2011-03-03 12:55:00

It's irrelevant to discuss Islamic threat in view of Arab events - Orientalist

Moscow, March 3, Interfax - Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vitaly Naumkin believes the Middle East situation may affect the Russian ummah's attitudes.

"The current North Africa events shall in no case give an example to Russian Muslim community. We are doubtfully facing the same social woes. It is much talked-about corruption which no one knows how to quash. It is the same unemployment in some regions, young people out of work, and red tape stranglehold which prevents young people from fulfillment," he states in an article published by NG Religii newspaper.

He poses a question "how does Islam come in here?"

"It is irrelevant to mention any contagious impact. The role of Islamists in the Middle East events tends to be exaggerated quite evidently. I believe it is counterproductive to shift responsibility for the North Caucuses situation on foreign Islamists circles," the article says.

According to Naumkin, "the events in the Arab countries are 100 percent based on social implications." He says Tunisia's Islamist movement is very weak and no religious trace has been noted there.

"Egypt's best established movement Brothers Muslims may have contributed to the situation there. But judging by the slogans carried by those crowds of people and the structure of this movement, Islamists are unlikely to play a key role there," he said.

As far as Libya is concerned, the events there are rooted in internal and intertribal relations "and in country's dissatisfaction with Gaddafi's regime, not mentioning such social decease as unemployment affecting 30 percent of the population."