ETHNOCULTURAL COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS IN THE NORTHERN CAUCASUS AND THE PROBLEM OF RADICAL ISLAM

Irina KARABULATOVA


Irina Karabulatova, D.Sc. (Philol.), Professor, Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, Chief Research Associate, Head of the Sector of Ethnopolitical and Sociocultural Security and Communication Technologies, Institute of Socio-Political Research, Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow, Russian Federation)


ABSTRACT

Greater religiosity and the much larger number of Muslims in the Northern Caucasus and the rest of Russia are the most tangible results of the Islamic resurrection. The fairly contradictory processes underway in the Muslim ummah follow the worldwide trends unfolding in Islam. This means that the government and religious organizations should arrive at an efficient model of interaction between the religious community and the state. This is easier said than done. The situation is complicated by religious trends previously unknown in Russia, while some of the Islamic clergy orientated toward alien traditions reject many of the centuries-old religious postulates (accepted by the local Muslims as part of their faith) as contradicting the canons of Islam and believe they should, therefore, be uprooted. This means that in the context of the current ethnocultural communication systems in the Northern Caucasus, religious teaching is being politicized and its canons distorted by extremist groups in an effort to create fertile ground for the ideas of the Islamic State banned in the Russian Federation.

Throughout its almost 1,500-year history, Islamic radicalism, a headache for moderate Muslims, remained within the limits of Islamic civilization. The relations between the Muslim community and state structures, as well as between Christianity and Islam as the two largest confessions in the Northern Caucasus, which means stability in Russian society as a whole, depend on the harmony between Islamic and civil identity. Systemic monitoring of the processes unfolding in society (and in the spiritual sphere) in the regions fraught with ethnic conflicts (the Northern Caucasus being one of them) is the only way to ensure stability and security in the region, and throughout the rest of the country for that matter. The state must pursue a highly diversified religious policy in its relations with the Islamic structures: the Muslim community of the RF is multiethnic (Islam is the religion of thirty-eight autochthonous peoples of Russia) and multicultural. Each of the two large Islamic areasthe Tatar-Bashkir and North Caucasianhas its own religious traditions, history, and relations with the central government, which have developed differently at different times and in highly specific conditions.

Keywords: ethnocultural communication, the Northern Caucasus, Islam, social institutions, globalization.


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