term “Wahhabi holding”. This phrase he called the situation, which gradually evolved in Tatarstan, reaching its climax by the middle of the 2000-s. The Wahhabi holding is a merger of bureaucracy, business, and Wahhabi clergy, when officials and businessmen begin to administratively and financially support Wahhabis. At first glance, this seems unreal: well, what is the use of bureaucrats to lobby for Wahhabis, why support them? The fact is that if in the 1990-s the ethnocratic elite of Tatarstan tried to make a bet on national separatists, having managed to strengthen their positions financially, then after Vladimir Putin came to power, they decided to abandon the separatist project for good, then at least , put it away in the box, offering an Islamic project instead. The Islamic project was sought to be presented very beautifully: here, look, Tatarstan is a kind of showcase for the Muslim world abroad. The calculation, at first glance, is very true and captivating. This Islamic project allows attracting investments from the foreign Muslim world, since the secular Tatarstan is not particularly interesting to the Wahhabi monarchies of the Arabian Peninsula. But the emphasized Islamic Republic, of course, looks more attractive.
On the Saudi side, signs of attention began to appear in Tatarstan: the late King of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah, in 2007, presented the award to Mintimer Shaimiev as an Islamic politician, although Shaimiev did not even read namaz at that time, and in an interview with those years he tried to emphasize his secularism. Wahhabis in this regard are more orthodox consecutive Islamizers of Tatarstan. The elite of Tatarstan, of course, is concerned about the terrorist attacks, they definitely do not want Islamization of the republic in the version of the Taliban or ISIS, but “soft Islamization” is the trend promoted by the Kazan Kremlin. This process has only one drawback: Islamization is like building a new house, whether you like it or not, but construction debris will appear, no matter how beautiful a house you build. So the Wahhabis - this is inevitably an accompanying material of Islamization.
Curators from the Kazan Kremlin are trying to make them “tame”, controlled, obedient, periodically launching into the public space talks about “moderate Wahhabism” in Tatarstan, they say, it’s not the same as in the Caucasus, and certainly not the same as LIH . But the trouble is that these very “moderate” sympathizers sympathize with those whom you can hardly call moderate. The last in the Kazan Kremlin is still unwilling to see and hear. Therefore, with the advent of the new mufti, Kamil Samigullin, they decided to change political technologies: they completely stopped all talk of Wahhabism, removed from all Islamic information resources of Tatarstan the mention of this ideology and its danger, although it had been openly written about Wahhabism for over ten years. The mass release of anti-Wahhabi literature ceased, and all Wahhabis were asked to talk more about traditional Islam. Such a kind of disguise. And many of the Wahhabis, like chameleons, changed their color.
Here you ask me: who is promoting Gusman Iskhakov and Yusuf Davletshin? Let me answer the question with a question: who put the head of the DUM of Tatarstan in 1998, Gusman Iskhakov, the mufti? Who allowed him four times in a row, in violation of the original charter, to be elected to this post? Who calmly passed the post of mukhtasib to a graduate of the Yoldyz madrasah in Nizhnekamsk? And who appointed Ramil Yunusov to the post of Imam of the Kazan Kul Sharif mosque, which was written about in the newspapers and not only Tatar theologians Valiulla Yakupov and Farid Salman talked about like a Wahhabi, but even such a Tatar nationalist as historian Damir Iskhakov? I emphasize: we are ideological opponents with Damir Iskhakov on many issues, but even he is in his articles for 2005-2007. He wrote openly about this unequivocally without sympathy for Yunusov in publications that were then read in the Kazan Kremlin. Do not pretend that the secular authorities of Tatarstan stand apart from the processes taking place in the Muslim environment. All personnel appointments to positions in the structure of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of the Republic of Tajikistan, despite the declarative nature of the separation of religious organizations from the state in the legislation, occur with the filing or approval of the Kazan Kremlin. Including the appointment of the Wahhabis.
"TOMORROW". How can personnel changes in the DUM of RT affect the state of affairs in the mind of Tatarstan and the nature of interfaith and interethnic relations in the republic?
