Staunton, November 25 Given his reputation for the outrageous, few people paid much attention to Supreme Mufti Talgat Tajuddin’s observation two weeks ago that Russia’s Muslims already have a caliphate: “It is called Holy Rus”.
But far more are likely to attend to the notion that “the best ideals” of Holy Rus are not only linked to the Islamic caliphate but also to the USSR” now that this idea is being pushed by Archpreist Vsevolod Chaplin, a protégé and spokesman for Moscow Patriarch Kirill.
The head of the Synod Department for Church-Society Relations says that around the world “people are seeking justice, higher meanings, and the re-ordering of the world as it is. We must give them the chance to achieve what they want by peaceful and lawful but very direct means.”
To do so, Chaplin said in comments to hearings at the Russian Civic Chamber yesterday, “we must here in Russia realize the best ideals of Holy Rus, the caliphate, and the USSR; that is, of those systems which challenge the injustice and diktat of small elites over the will of the peoples.”
At various points in the past decade, Vladimir Putin has suggested that Orthodoxy is closer to Islam than to Roman Catholicism, but Chaplin’s statement especially at a time when the Kremlin insists it is fighting ISIS rather than propping up the Assad dictatorship is striking.