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    Chechnya.. Archived Message

    Posted by Gerard on October 24, 2020, 8:18 pm, in reply to "Re: Robot Read News"

    Dear lord disagreement over politics does not give one the right to butcher civilians or stage black flag events...what psychotic cattle train are you driving Tomski?

    "The impact of the Chechen war upon many Muslims of the former Soviet Union cannot be overemphasized. The socio-political mindset of many Muslims of the former Soviet Union is attached to the Chechen conflict. The bitter historical interrelations of Muslims with the Russian empire contributed to Muslims viewing the Chechen conflict through this historical prism.

    On the contemporary level, perhaps nothing highlights the influence of the Chechen conflict upon the diverse Muslim population of Russia more than the fact that one of the strongest public defenders of the Chechen pro-independence movement was a Russian Shia Muslim intellectual, now deceased, Heydar Jamal. In his function as the chairman of the Islamic Committee of Russia, Jamal was a regular guest on Russian media presenting the analysis of the situation in the North Caucasus from the angle of the pro-independence movement in Chechnya. Even though Jamal’s public support for the Chechen cause was likely being tolerated due to a tacit agreement with the Russian authorities, nevertheless, Jamal was a passionate advocate of the Chechen cause who had the ear of many ordinary Sunni and Shia Muslims in the FSU region. The fact that a regular guest at many Muslim functions attended both by Shia and Sunni Muslims would openly advocate for a cause led by Salafi Muslims is perhaps an unparalleled phenomenon in the Muslim world.

    Another key social indicator of how influential the Chechen war is in terms of shaping the Islamic identity of Muslims of the former Soviet Union is the popularity of a Chechen guitar singer, Timur Mucurayev, who himself was a Chechen fighter, but under a negotiated amnesty, returned to Chechnya in 2008. Mucurayev’s songs about Islam and the war in Chechnya were so powerful that even the Russian army would listen to his songs. In addition, to this day, Muslims in the former Soviet Union who identify as Sunni, Shia, Salafi and Sufi listen to his songs. Some of Mucurayev’s songs, labeled “extremist” by the Russian government, are posted on YouTube and have attracted millions of views. During the first (1994-1996) and the second Chechen wars (1999-2003) Mucurayev’s songs helped inspire hundreds of fighters from across the former Soviet Union to fight on the Chechen side.

    Those who have not lived through the 1990s in the Caucasus might be puzzled by the cross-sectarian sympathy towards a Salafi/Wahhabi led trend. However, the phenomenon is not so puzzling to those who experienced that decade. When the Soviet Union began collapsing at the turn of the 1990s, Moscow attempted to save the decaying empire. Troops were dispatched to Baku, Dushanbe, Riga and Tbilisi. With the help of the local communist leaderships, within a few days the Russian army took control of those cities. In December 1994, residents of Baku, Tbilisi and other Muslim cities were glued to the screens of their television sets, astonishingly watching how the Russian army could not take a city of just over 300,000 for over three months and when they eventually did it was at a very high cost. The Chechen pro-independence movement did what others could not dream of doing; they humiliated an army which many Muslims of the FSU saw as a fearsome historical opponent.

    This worldview, unfortunately, came to haunt the region in a very ugly way.

    Wahhabism Gains Clout

    One of the most active advocates of the Wahhabi trend during the second Chechen war, was the notorious Chechen commander Shamil Basayev. The irony is that on YouTube today, one can find a speech made by Basayev in Grozny some time in 1996, right after the Chechens forced out the Russian army and gained de-facto independence that lasted until 1999. In that speech, made to a delegation of influential Muslims from various parts of the Caucasus, Basayev discusses the dangers of Wahhabism and how it must be avoided. Fast-forward to 1999, Basayev’s right-hand man was Khattab, a Saudi national with a murky past and who many credit with popularizing the Wahhabi understanding of Islam among leading Chechen military commanders and the society at large.

    Another prominent factor in contributing to the spread of the Wahhabi/Salafi trend in the post-Soviet space was the cross-sectarian appeal of an online Chechen news-website called Kavkaz Center, which was the go-to resource for many Russian speaking Muslims for daily news and religious information. Kavkaz-Center played a significant role in formulating the political worldview of many Shia and Sunni Muslims in the late 1990s and early 2000s. While the website later lost its appeal , it had by then made a significant soft-power impact on a generation of Muslims from the post-Soviet space.

    Towards the start of the second Chechen war in 1999, the Chechen forces and the semi-autonomous foreign militias present in Chechnya adopted a Salafi narrative and methodology. The resort of the Chechen forces in the second Chechen war to un-Islamic terrorist methodology undermined the legitimacy of their cause and created a split within the Chechen population.

    By the end of 2007, the Chechen pro-independence movement had lost its way as it declared the so-called Caucasian Emirate and Wahhabized its political objectives by aiming to establish some sort of Islamic Emirate encompassing most of the North Caucasus. The so-called Emirate objective proved to be a fatal long-term socio-political mistake.

    Chechnya and its Islamic Narrative of Today

    When the proxy war against Iran within the borders of Syria was launched in 2011, Muslim citizens of Russia flooded into the ranks of Al-Qaeda minded groups and later formed the military backbone of Daesh. However, it was not just Muslims of Russia who got drawn towards the regressive message of Daesh, Muslims from many parts of the Soviet Union joined the Saudi educated terrorist outfit. In January 2017, Tajikistan’s Interior Ministry said that around 1,100 of its citizens were fighting in Syria and Iraq. One of the Tajiks who joined Daesh was former Tajik special-forces commander Gulmorod Halimov.