Rais SULEYMANOV. If the Wahhabis are in positions in the DUM of Tatarstan, do you really think that this will in no way affect the character of the ethno-religious relations in the region? I have a feeling that we are going back to the times of Gusman Iskhakov, when the newest история The Muslim Ummah of Tatarstan was the heyday of Wahhabism. You know, this is a huge symbolism that it was Gusman Iskhakov who was now made a Muslim scholar (ulema), returning to work in the mufti of Tatarstan to be engaged in drafting fatwas. By the way, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ramil Yunusov’s triumphal return, the most odious figure, is to take place soon. He is now readily publicized in Kazan’s Tatar-speaking newspapers: interviews, sermons, his answers to readers' questions, that is, the ground is being prepared for rehabilitation. Soon we will see him at any position in the structure of the DUM of Tatarstan. You will see. It will, of course, be a complete kaput, but I am afraid that he is not far off. Indeed, a year ago no one could have imagined that Gusman Iskhakov would work in the DUM of Tatarstan. Now it works.
"TOMORROW". 6 March this year marks two years from the date of the election of the mufti of Tatarstan, Camil Samigullin. Samigullin, who performed only 2013 years in 28, was considered as a figure that was as convenient as possible to the muftiate and the authorities. The decisive opinion then was for the authorities of Tatarstan. For two years, there was a feeling of a complete symphony between the Kazan Kremlin and the muftiat, but in December 2014 reported that the authorities of the republic wanted a change of mufti, since Samigullin had ceased to arrange them. Tell me, what is the reason for the discrepancy between the regional leadership and the mufti of Tatarstan?
Rais SULEYMANOV. Kamil Samigullin had great hope in 2013. All his predecessors in this post were imams of mature age, and here comes a young guy. It was hoped that right now this young man, together with the same team of young managers (all his deputies at the time of Samigullin's coming to the post of mufti, were younger than 40 years) will start working in a new way. They proceeded from the principle that the young mufti will more quickly find a common language with Muslim youth, in whose ranks radical elements are more often found. In the summer of 2013, the Universiade was supposed to take place in Kazan - a major international sporting event, the second most significant after the Olympics. There were, of course, fears of the possibility of terrorist attacks, so Samigullin was given the task of “appeasing” the Wahhabis.
The new mufti proclaimed the so-called “tea diplomacy”: in one of the interviews he said that, they say, the Tatars, even of different ideological convictions among themselves, can agree over a cup of tea about anything. This went down in history as “tea diplomacy” by Camille Samigullin, which in practice resulted in a complete reversal from the policy of his predecessor at the mufti. If Ildus Faizov expelled the Wahhabis from the DUM of the RT, then Samigullin returned them to the Tatarstan mufti, and, as we see, now they are still determined to support them. This policy, however, did not give anything good: in the fall of 2013, the Wahhabis began to burn Orthodox churches in the republic.
When Samigullin sat in the chair of the mufti of Tatarstan, everyone expected that work was now boiling. In reality, they saw something else: instead of systematic work, the new head of the Muslims of Tatarstan prefers separate PR actions, entertainment concerts, flash mobs. Mufti creates many new sites that cover only the activities of the muftiat and personal travels of Samigullin himself. Samigullin opened a new publishing house "Khuzur". But most of the brochures published in “Khuzur” are not new items, but reprints of previously released works, the original value of which is not so high.
To summarize, Samigullin doesn’t have many achievements. But something else was striking: the growth of the bureaucratic apparatus of the DUM RT, personal enrichment of the mufti himself and his entourage. With the pro-Russian patriotic clergy, he acted altogether in the spirit of the 1990s. In this regard, the fate of Nail Garipov, Chairman of the Center for Islamic Culture "Iman" in Kazan, Imam of the Apanaevskaya Mosque of Kazan, is indicative.
