“There is no clergy in Islam” – this thesis takes on a new meaning if we look at the workers “muftiyats” and “spiritual boards of Muslims” controlled by the Kremlin. But the policy of the Russian Empire – whatever it is called – is very consistent in the fight against Islam, only the means change: Islam officially is not banned, resorting to more cunning ways to lead what could not be defeated. Here is what the political scientist, Islamic scholar, publicist Abdulla Rinat Mukhametov says about this.
A major Orthodox missionary and, as they say now, “an Islamic scholar in uniform” (he is also an “Islam eater”), Ilminskiy described an official mufti acceptable to the Russian empire as follows, “For us, this would be suitable if a foreigner gets confused and blush speaking Russian, if he writes in Russian with a fair amount of errors, if he is afraid of not only governors, but also any clerk.” Or another selection criterion, “A fanatic without a Russian education and language is comparatively better than a civilized in Russian way Tatar, and an aristocrat is even worse, and a person with a university education is even worse.”
In other words, he saw the religious head of the Muslims as a discredited dark and petty character who would fail any initiative. In the second half of the 19th century, Ilminskiy already did not have the opportunity to achieve the “final solution” to the Islamic question in Russia, so he began to achieve maximum paralysis of the work of the spiritual board, which was already bound hand and foot.
The professor of the Kazan Theological Seminary is widely known for his system of Russification and Christianization of the Tatars and other peoples of Volga region (“enlightenment of the pagans”). He was very active along the line of the Orenburg Mahometan Spiritual Assembly (the largest muftiate of the empire), trying to act as something like the state curator of it and Islam in general.
This is all very similar to what the “Islam-eater” Silantyev set up under some muftiats already in our time, 130 years later.