    The presence of a substantial number of Tajiks within Wahhabi groups in Syria is a serious indicator that Wahhabism had gained a solid presence in the FSU region. Tajikistan was the only Central Asian country with an officially registered Islamic party, the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), that participated in the government due to its popularity and active role during the struggle for Tajik independence. However, over the last decade the dictator of Tajikistan, Emomali Rakhmonov, has severely persecuted IRPT members and also declared the first Islamic political organization of the FSU region illegal.

    The Wahhabi organizations did not just attract recruits from traditional Sunni heartlands of the former Soviet Union. Hundreds from Azerbaijan, the second largest Shia country percentage wise, joined the takfiri groups in Syria.

    Nevertheless, after Russia managed to pacify the pro-independence movement in Chechnya in the last 12 years, it granted the region a vast degree of autonomy. In April 2015, Chechnya’s regional head, Ramzan Kadyrov, publicly stated that Chechen police officers should open fire upon any law enforcement agents from other Russian regions if they operate in Chechnya without the permission of the local Chechen administration. This is a bold statement that probably no other head of the Russian region would get away with. Prominent Islamic current affairs magazine, Crescent International, recently noted that “ in a practical sense today Islam in Russian controlled Chechnya is implemented in a far broader sense than in the so-called independent Muslim states of Central Asia and South Caucasus.”

    With the above in mind, Salafi/Wahhabi Islam is still a very potent force in the region of the FSU. With the crackdown on legitimate Islamic socio-political organizations from Azerbaijan to Tajikistan, the Salafi/Wahhabi trend is still viewed by many youths as a type of “opposition Islam” which cannot be co-opted by the ruling regime*"

    *As opposition to Chechen "Uncle-Toms".

    "Muslims the world over were eager to support the resurgence of Islam throughout the region and as a result money from richer countries poured into the former Soviet republics to support the rebuilding of mosques, schools, and other forms of Islamic expression. The same took place in Chechnya. However with the move by Moscow in 1994 to crush the Chechen independence movement and the subsequent war (1994–1996), this influx of foreign money took an ill-fated turn. As the Russian forces invaded, the salafi jihadists who had just won their war with the Soviet Union in Afghanistan turned their concern to other conflict zones involving Muslims. The plight of the Chechens during the war and the numerous human rights abuses that occurred at the hands of the Russians were well publicized; hence Chechnya became identified by these jihadi groups as one of the most important new battlegrounds. Money which had already been pouring in from foreign countries to rebuild Islamic institutions now became much more tightly focused on the perceived oppression of the Chechens who were caught up in armed conflict to win their independence; the militant form of Wahhabism which had sustained the Afghan jihadists began its journey into Chechnya. It was carried in by many means, including via foreign fighters with Afghan war experience who appeared in Chechnya to aid in what they saw as the jihad against Russia. The most notable of these was Saudi born Khattab who came to Chechnya in 1995.

    During the first war the goals of the nationalist rebels were clear: national independence from Russia. The Islamic identity of the Chechen nationalists did not play heavily into their rhetoric or actions. Indeed in 1992 Chechnya had adopted a constitution defining it as an independent secular state governed by a president and parliament. Four years later however as the war was ending, things had changed dramatically. Chechnya’s first elected president, Dudayev, complained bitterly that, “Russia … has forced us to take the Islamic path.” 4 He made this statement in response to the failure of both sides to find a suitable end to the war of independence and his feeling that it drove the nationalists into the arms of the better-funded and better trained Wahhabists. Thus while the first war was essentially nationalist and separatist in nature, even toward its end Chechen leaders were beginning to feel the effects of the Wahhabist influence in terms of funding and ideology."


    "The Council of Muftis of the Chechen Republic on August 4 officially declared a jihad against “Wahhabism.” Interfax quoted Chechen Mufti Sultan Mirzaev as telling journalists that the decision had been announced during a meeting between representatives of the clergy and law-enforcement agencies in the village of Tsentoroi, which is the home village of the Kadyrov clan. Mirzaev said it was the largest such meeting since the death of Akhmad Kadyrov in May 2004. “Wahhabism is the plague of the 20th and the 21st centuries,” he said. “All Arabic scholars have come to be unanimous that those fighting against Wahhabism are on the path of jihad, following the way of Allah.” Wahhabis and terrorists, he said, “are bringing evil into the world and the entire world must oppose them. We adopted an official fatwa (a religious ruling in Islam – Interfax), so that those fighting terrorism and Wahhabism have no doubt that their cause is just. We have declared war on these phenomena. Those killing innocent people must be either stopped or put behind bars or exterminated. This has to be done by whatever method. Our fatwa is that those who have shed blood, those who do not want to stop must be killed by any method.” Mirzaev said rebels had killed sixteen district imams in Chechnya and that he himself had been “seriously wounded” in a rebel attack. “Should I remain silent about this?” he said. “If it becomes necessary, I will take up arms and I am ready to fight against them.”" but this was the 1970s..

    So one creates the conditions for fundamentalism then exploits the polarisation for one's own ends murdering civilians as one does so and using black flag protocols for one's propaganda...exactly the same as NATO...why be an apologist for the Russian regime (also see thread below), ..? Putin is no comrade to the socialist and no friend to the cause of human emancipation either.....It's far to easy to fall for the polarisation and boy is it tedious.. (smacks of Stalinism too...)

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