Tag: Muslim Spiritual Directorate

Russia and Other Post-Soviet States Supplying Twenty Percent of Foreigners Fighting for ISIS, FSB Says

November 12, 2015

Staunton, November 11 – The post-Soviet states are currently supplying 7,000 of the 30,000 foreigners who have gone to Syria to fight for ISIS, according to Yevgeny Sysoyev, the deputy director of the FSB; with a large share of these coming from Muslim regions in the Russian Federation itself. On the one hand, he told […]

Newly-Reopened Mosque Anchor for Moscow’s 2.5 Million Muslims

September 23, 2015

Staunton, September 22 Vladimir Putin and other dignitaries attended the re-opening of the Cathedral Mosque in Moscow today. Russian media celebrated this as the largest mosque in Europe; they mostly did not focus on the fact that Moscow’s Muslim community is the largest in any European capital or that the Russian city has only three […]

By Declaring Itself Part of ISIS, Caucasus Emirate May Lose Support, Yarlykapov Says

May 31, 2015

Staunton, May 27 – The leaders of the Caucasus Emirate have declared themselves part of ISIS, but such declarations, given that many Salafis in the North Caucasus view ISIS as not being an Islamic project — an attitude Russian officials need to promote and exploit — may have the effect of weakening the group there, […]

Armenia Creates a Muslim Muftiate and Names Imam Trained in Iran to Head It

May 15, 2015

Staunton, May 14 – In a step that might seem absurd given the composition of Armenia’s population but that appears likely to send shockwaves through the Caucasus and perhaps further, the Assembly of Muslims of Armenia has created the position of mufti for the republic and named Arsen Safaryan, a graduate of an Iranian seminary […]

Moscow Muslims Venerate Tatar Woman Who Helped Keep Islam Alive in Soviet Capital

April 12, 2015

Staunton, April 11 – Every year in the spring, groups of Muslims at the behest of the Council of Muftis of Russia (SMR) and the Muslim Spiritual Directorate (MSD) of Moscow visit the Muslim sections of the major cemeteries of the Russian capital to make sure that all is in order with the graves of […]

Russia’s Closing Of Crimean Tatar Media Backfires On Moscow

April 3, 2015

Staunton, April 2 — No Crimean Tatar media outlet could ever do as much harm to Russia’s reputation and its ability to attract any members of that nation to its side as Moscow’s decision to shut down ATR and other Crimean Tatar broadcasters and publications already has, according to Anatoly Baranov, a Moscow commentator who […]

Moscow Radicalizing Crimean Tatars by Mistreating Them

December 3, 2014

Staunton, December 3 – Both before and after the Anschluss, the Crimean Tatars have been the most consistent opponents of the illegal Russian annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula that is their homeland. As a result, the occupation authorities have treated them badly, radicalizing a fundamentally pragmatic group rather than intimidating its members. In a 5800-word […]

Firebombing of Muslim Prayer Room in Buddhist Kalmykia Raises Specter of a Burma in Southern Russia

July 4, 2014

Staunton, July 4 – Much of the world has been shocked by the violent clashes between Buddhists and Muslims in Burma, clashes that have claimed many lives and destabilized that southeast Asian nation. But now there is a risk that a similar kind of conflict could emerge in predominantly Buddhist Kalmykia, a republic in southern […]

Crimean Muftiate Speaks Out as Russian Occupiers Ignore Crimean Tatars

June 12, 2014

Staunton, June 12 – As the Russian occupation authorities in Crimea continue to force out Crimean Tatars from positions of responsibility and exclude them from policy discussions, the Muslim Spiritual Directorate (MSD) there is playing a more prominent role in speaking out about Crimean Tatar concerns, especially in the area of “disappearances.” In an appeal […]