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Muslim-State Relations in Russia

  • Galina M. Yemelianova
Part of the The Modern Muslim World book series (MMUS)

Abstract

The relationship between Muslims and the Russian/Soviet state differs significantly from that in both the Middle East and Western Europe. These differences result from the lengthy historical presence of Islam in Eurasia and its over two centuries long state management first by the Russian Orthodox empire, and then by the Soviet atheist state. Islam made its inroads into what later became known as Russia in the seventh century AD during the period when most proto-Russians1 were still pagans. Islamic beliefs and practices were therefore directly involved, along with Byzantine and Khazar influences, in the formation of Russian cultural, social, and political norms. In the early medieval period Russia’s southern lands experienced a creeping Islamization resulting from proto-Russia’s commercial and military engagements with her more militarily and economically advanced Muslim neighbors, the Volga Bulgaria, in particular. The spread of Islam was facilitated by proto-Russia’s Eurasian location and her largely flat landscape, dominated by steppes and lacking natural geographical boundaries with both Europe and Asia. In the tenth century, the official adoption of Orthodox Christianity by Russian rulers changed the nature of Russian state’s relations with Islam. In the sixteenth century, the continuing territorial expansion of the Orthodox Russian state, including its conquest of the Islamic Kazan Khanate and other Genghizid principalities, shifted the geopolitical balance of power in Eurasia in her favor. In the eighteenth century the Russian empire2 annexed Muslim Crimea and imposed its control over the Kazakh Small Horde.

Keywords

Muslim Community Islamic Education Islamic State Islamic Organization Islamic Revival 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Galina M. Yemelianova 2016

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  • Galina M. Yemelianova

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