School of Arts and Sciences ILIA STATE UNIVERSITY


"The role of Islam and Islamism in the Chechen politics and society under the rule of Kadyrov"


The lecture focuses on the role of Islam and Islamism in the ‘Autonomous Republic of Chechnya’, which is officially part of the ‘Russian Federation and in a broader regional context part of a ‘conflict’ region in post-communist Eastern Europe with a multi-ethnic and multi-religious character, in which Islam plays an important local role. After a short introduction with details about the three development phases of i) nationalism, ii) jihadism and iii) Kadyrovism in Chechnya since the end of the Soviet Union the main focus is on radical Islam and Islamic conservatism, but the role of Sufism in Chechnya is also paid attention to as a contesting religious trend. All this sheds light on the highly ambivalent political, social and religious situation in Chechnya. Within the current context, the contradictions in Kadyrov’s authoritarian policies are detailed. These policies are torn between several poles: i) they are characterised by loyalties to the Russian central government, which is sometimes secular and sometimes strongly Christian, and to ‘Putinism’, which includes the struggle against jihadi movements, ii) a strongly Islamic-conservative social policy (which at times violates the Russian constitution, but this is tolerated by Putin for geostrategic reasons) and iii) partial cooperation with the strongly Islamic, Wahabi-orientated Saudi Arabia. Here, the role played by Chechen Islamists outside Chechnya, especially in the context of the Islamic State (IS) in the Near East, is also briefly laid out.

SpeakerChristoph Giesel

Date: 17:00 June 25, 2021

Languages:  English

Format: Online, Facebook Live

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