Libmonster ID: U.S.-1246
Author(s) of the publication: R. MAMARAEV

R. MAMARAEV (Makhachkala)

One of the significant factors influencing the current state and future development of North Caucasian society is the process of politicization of Islam in the region. The intensity and rapidity of the development of this process and its orientation vectors determine whether the republics of the North Caucasus will follow a secular path, as stipulated in the charters of the territories, the constitutions of the Russian Federation and the republics of the North Caucasus, or a religious one.

The main active factor in the Islamic movement is traditional Islam, whose adherents are" traditionally-believing " Muslims, that is, those who perform the usual religious rites for a particular republic at the everyday level. This category also includes the administrative and administrative apparatus of religious organizations-the spiritual administrations of Muslims (DUM)1.

At the same time, traditional Islam differs significantly in different republics of the region. In Chechnya, Ingushetia, and Dagestan (except for Kumyks and Nogais), this is the Sunni Islam of the Shafi'i madhhab in the form of the Naqshbandiyya and Qadiriyya Sufi orders (tariqas). In turn, these tariqats consist of affiliated entities - Murid or Vird fraternities: 15 such fraternities are registered in Dagestan, and more than 30 in Chechnya and Ingushetia, despite the fact that relations between some of them are strained and even hostile. The reasons lie both in ideological differences, and sometimes in their artificial opposition to the authorities. In the central and western parts of the North Caucasus, the Hanifi madhhab of Sunnism is more widespread.


Radical Islamists aim to forcibly islamize Dagestani society. As the events of the summer and autumn of 1999 showed, such a path of development in Dagestan was rejected by the absolute majority of the population. In recent years, religious and political extremists have moved from legal forms of activity to terrorist ones directed against representatives of State authorities, law enforcement agencies, Muslim clergy, and the general population.

At the same time, legal religious structures have developed in Dagestan, which are actively engaged in Islamization of the population. First of all, this applies to one of the traditional institutions of civil society in the republic - the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Dagestan (DUMD).

In recent years, the work of the Duma has significantly intensified to expand its ranks, promote works and establish in the Islamic community of the republic the exclusive status of its ideological leader - Sheikh Said Atsayev from the village of Chirkey, Buinak district.

With its own religious publications and access to television and radio, the Duma takes an active part in shaping relevant public opinion and exerts influence on various socio-political and civil processes in Dagestan society.

The Duma controls several mass media outlets: the official print organ is the Assalam newspaper, which is published in eight languages of the peoples of Dagestan, the Islamic Bulletin weekly, the Nur-ul Islam newspaper, and the Islam magazine. Electronic versions of Assalam newspapers ( and Nur-ul Islam" (, posted on the Internet. The office also has its own website on the Internet (, DUMD twice a week produces a 15-minute program "Peace to your home" in Russian on the GTRK "Dagestan" and broadcasts more than an hour a week on the TIT-Makhachkala channel. Islamic propaganda is carried out by employees of the department and on the republican radio, in municipal media, local television studios, including in the languages of the peoples of Dagestan. The publishing department of the Duma publishes Islamic literature in Russian and national languages.

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The Department conducts systematic and systematic work to expand its influence on the ground, for which purpose mejlis (meetings) of alims (religious scholars) of Dagestan are held in almost all districts. The most important direction of his work is the creation of a hierarchical system of Islamic organizations subordinate to the Duma throughout Dagestan, which monopolized the organization and conduct of Hajj and Umrah (small pilgrimage). Thus, according to the Committee on Religious Affairs, in 2006, out of 18,500 Russians who performed the Hajj, 15,500 were Dagestanis.

The DUMD remains the most influential spiritual factor in the republic today, and its position continues to strengthen.