Nail Garipov was the "right hand" of the theologian Valiulla Yakupov killed by Wahhabis, who after his death continued his work as chairman of the Iman Center and at the head of the Apanaevskaya mosque. Samigullin decided to transfer this mosque to one of his deputies Niyaz Sabirov, for which its raider seizure was carried out: Garipov was simply kicked out of the mosque. This is practiced now in Ukraine, when pro-Russian priests are expelled from Orthodox churches. Then, the printing house was taken from the Iman Center for Islamic Culture, the oldest pro-Russian Muslim public organization established in 1990 year. They grabbed the museum, created by Garipov in memory of Valiulla Yakupov, then tried to "squeeze out" and the Center of Islamic Culture "Iman", but legally this was not possible, although the attempts do not stop. This incident with Nail Garipov is a vivid example of where the Muslim Ummah is going in Tatarstan. For your information, preachers from Central Asia are now campaigning in the Apanaevskaya Mosque.
In general, the expectations that were placed on the new chairman of the DUM RT, were not justified. After all, there were great hopes for the mufti of Tatarstan, Kamil Samigullin, and in the bottom line - members of ISIS began to appear in the republic.
"TOMORROW". Is it unknown whether alternatives to Samigullin are selected? And who are these people?
Rais SULEYMANOV. In the expert community, analyzing the situation in the Muslim environment of Tatarstan, there are several candidates who could replace Kamil Samigullin. First of all, this is his closest circle - two deputy mufti, Ildar Bayazitov and Rustem Khairullin. Both are imams of major mosques in Kazan, each of which conducts active social work to gain popularity and fame. The Yardam Mosque, of which Ildar Bayazitov is the imam, specializes in the rehabilitation of the blind — teaches them to read Muslim literature, and activists from women’s Muslim organizations often gather there, most of whom are pensioners, and accordingly, they also receive attention that it’s understandable , works on the popularity of Imam. The “Gaila” mosque, which is headed by Rustem Khairullin, works very closely with children, performing the function of a kindergarten and a house of children's creativity: there are regular events with the participation of mothers and children. Believe me, this activity brings great image bonuses. In addition, each of these imams retained their former “fiefdoms” where they used to work: Bayazitov’s Suleiman mosque remained in the village of Levchenko in the north of Kazan, and Khairullin had a position of the Muhtasib of the Bugulminsky district of Tatarstan.
Another very ambitious candidate for the post of Mufti of Tatarstan in the event of Samigullin’s resignation is Kazan Muhtasib Mansur Jalyaletdinov, who holds the post of imam of the Mardzhani mosque, the oldest in the capital of Tatarstan, which makes it extremely sacred for Tatars. He is not only formally head over all the imams of Kazan, but he has a very large farm: Kazan Islamic College (opened in 2003 year), of which he is the rector, the only private Muslim cemetery outside the city in Tatarstan, a network of cafes and shops near his mosque. Mansur hazrat is not only not a poor man, but he rightly considers himself worthy of becoming a mufti. He, of course, was hurt and offended in his own way, when an 28-year-old little-known imam from a mosque in the suburb of Kazan, who hadn’t proven himself, had been made a mufti of Tatarstan. Hence the revanchist moods.
There is one more candidacy - the Muslim theologian Farid Salman. This, unlike all the candidates mentioned, including Samigullin, can be safely called a theologian. He is not only the author, in my opinion, the most excellent translation of the Koran into the Tatar language, but also the interpreter of his surahs and ayahs (he published several serious tafsirs - interpretations to them), publishes one of the best annual Muslim calendars. This popular tradition among the Tatars, founded at the end of the 19th century by the enlightener Kayum Nasyri (1825-1902), when a printed calendar is published in the form of a book, in which historical dates, sermons, religious writings, etc. are published under each date. True, Farid Salman is an intellectual, and it’s harder to get into a leadership position, although he has this kind of career experience: he was before Mansur Jalyaletdinov as the imam of the Mardzhani mosque in 1995-1996, in 1997-2001, he was a mufti from the Central Spiritual Board of Muslims in Tatarstan, then held the post of mufti on Yamal, now heads the Center for the Study of the Koran and Sunna - a public organization engaged in the publication of works on Islamic theology.
These are the most obvious candidates. They also call the name of Alfas Gaifullin, Naberezhnye Chelny muhtasib, but no one seriously considers him.
