URGENT PROBLEMS OF THE WESTERN CIRCASSIANS IN THE 21ST CENTURY
Irina Babich, D.Sc. (Hist.), Senior Fellow, Department of the Caucasus, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow, the Russian Federation)
The author analyzes the most urgent problems of the Western Circassians (the Shapsugs of the Caucasian Black Sea coast and the Adighe of the Republic of Adigey) caused by the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Krasnodar Territory, as well as the religious context that took shape after the election of the new mufti of the Republic of Adigey in December 2012.
The article is based on ethnographic field polls carried out in areas populated by Western Circassians, leading the author to conclude that the government should pay more attention to the social, economic, and cultural problems of the Shapsugs of the Black Sea coastal area and concentrate on preventing Islamic radicalization in the Republic of Adigey.
Keywords: Shapsugs of the Black Sea coast, Olympic Games, the problem of the Circassian language, the International Circassian Association of Shapsugs, Adyge Khase, congress of the Muslims of Adigey, Kabardino-Balkaria, Islamic leaders, mufti of the Republic of Adigey and the Krasnodar Territory.
In the 21st century, the Western Circassians of the Republic of Adigey and the Krasnodar Territory became fully aware of the negative impact of the “new” policy of the Russian Federation and the republican authorities (shaped to a great extent by the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi), as well as of……………