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Accepted Paper:

Between counteracting extremism and providing spiritual security: evidences from Islamic education in Russia  

Author:

Sofya Ragozina (Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration)

Paper short abstract:

Despite the fact that Islam belongs to so-called traditional religion in Russia, state policy towards Muslim community is often highly securitized. We will show how narrative of security based on memory of Afghan and Chechen wars determines contours of Islamic education in contemporary Russia.

Paper long abstract:

Islam in Russia is the second largest religion after Christianity. According to the 2010 census, the number of Muslims is estimated at 13 million, which is 9% of the total population. Despite the fact that Islam belongs to the so-called traditional religions for Russia (along with Orthodoxy, Buddhism and Judaism), state policy is based on a suspicious attitude towards the Muslim community. Often issues that somehow affect this area turn out to be highly dependent on security issues. In an effort to develop a strategy for managing the Muslim community, the state apply to the discourse of the so-called social integration, which is determined on the basis of the political and cultural categorization of "our" moderate Muslims and non-extremist Muslims. So in the Russian public discourse there are categories of "traditional" (loyal to the authorities) and "radical" Islam. Such securitization, on the one hand, and accommodation, on the other hand, are manifested in many areas of socio-political life: from measures to tighten anti-terrorism legislation to the policies in the field of Islamic education. This paper is dedicated to Islamic education policy in Russia. We want not just simply describe milestones in the formation of this system - rather to focus on the key institutional and epistemological problems of modern Islamic education in Russia. We will consider several cases and show how narrative of security based on historical memory of Afghan war and Chechen conflicts determines contours of Islamic education in contemporary Russia.

Panel P077
Securitized Education: critical perceptions on the entanglements between military, security and education [Anthropology of Security Network, Peace and Conflict Studies in Anthropology PACSA]