On symbols and signs

On symbols and signs

Why is it still possible to set up Orthodox churches in Muslim areas, but it is impossible to build a mosque in a city with a large Muslim population? There are no rational explanations here, the local authorities are not going to announce  the official reasons for the ban, they just let Muslims know that “no” – and that is it. You can Interpret as you wish!

In connection with the topic raised, I would like to give an example.

What do you think, dear reader, why did the pro-Russian forces erect a monument to Empress Catherine II in Ukrainian Odessa in 2007 and everywhere positioned her as the founder of the city? Although it has long been known to both Ukrainian and Russian historians that Russia did not found any city there, because it already existed long before the appearance of Russian troops. In the XIII-XIV centuries, on the site of modern Odessa, there was a pier for the Genoese vessels of Dzhenestra (translated from Italian – “gorse”, a plant that is often found in the Black Sea steppes). In the XV century, the first mention of the settlement of Kachybey under the control of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania appeared. In the XV century, the Kachybey castle was destroyed as a result of Tatar and Cossack raids, and the trading city fell into decay. Later it was rebuilt by the Crimean Tatars and named Khadzhibey. The city received a special status and a monopoly on the export of grain from the Sublime Porte. The construction of the Turkish fortress Yeni-Dunya (from the Turkish “New World”) began. In the second half of the XVІІІ century, as a result of a series of Russian-Turkish wars, the Russian Empire annexed the territories conquered from the Ottoman Empire. And then the Russian queen Catherine acted according to the usual Russian pattern: they came, declared everything around as their own, original, and “founded” Odessa city. In fact, the empress only issued a rescript on the creation and development of a new commercial port.

Monuments of this kind are evidence of the desire of certain political forces to mark territories as their own. A claim to the supremacy of their ideology, to the right to the thoughts and aspirations of people living within certain administrative and geographical boundaries: they speak Russian here, they sing Russian songs, there is a monument to the Russian queen, important historical events took place here with the participation of individuals representing the above-mentioned ideology, etc. So – it is OURS!

Do you remember the majestic statue of a Soviet soldier in the German Treptow Park in Berlin? Why do you think the Soviets erected this monument? In honor of saving a German girl who is in the arms of the Russian soldier? I would like to believe, but somehow this does not correlate with the behavior of the same Soviet soldiers who raped all German women in a row – from 8 to 80 years old with the tacit connivance of the military leadership of the Soviet army. It seems, after all, the role of the monument in Treptow Park is somewhat different!

So in Crimea, “Russian Cossacks” (in quotes because what kind of Cossacks could be on the territory of the Turkic Crimean Khanate? where could they appear there from?) in 2008-2012 put their “worship crosses” at the entrance to the Tatar villages – they marked the territory. And when trying to demolish Kyrymly, to the shaitan, symbols unacceptable in this place organized battles with local law enforcement officers. Among the “Cossacks” detained by the police, there were mainly demobilized military men who “come” to live in Crimea from the Russian regions and just titushki brought from the Russian hinterland. The “Crimean Cossacks” were headed by an ataman from Chelyabinsk, a former captain of the Russian Navy with a two-year experience of living on the Ukrainian peninsula. These actions, inspired by the Russian special services, have nothing to do with faith and religion, because the Kyrymly have never, since returning to their homeland, opposed Christians and consistently had a position of tolerance and religious tolerance towards their neighbors. It is very difficult to accuse the Crimean Tatars of religious hatred, having become familiar with the facts that took place during the Russian occupation of Crimea. This refers to the proposal to conduct services of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in the mosques of Kyrymly, after the Ukrainians were expelled from the Orthodox churches that belonged to them in a number of cities of the peninsula.

Now we can easily draw a thread linking the Russian habit of marking territories with the events concerning the Orthodox church in Ufa (to humiliate the “foreigners”), with the demolished monument to Zaki Validi, the leader of the Bashkortostan national liberation movement, the Black Hundred protests against the construction of a mosque in Moscow, etc.

Imperial Russia is very afraid of the manifestation of national identity among the representatives of the conquered peoples. When the thoughts of a Tatar, Bashkort, Erzya, any patriot from the Caucasian, Mongolian or other peoples of the Russian Federation are seized by an interest in a specific date, geographical name, historical name, and even more in an event of the times of national revival, pride, success in the struggle for their rights – figuratively speaking, a red light comes on at the desk of the Federal Security Service officer on duty and a danger siren sounds. When in Nalchik patriots hold a procession on the Day of Remembrance of the Adygs, contrary to the ban of the authorities, when in Temyasovo, Bashkort village, there is a gathering against the barbaric extraction of natural resources on the Bashkir lands, when the inhabitants of the national republic raise the issue of expanding the program of studying the national language in secondary schools – all this becomes a danger signal for the Russian colonial power.

In our time, one can get into the police station for protest graffiti on the wall. Moreover, the Russian occupation troops in Ukraine, right on the streets, can stop and strip a man naked, looking for “Nazi” (the interpretation of the content is at the mercy of Russian soldiers) tattoos, and then send him to a torture chamber for “denazification”. By the way, the German fascists did the same when they checked for Jewish origin: they forced people to take off their pants right on the street and show if they were circumcised. If the suspicion was confirmed, a direct road to the concentration camp followed.

So do not think from above of the meaning of the symbols! “A monument, big deal…” or “O Allah, what difference does it make what language we speak…” or “Come on, this Russian Orthodox church, do not pay attention to it”… Maybe even “We will endure without a mosque,  we lived without it before, we will live without it.” And at the end, “I do not know the national symbols of my people, I have never heard of them.” This is a frivolous approach – you simply avoid the problem when your hands are slowly tied up. When you try to escape, you will feel it.

Here was a monument to a national hero, and then it was carefully and imperceptibly demolished, and after a while skinheads already gathered in this square to make raids to trap Muslims and foreigners. They give the paramount importance to symbols, for them this is by no means trifles. Don’t you believe? You will soon find out!

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