Putin’s policies make clash of Orthodox and Islamic civilizations in Russia more likely

Putin’s policies make clash of Orthodox and Islamic civilizations in Russia more likely, by Paul Goble.

Vladimir Putin’s campaign against liberalism and secularism is opening the way for a violent clash of civilizations – Orthodox Christian and Islamic – within the borders of the Russian Federation, a conflict that will weaken and could tear that country apart, according to two thoughtful commentaries over the last ten days. …

[Kateryna Shchetkina] notes that the Russian Federation “already now is quite sharply divided into regions” that are dominated by religious culture, Orthodox or Islamic, rather than linked together by secular values and that these differences are increasingly leading people in them to oppose secular laws issued by Moscow. …

Russia with its ever larger Muslim minority is “for some reason trying to construct its myth of unity on an Orthodox basis.” One can easily understand why that is so given the past, but the future, with the share of Muslims rising, is going to be very different and far more Islamic.

[Alexander Sokurov] suggests that a horrific religious war is coming in Russia as a result of demographic change and government policy and that such a war will be far worse than any civil war that the country has experienced in the past because there will be no basis for compromise and so it will become a fight to the death.

In this coming battle, Sokurov argues, the ethnic Russians will be at a serious disadvantage. The Sovietization, degradation and alcoholization of the Russians has left that people “non-religious,” these things have not had a similar impact on the Muslim nationalities of the country.

hat-tip Stephen Neil