Monday, December 04, 2006

The Islamification of Russia..and the backlash

Muslims pray on the pavement outside the central Sobornaya Mosque,Moscow

I've written before about Russia's status as a dying nation - at least, the Russia we know. And Islam thrives as Russia's population falls, because that's the only sector of Russia where the population is rising, something Putin and other Russian leaders are painfully aware of are the mullahs of Iran.

The Sobornaya Mosque is one of only four mosques in Moscow serving a Muslim population of 2.5 million — the largest of any European city. Like Moscow's other mosques, the Sobornaya Mosque overflows with worshippers on Fridays and holy days. Muslim leaders have been trying to get permission from the city to expand the mosque, and to build many more, but so far, their attempts have failed and the building of more mosques has been prohibited.

Part of this is due to traditional Russian xenophobia, but much of it is due to real fear of an Islamic takeover of traditional Russian lands.

Many Russians associate Islam with Islamic terrorists from places like Chechnya who have carried out dozens of attacks against civilians. On Russian television, Muslims are most often portrayed as either criminals or religious radicals waging a holy war against Christians. One of Russia's bestselling novels of last year, The Mosque of Notre Dame de Paris, depicts a mid-21st century Europe where Islam is the state religion and Christians are repressed and forced to live in ghettos as dhimmis.

The main problem is demographics. The non-Muslim population simply isn't having children.

Russia's overall population is dropping at a rate of 700,000 people a year, largely due to the short life spans and low birth rates of ethnic Russians. Abortion is widespread - I seen estimates that state that up to 70% of pregnancies in non-Muslim Russia are terminated by abortons.

Since 1989, Russia's Muslim population has increased by 40 per cent to about 25 million. By 2015, Muslims could make up the majority of Russia's army and they could account for 20% of the population by 2020.

According to the CIA World Factbook estimate, Russia's overall fertility rate is 1.28 children per woman, far below replacement figures.

Muslim Russians, meanwhile, are having children, with a fertility rate of up to as many as 10 children per woman.

If current trends continue, more than half of Russia's population could be Muslim by mid-century.

it is this, along withother factors that is behind the explosion in extreme Russian nationalism lately.

Hostility is already high and rising between the country's ethnic Russian population and the Russia's Islamic community and ethnic violence is on the rise.

Attacks on mosques are not uncommon, especially after terrist atacks like Beslan or the one in Nalchik last year. During rioting last August, ethnic Russian mobs chased Chechens and other Muslim immigrants out of the northwestern town of Kondopoga.

One of the Russian nationalist groups is the Movement Against Illegal Immigration, an increasingly powerful lobby group that has staged dozens of rallies in recent months. Its leader, Alexander Belov, has been extremely outspoken over what he and others like him are calling the growing "Islamification" of Russia.

"Russia is historically a Slavic, Orthodox Christian land and we need to make sure it stays that way," he said, adding that Orthodox Christianity should be enshrined as Russia's official religion and efforts made to convert Muslims.

Belov makes no distinction between Muslim immigrants and Russian citizens of Islamic faith. He says Muslims, no matter what their citizenship, should be restricted from living in "traditional Russian lands."

The Russian government has taken several steps that show recognition of th estrength on nationalist sensibilities.

Aside from prohibiting the construction of new mosques, four Russian regions recently introduced mandatory classes in Orthodox Christianity in all schools. Last month, the Russian cabinet announced a new law that will ban foreigners from working in retails stalls and markets next year. The law doesn't specifically target Muslims, but the vast majority of people working in Russia's markets are either Muslim immigrants or from traditionally Muslim parts of Russia.

Muslims have apperently voiced concern over the trend.

"The image of Muslims presented in the media is very distorted," says Rusham Abbyasov, a spokesman for the Council of Muftis. "When people hear the phrase Allahu akbar ("God is great" in Arabic) they immediately think of people shooting at them or blowing themselves up."

(hmmmm... I wonder why, Mufti..)

Others look forward to a time when huge chunks of what is now Russia can be broken off into Islamist states....some Iran is no doubt working towards.

That day may not be far off.


Anonymous said...

all the facts and figures ff quotes i have seen in other sources.
however, how does puken justify the xenophobia?
he has stated publicly that he is a friend of islam.
has puken already been dhimmified?
also, why has the muslim population not filed a lawsuit over their xenophobic treatment?
do they pray in airports before boarding planes like their american counterparts?
muslim conversation is a pipe dream.
deportation on the other hand.....

Anonymous said...

my previous post should have ended:
muslim conversion is a pipe dream.

Freedom Fighter said...

RE: Putin -it's called playing both ends against the middle.

Anonymous said...

This was a very interesting post. Not only in Russia, the real concern is the "Islamification" of the world. I invite you to read and comment on today’s post,
An “Honest” Terrorist Writes: “No Muslim Can Pledge Loyalty to the Constitution”