However, no one excludes the possibility of the arrival of a “Varyag” - a person not from Tatarstan, especially since after Ildus Faizov “left” at the beginning of 2013, the post of mufti “due to health problems”, but, in fact, that it was the only mufti in the history of the DUM of Tatarstan who openly fought against the Wahhabis, and suffered for it (the attack was carried out in the 2012 year, he miraculously survived. - note), this issue was discussed. Finally, it can be a “dark horse”, i.e. a person who now occupies a weakly influential post, nobody takes him seriously, and then they take him and make him a mufti. Could anyone have imagined before 2013 that the very Samigullin would become the mufti of Tatarstan? The answer is: no one, including himself.
In my opinion, the authorities will continue to support Samigullin. Therefore, conversations on the topic of his speedy withdrawal will remain conversations, unless, of course, something extraordinary happens.
"TOMORROW". There was information in the media that the DUM RT supported the Kiev authorities and the anti-Russian “Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people”. If so, how does the muftis of Tatarstan do this?
Rais SULEYMANOV. I do not know anything about the support of the DUM of Tatarstan by the Kiev authorities, so I will not discuss this topic. There are contacts with the DUM of Ukraine in Kiev (mufti - Ahmad Tamim), but they are without any agreements and further developments. “Euromaidan” in Tatarstan is still publicly supported only by local national separatists.
However, quite a lot is known about cooperation with the “Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people”, especially since the entire first half of 2014 of the year was eagerly covered in the media.
When the Crimea was integrated into Russia, the leadership of Tatarstan was tasked with taking the Crimean Tatars, convincing the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people that returning the peninsula to Russia is a blessing for this people. The choice of Kazan as a partner in negotiations with the “Majlis” is clear - this is a calculation of the ethno-religious affinity of Kazan and Crimean Tatars.
The function of enticing the DUM of the Crimea should have been assumed by the DUM of Tatarstan. Kamil Samigullin was one of the first Russian muftis to appear in Simferopol, met with his colleague Mufti of Crimea Emirali Ablayev, there was talk between them that the clergy for the Crimean Tatars could be trained at the Islamic University of Kazan. When the referendum on the reunification of the Crimea with Russia passed with a positive result, the Kazan Kremlin continued to nurse with the "Mejlis". Instead of supporting pro-Russian-oriented Crimean Tatars from the organization Milli Firka (National Party), at least they can be simply invited to Kazan, worthy of meeting, ethnocracy in Tatarstan spread red tracks in front of the Mejlis chairman Refat Chubarov. In Kazan, as if on command, dinosaurs of Tatar national separatism suddenly woke up, such as the director of the Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences of Tatarstan, Rafael Khakimov, and began to broadcast. The remnants of separatist 90-x argued openly and out loud that supposedly the Crimea needs to adopt the “model of Tatarstan”, tried in connection with the referendum in the Crimea to remind about the referendum in Tatarstan 1992 of the year, in general the street-organ of the local separatists began to turn.
DUM of Tatarstan also participated in the courting of "Majlis". The Mejlis concluded a cooperation agreement with the World Congress of Tatars (an organization in Kazan that unites all communities and diasporas of the Volga Tatars in the world - A.P.). I note that this is the only Crimean Tatar organization with which the World Tatar Congress has concluded an agreement on cooperation, Kazan has no agreements with the other pro-Russian organizations of the Crimean Tatars. However, there was little point in this, since the leadership of the Mejlis continued to be anti-Russian. Finally, the only right decision was made - once you consider yourself a part of Ukraine, then you live in Ukraine. Both Dzhemilev and Chubarov were banned from entering the Crimea, now they live in Kiev. Emirali Ablaev remains at the head of the DUM of Crimea - as long as it is the only registered muftiate on the peninsula. The existing two more — Mufti Ridvan Veliyev’s Spiritual Center for Muslims of Crimea and the Tauride Mufti led by Ruslan Saitvaliyev — have not yet been registered as Russian centralized religious organizations, although the latter is most pro-Russian. And the Duma of Crimea from the Russian muftiates more as a partner for cooperation prefers the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of the Russian Federation headed by Ravil Gainutdin.
The outcome of the Kazan Kremlin novel with the Majlis did not give any result, and more contacts with the Majlis are not maintained at a high level. At least, they are no longer heard in the public sphere. The leadership of the Mejlis simply discredited itself with its intractable position, so now in Kazan they prefer not to recall these contacts.