The activities of the Duma and various religious organizations, including extremist ones, in relation to young people can not but cause concern: the desire to infiltrate secular educational institutions, to ensure that graduates of religious educational institutions teach religious disciplines in schools and universities of the republic. There is no doubt that such graduates seek to islamize the consciousness of the growing youth. The professionalism and competence of these "teachers", both in the religious and secular spheres, are not at the proper level. At the same time, some of these "teachers" were trained abroad.

The Duma has established a system for holding meetings with students of all state universities and secondary educational institutions. In order to employ hundreds of graduates of its Muslim universities, the department is aggressively seeking permission to teach graduates of Islamic universities in public educational institutions, ignoring the requirements of education legislation. In this regard, it should be noted that another area of active activity of the Duma is to spread and strengthen its influence on the Dagestani youth through state educational institutions of the republic. On the territory of some universities (DSHU, DINH) 2 mosques were built at the Republican Central Clinical Hospital (RCSC).

The penetration of religion into secular education is contrary to the law on secular State education. And this penetration is carried out in the presence of more than a sufficient number of institutions of professional religious education. But even this situation does not satisfy Muslim leaders. They set a goal and have a real opportunity to move to a priority position in the market of various educational services.3 With the opening of many religious schools, the number of children in general education schools is significantly reduced.4
According to the Coordination Center for Muslims of the North Caucasus, there are 26 higher Islamic educational institutions in the Southern Federal District (SFD), 23 of them in the North Caucasus, and all of them are registered as religious organizations. 19 of the Islamic universities are located in Dagestan, one each in Chechnya, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia. None of them is certified or accredited.

Of great concern is the fact that, according to expert data, during the 1990s, more than 4 thousand young people from the North Caucasus region received Islamic education abroad. A certain part of them was processed in a radical way. Their activities after returning to their homeland, as a rule, contradict the traditional trends of Islam in the North Caucasus.

The danger of Islamization of young people lies in the increased level of their susceptibility and exposure to external influences. Young people are just beginning to form an independent adult worldview, opinion about life and attitude to it. One-sided religious upbringing and low-quality education can lead to the fact that we will get an Islamized generation, which, replacing the older one, will build public life in Dagestan on a religious principle - for them, secular power will be a relic of the past. If, in addition, this generation falls under the influence of external forces, extremists, then it is not difficult to predict what and to whom it and, accordingly, the republic will be oriented in the future.

Islamization of young people contributes to the low level of education and development of the younger generation. The situation in which the cultural level of the republic, the institution of the family, the socio-economic situation of the population, the education and education of citizens, the way young people spend their leisure time, their hobbies and addictions, the penetration into their ranks of not the best examples of mass culture with an appropriate system of moral norms and values, etc. causes concern, anxiety and fear. If this continues, the North Caucasus could quickly become one of the most illiterate and backward regions of our country. And it is precisely this gray, uneducated mass of people who are more susceptible to various types of influence, including Islamization, and in most cases in a fanatical form. Such a mass of people is the easiest to manage, and, as a result, it can be easily manipulated. As a vivid example, we can single out the Islamic movement "Taliban"in Afghanistan, which was based on this kind of youth.


Islamic extremism in the form of "North Caucasian Wahhabism" has reached its greatest development in the eastern part of the North Caucasus.5 This is due to factors such as, first, historically ha-

Penetrating into all spheres of Dagestani society, the Duma assumes the functions of regulating public life in Dagestan through religion, trying to instill the idea that the secular authorities are weak in solving the problems that have accumulated in the republic. Religious figures are increasingly raising issues that do not fall within the scope of their religious and spiritual activities, discussing them publicly, thereby trying to draw attention to difficult problems and influence public opinion through the prism of religion.

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There were frequent outbreaks of religious radicalism and extremism (the Caucasian and civil wars) and, secondly, the fact that in the post-Soviet period it was Dagestan and Chechnya that turned out to be the zone of the deepest socio-economic, political and interethnic crisis, one of the consequences and at the same time a powerful catalyst for which was the 1994-1996 war in Chechnya.

