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Radical Islam in Russia: the case of Tatarstan

Liana Hayrapetyan

vol. VII(1,2)

Pages 61-79


The spread of Radical Islam among Russian Muslim is a central issue for the

authorities of Russia. The fi rst confl ict in Chechnya facilitated the radicalization

of Islam in the North Caucasus. Chechen warlords became involved

in terrorism and organized terror bombings in Moscow in 1999, thus making

terrorism a domestic issue for Russia. Hence the second Russian military

campaign in Chechnya was labeled as counter-terrorism operation. In

Volga-Ural region the situation was stable. However, Tatarstan has been encountering

the issue of the radicalism since the beginning of the 21st century.

During the 2010s there were several Islamic jamaats, which were involved in

terror attacks in the territory of Tatarstan (mostly bombing pipelines), international

Wahhabi organizations are active in Tatarstan. The terror attack in

Kazan in July 2012, when the Mufti of Tatarstan was injured, indicated the

strong presence of radicals in the region. The attack made the authorities of

Tatarstan take severe approaches towards the radicals. The law enforcement

bodies operate professionally: those who are suspected to have radical views

are immediately caught and imprisoned. The active propaganda of traditional

Islam in which the state is also involved is another way to prevent the radicalization

of the region. Though the Wahhabi presence remains, the situation in

Tatarstan is stable due to the work of the law enforcement bodies.

Keywords: Russia, Tatarstan, Islam, Radicalism, Wahhabism

Liana Hayrapetyan
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