After the riots in France many people ask whether such a scenario is possible in Russia. Mufti Farid Salman of Yamal-Nenetsk autonomous district and head of the Council of Ulemas of the Central Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of Russia shares his views on the events with Interfax-Religion.
- How do you assess the developments in France?
- One can call the developments in France a trial of strength. Though the youth is a driving force, people far from being young lead the process. Young hooligans in France are like blind kittens. Actually, they serve as a front for the calculating and competent people who plan out further steps. I have no doubts that the pseudo-Islamic radicals are behind all these developments.
A paradoxical situation has developed in France, as in many other European countries. The immigrants become citizens of the country and enjoy all its benefits, while some of them do not integrate into society. Moreover, their attitude to society is hostile. No wonder that people who have come to France from the countries with traditional Islamic way of life are being quickly involved in various radical structures. Wahhabites, salafits and the like treat European society with hostility and are willing to destroy it from within. This is exactly what is happening in France. Therefore, the French authorities should not entertain hopes that official Islamic institutions recognized by the state will help settle the situation.
Experience shows that a negative reaction to official clergy is a fruit of radicalization of the Muslim youth, which proceeds not so much from the nature of their cult, but from their background. Of course, the riots will subside before long, but I repeat, it will be just a respite before the large-scale events both in France and in the neighboring countries.
- And more concretely: are similar scenarios possible in Russia?
- The developments in France will seem childish pranks. The present situation in this country has been forming for several decades, but a similar situation in Russia - for one decade! The uncontrolled internal and external immigration, especially to the areas of strategic importance (Yamal-Nenetsk and Khanty-Mansyisk autonomous districts, Murmansk region, Chukotka, etc.) will have its effect. We have it this way: they are law-abiding citizens during the day and fight federal troops in the evening, the next day they leave for Moscow by plane, then to the North and elsewhere. I have an impression that Russia will not avoid civil conflict. Fruitless footsie with the radical wahhabites, ‘Khizb ut-Takhrir’ and the like under cover of democracy, the listening to ‘good advice’ of pseudo human rights advocates, and the abolishment of death penalty are to no good. Should French-like riots take place in Moscow - God forbid - the bloodshed will last more than a day, and the riots will spread throughout the country. Anarchy, collapse, and catastrophe, much more grave than the Yugoslav one will have confessional overtone.
- How would you access present tendencies in the Islamic community of Russia?
- They are not optimistic. Unfortunately, the institute of muftis is attacked more and more often, some people even urge to abolish this traditional for Russian Muslims spiritual institute. Why? The answer is clear: there are very responsible and educated men among muftis, who are afraid of God Creator alone, respect the laws of the Fatherland and enjoy authority with people. There are such people both in the Central Spiritual Directorate of Muslims and in the Council of Muftis. At present such muftis can oppose ‘jamaats’ of every kind. Today we should raise our voice to protect our brother Anas Pshikhachev - mufti of Kabardino-Balkaria who is subjected to persecutions from those who strive to replace the authentic Islamic leadership of Kabardino-Balkarian believers and turn the investigation of recent events in Nalchik on the wrong track. May the Most High Allah save him from accusations and slander and may He grant him His great help!