L’Observatoire des religions
Coexistence or Confrontation ?

The Politics of Interaction between Orthodoxy and Islam in Putin’s Russia : Culture, Institutions and Leadership

samedi 6 décembre 2008 par James W. Warhola

The interaction between Orthodoxy and Islam during the years of the Putin presidency was complex, dynamic and fraught with potential for conflict. Indeed a number of political, demographic and economic factors created conditions that were particularly hospitable for the eruption of religious-based conflict.

This is particularly so given the ongoing problems of Islamic radicalism, which by the early Putin years had spread beyond Chechnya itself, and by the concomitant appearance and spread of xenophobia, racism and various strains of extremism.

Nonetheless, despite rising tensions among communal groups, and also despite a general but unmistakable trend toward increasingly authoritarian tendencies by the central government, there was considerable evidence of the sort of leadership within both religious and governmental bodies that had the effect of mitigating or at least containing conflict. Such leadership at the national level may have been pivotal in containing tendencies toward conflict.

While admirable and almost certainly driven more by prudential than idealistic motives, such leadership will necessarily need to develop a greater degree of accountability to the public than that which was in evidence as the Putin presidency completed its second term amid deepening concentration of power by the Kremlin.

Published in : Religion, State and Society, Volume 36, Issue 4 December 2008 , pages 343 - 359

Subjects : Marxism & Communism ; Religion ; Russia -The Former Soviet Union & East European Studies ;

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