The author assumes that the very title of his article-reflection on the theme of the Islamic religion in the national liberation struggle will evoke protest in some readers, therefore he warns in advance that he is a devout adherent of Sunni Islam. His attitude to his and his ancestors’ faith, is as it should be for a Muslim – reverence and respect. Therefore, he asks readers not to rush to conclusions and read to the end of the article.
What was the reason for its writing and the choice of a controversial title? Probably, the time has just come to discuss the very important issue of the consolidating role of religion in the process of the revival of the Turkic ethnic groups professing Islam. The positioning of the Muslim faith as an iron, impenetrable, absolute factor in the fight against russification and assimilation of the Turkic peoples of the Russian Federation is constantly present in forums, articles, oral conversations with many not indifferent patriots who are looking for ways to preserve national identity, defend national culture, etc. Often the interlocutors suggest using religious tools for use in state building, organization of legislative, executive and judicial power, formation of domestic and foreign policy lines in the future independent entities on the territory of the Russian Federation. The author still sees a more rational use of religious norms in the field of morality and ethics, education of an honest and conscientious citizen who perceives the Koran with respect, but who lives according to the secular laws of his country.
The author also advocates the separation of religious organizations from the state, which he repeatedly wrote about in his articles. This practice is used by all developed European countries without exception, and even successful Muslim countries, although diligently avoiding secularization, but they do not dare to recklessly rush into the ocean of building the life of society strictly and purely according to Islamic canons. Perhaps they are simply afraid of losing power. The author also believes that when a certain religion is declared a state religion, problems may arise in relations with representatives of other religions. What about Christians, Jews, Buddhists, etc.? Should we separate a narrow niche in the public life of the state for them and not let them move ahead? Should we announce publicly that full-fledged citizens are only of the Muslim faith? Of course, we can take such a step without advertising it, as it has already happened in history – remember the Jews in the Soviet Union during the Brezhnev era? Who got worse from such a policy, the Jews or the Union is the controversial issue. The Jews are, after all, the intellectual elite, and from the point of view of the state, it is not prudently to scatter them. Returning to the theme, the author comes to the conclusion that it is easier, more useful and more honest to provide all religions with equal conditions for the performance of spiritual services and rituals.
Now let’s return to some features of the tactics of using religion in general and Islam in particular to unite the people in the fight against the colonialists. Unfortunately, Islam is not a universal weapon against the oppression and assimilation of peoples. Let’s see why. Our adversary, the Russian Empire in its modern incarnation, has become expert at fighting insurgents, has been so sophisticated in the vile ways of subversive colonial activity, has created such powerful structures for suppressing and dividing protests against colonialism, that we can’t count on capricious success. The Federal Security Service has special units that supervise work with religious leaders in the direction they need. Some are bribed with positions and money, others are intimidated by repressions, others are deprived of the possibility of legal activity in their field. In the end, the most recalcitrant can simply be eliminated under the legend of suicide, discrediting behavior of a cleric, and so on.
Now the main thing. Enemies can use religion in the fight against the liberation movement. They will simply create a couple of anti-systemic sects within the people that preach destructive things under the guise of “true Islam” and set adherents of one denomination against adherents of another one so that they break each other’s heads, proving that the opponent prays to Allah incorrectly. They will appeal to the faithful who are simple, inexperienced in philosophy, and use the arguments that even five imams-theologians wise in the interpretation of the Koran will not be able to figure it out. And when representatives of the opposing currents cling to one another’s throats, the enemy will only have to support each of them in turn, offering a dummy expert on the faith and the Koran as a peacemaker.
The threat of weakening of Moscow’s power is already forcing the imperialists to plan ways to pit the Bashkirs against the Tatars, the Adyghes against the Karachais and Balkars, the Vainakhs against the Ossetians, the Yakuts and Buryats against their neighbor Muslims and Christians, etc. Therefore, Islam is not a panacea for countering the Russian empire. They will not let it become a banner of the renewal of the Turkic and other Muslim peoples of the Russian Federation. No matter how much we want it, they will not allow it!
The best way to struggle is the struggle itself – thoughtful, supported by impenetrable arguments, organized, reaching both the rural and urban masses and high intellectual communities, capable of captivating even those of little faith with its prospects in implementing a program understandable to everyone.
The points of such a program should be measures to expose the work of special services that profess the principle of “divide and rule”, as well as the intensification of propaganda among the masses aimed at finding points of contact with neighboring peoples for conducting a joint national liberation struggle. We also cannot avoid interethnic and interreligious dialogue, discussion of the prospects for interaction in state building. It is worth starting to test the idea of holding the Forum of Indigenous Peoples of the Russian Federation already now, without waiting for the desired disintegration of the Kremlin Empire.