Reviews

The result of several conferences held by the “Islam in Russia” project led by A. V. Malashenko in several cities of Russia (in partnership with the INIONs of Saratov, Novgorod, Rostov-on-the-Don, Yekaterinburg, and Tomsk), the present book offers a collection of articles on varied aspects, mainly political, of the situation of Islam in diverse regions of the Federation of Russia (mainly in the Volga River basin and in the Northern Caucasus). The first contributions underline the strong politicisation of Islam in Russia, notwithstanding the secular character of the present political regime. Several essays insist on the significance taken by radical trends in Russia’s Islam, notably under pressure of the events in the Northern Caucasus since the mid-1990s, and as a result of growing immigration from the former Soviet republics of the Caucasus and Central Asia. Other articles deal with the interaction of confessional affiliations and national identities in the Volga-Urals and the Northern Caucasus, where specific ethnic groups or subgroups have shown particularly prone to develop protest discourses and anti-establishment attitudes. Another aspect developed in the volume is the situation of Islamic religious teaching in the Federation of Russia, where classical institutions and new Islamic universities are commonly accused of showing too weak for counterbalancing intellectual influences from abroad. A last preoccupation of the college of authors has been the state of inter-confessional relations, especially between Orthodoxy and Islam, the mutual relations of which have been characterised in the 2000s by rising conflicts. Most considerations developed here respond to worries of Russia’s central and regional authorities confronted with the ever-growing role of Islam in Russia’s public life since the end of the Soviet period, and so doing they bear the imprint of the philosophy developed by the Putin and Medvedev administrations during the past decade. At the same time, they raise issue central today in Russia’s public debates on the place of religion in general and Islam in particular in the Russian society, and they propose original visions nourished by long fieldwork and reflecting the opinion and philosophy of a wide range of protagonists. Table of content: Gradirovskii S. N., “Islam i politika: v poiskakh formy [Islam and Politics: In Quest of a Form],” 10-34; Dobaev I. P., “Radikal’nye ideologii v islame: istoriia i sovremennost’ [Radical Ideologies in Islam: History and Present],” 35-64; Kisriev E. F., “Islam i natsional’nye otnosheniia na Severnom Kavkaze [Islam and National Relations in the Northern Caucasus],” 65-84 (infra No. 391); Semenov V. V., “Etnicheskie musul’mane i mezhnatsional’nye otnosheniia v Povolzh’e [Ethnic Muslims and Inter-Ethnic Relations in the Volga Region],” 85-102 (infra No. 587); Iarlykapov A. A., “Sovremennye problemy islamskogo obrazovaniia na Severnom Kavkaze [The Current Issues of Islamic Education in the Northern Caucasus],” 103-22 (infra No. 384); Verkhovskii A. M., “Publichnye otnosheniia pravoslavnykh i musul’manskikh organizatsii na federal’nom urovne [The Public Relations of Orthodox and Muslim Organisations at the Federal Level],” 123-53 (supra No. 332).

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: II-4.3.B-372