REL-02
Islam in Tatarstan: Old "Friends" and New Trends

Convenors:
Liliya Karimova (NVCC, Annandale )
Svetlana Peshkova (University of New Hampshire)
Chair:
Liliya Karimova
Discussant:
Svetlana Peshkova
Theme:
REL
Location:
Room 112
Sessions:
Saturday 12 October, 11:00-12:45

Abstract:

This panel explores new developments in Tatarstan's religious landscape and analyzes in what ways once-established concepts, structures, and practices have undergone a change. We cover a wide range of topics, all of which discuss various aspects of Islam, as well as Islam's and Muslims' interaction with the state and the wider society, which have a direct impact on everyday lives of ordinary Muslim Tatars. Local Islamic education, seen as a foundation of a "locally-grown" umma, remains an important, yet controversial topic in present-day Tatarstan. Similarly, homeschooling, which is becoming popular among practicing Muslim families, is a fairly new practice that is met with curiosity and suspicion. Sufism, which has been gaining traction in Tatarstan over the past few years, is both an old and new phenomenon that has also been met with suspicion and controversy by non-practicing and some practicing Muslims alike. An analysis of a growing Halal industry in Tatarstan serves as a window into the state's cooperation with official religious structures in the context of a growing demand for Halal products. Finally, an ethnographic-research-based presentation on gender roles among practicing Muslim Tatars today suggests a changing perception of gender norms and gender dynamic in the region. As a whole, the panel contributes to an important, yet still fairly limited, body of knowledge about new and ongoing policies, processes, practices, and sensibilities that take place in Tatarstan's Islamic landscape today.