This synthetic article based notably on retrospective apologetic literature proposes an overview of the history of Islam in Chechnya since the massive conversion of its population in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. The authors first cast light on the first political leaders of Chechen Islam: from Naqshbandi shaykh Mansur of Ushurma (1760-94) and Qadiri shaykh Kunta-Hajji b. Kishi (Kishiev, d. 1867) to the latter’s continuator in the Soviet period Wis Hajji Zagiev (d. 1973). However, the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries are evoked very elusively, and the Soviet period only through a limited amount of well-known historical dates: the December 1929 campaign against Chechen resistance in the villages of Goity and Shali, the repressions of the 1930s and the deportation of February 1944, and the liberalisation of religious practice after 1989. The last paragraphs on the present-day situation hardly contribute to add elements of novelty to this article, except perhaps the authors’ consideration on the inadequacy of the polemic denomination of ‘Wahhabi’ for every non-conformist Islamic movement in the Caucasus since the last decades of the Soviet period.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: II-4.3.C-396