It is in Chechnya and Dagestan that external forces are concentrated, seeking to use the Islamic factor to secure their geopolitical interests in the North Caucasus.

However, unlike in Chechnya, where the situation created by the war contributed to the penetration of foreign influence, in Dagestan this influence was a consequence of the huge demand for religious education-a demand that could not be met by the local clergy.6 D. Makarov, a researcher of radical Islam in the North Caucasus, divides the "Wahhabi" movement in the region into three directions: the political radicalization of "true Wahhabism", which was confirmed in Dagestan until 1997; and the "Wahhabization" of marginal and semi - criminal elements-a process characteristic of Chechnya, especially after the end of military operations in 1994-1996.; "wahhabization" of radical nationalists 7.

At the end of the XX - beginning of the XXI century, the activity of branches of such Islamic organizations as the International Islamic Organization "Salvation" (MIOS), "Benevolence International Foundation" (BIF)," Jamaat Ihya At-Turas Al-Islami"," Lashkar Taiba"," Al-Hay-riya "became more active in Dagestan, "Al-Haramain", "Qatar", "Ikraa", "Ibrahim bin Ibrahim", etc., financed and directed by Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Kuwait, etc. Some of these organizations have played a huge role in financing extremist organizations in the North Caucasus that are operating under the banner of Islam. They were characterized by almost open propaganda of pan-Islamic ideas of uniting all the Muslims of the region in order to oust Russia from the North Caucasus and create an Islamic state in the North Caucasus region8.

By politicizing Islam in Dagestan, the Duma and the religious part of the population may fall under the influence of such organizations, become dependent on them and be unable to resist them ideologically and economically.

It is the inability of the traditional clergy and authorities to resist ideologically getting the situation out of control that is the most serious threat and danger for Dagestan and the South of Russia as a whole.

Despite the rapid growth of the Islamic consciousness of the North Caucasian peoples, the religious illiteracy of the population remains. The traditional spiritual administrations of Muslims (DMS) do not have sufficient control over the situation. Extremist religious movements have serious financial and ideological support from a number of Arab and other Islamic states, while traditional Islam has a different situation - a clear state policy in this area has not yet been formed.

Political technologies associated with the artificial creation of national, religious or other movements, secret societies and even entire states are considered the most dangerous. It is not uncommon for such entities to get out of the control of their founders, to develop and act independently, often against the ideas and initiatives in the name of which they were originally created.


The beginnings of the Taliban movement appeared during the time when Soviet troops were in Afghanistan. It was created by the CIA through the hands of Pakistani intelligence as an anti-Mujahideen movement. Despite the constant help of external forces, the Mujahideen struggle as a whole posed a serious threat to the security of the country.

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restricted tasks. They were limited only to the liberation of the country from foreigners.

To solve broader geopolitical problems on a regional scale, supranational forces were required that would act without reference to the interests of a particular country or people. And if there are none, then you should create them. In the region, radical religious fundamentalism, represented by the Islamic Taliban movement, has become such a driving force. It was also convenient because the Taliban ideology contains mechanisms that hinder any attempts to develop and educate and lead to deliberate degradation of the individual. After all, the dark, illiterate masses of people are simply ideal for religious and political manipulation.9
The peoples of Dagestan and other republics of the North Caucasus, if their national identity is displaced, can become a suitable object for Islamization and, in the future, "Talibanization". This is primarily due to the speed and intensity with which the propaganda and politicization of Islam is carried out in the North Caucasus, as well as to the low cultural level, difficult socio-economic situation, which is characterized by a decline in industrial production, agriculture, high unemployment, a decrease in the standard of living of the population, and unresolved problems. repressed, deported and divided peoples, intensive processes of internal, external and ethnic migration, the presence of intra-confessional contradictions, and so on.

This situation has created a breeding ground for Islamization and "Talibanization", which are quite capable of destabilizing the situation in the entire Caucasus and in Russia as a whole at the right time. Given the potential political and economic instability in southern Russia, it cannot be ruled out that the North Caucasus may turn out to be a second hotbed of "Talibanization"in the image and likeness of Taliban Afghanistan.


In recent decades, there has been a tendency to form a number of Islamic political parties, associations, and public organizations that actively pursue their own political plans. However, the process of spiritual and moral improvement of society turned out to be less noticeable. The influence of extremists is spreading rapidly among the Muslim population, which has little knowledge of their religion.

Today, the situation in Dagestan is getting so much worse that we can talk about the blatant imposition of the Muslim way of life not only at the domestic level, but also through a widespread network of religious educational institutions, periodicals, television and radio programs, and extensive religious literature of both official and unofficial nature. In conditions when the implantation of religious ideas reaches the highest degree of intensity, it is obvious that in Dagestan society there is a noticeable alienation from secular traditions, this situation tends to increase 10.

Islam itself, as one of the world's religions, has never been and does not pose any danger. The danger is currently, and has been in the past, " politicians who have often managed and are still able to use Islam to achieve their own, selfish goals, in their personal, own, group or clan interests."11. Therefore, today, in order to avoid tragic consequences, it is necessary that religion and religious associations should not be controlled by incompetent people or, even more so, by professionals who aim not so much at spiritual enlightenment as at agitation and obtaining selfish benefits.

Educational work should be carried out by cultural workers, state secular ministries and departments, professional religious scholars who have been dealing with religious issues for many years, are competent in the history of traditional Islam, in the Muslim religion and not only, who know the teachings of outstanding religious scholars in Dagestan and the Middle East, and are able to actively resist any kind of reactionary trends. And religious leaders should not oppose or compete with them, but complement them, cooperate closely, including in the fight against such a negative phenomenon as religious extremism and terrorism, and engage in their own spiritual, moral, educational sphere of activity.

Overcoming religious illiteracy could guarantee that the population is immune to extremist ideology. Joint united ideological counteraction to religious and political extremism is no less effective and important than the use of force. After all, only such opposition can undermine the roots of extremism.

Dobaev I. P. 1 Severny Kavkaz: traditsionalizm i radicalizm v sovremennom Islam [The North Caucasus: Traditionalism and Radicalism in modern Islam].

2 See: Khanbabaev K. M. DUMD in the conditions of transformation of Dagestan society // Traditionalism and modernization in the North Caucasus: the possibility and borders of compatibility. Issue No. 23. Rostov-on-Don, 2004, pp. 163-192.

3. Shaidaeva G. M. 3 Religiya i problemy obrazovaniya v sovremennom Dagestane [Religion and problems of education in modern Dagestan]. Makhachkala, 2002, p. 129.

Abdulgamidova N. A. 4 Sphere of culture and religion: problems of interaction // Religious factor in the life of modern Dagestan society. Makhachkala, 2002, p. 55.

5 The term "North Caucasian Wahhabism" was introduced into scientific circulation by V. Kh. Akaev. See: Akaev V. Kh. "North Caucasian Wahhabism" as a type of Islamic radicalism / / Science of the Caucasus: problems and prospects. Materials of the First Congress of Caucasian Scientists, pp. 71-76.

Dobaev I. L. 6 North Caucasus: Traditionalism and Radicalism, p. 25.

Makarov D. 7 Radical Islamism in the North Caucasus: Dagestan and Chechnya / / Conflict-Dialogue-Cooperation (Ethnopolitical situation in the North Caucasus). Moscow, 1999, No. 1, pp. 42-58.

8 See: Khanbabaev K. M. Edict Op.

9 "Talibanization" of peoples -

Shaidaeva G. M. 10th Edict op.

Gankovsky Yu. V. 11 The Taliban and Pakistan's Policy towards Afghanistan // Nawhind Times. Goa, India. 19.06.1997; see also: Pakistan and the Taliban / / Dawn. 13.08.1998.


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