Lack of logic or logic of the Kremlin?

We haven’t written about the former Council of Muftis of Russia, now known as the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of Russia (SDMR), for a long time. And that’s understandable — due to limited resources we try to write about the most important things, and this structure has long lost any significant value for history and political life that it once sought to have. But it’s interesting to watch what happens there from time to time. And what is happening lately is the reception of guests. Expensive and important ones. For whom — another question, although the answer is obvious.

One of these «expensive guests» was recently the Libyan rebel dictator Khalifa Haftar, whose meeting with Putin we wrote about. And shortly after that, the leaders of an Iranian organization promoting Sunni-Shiite rapprochement (World Assembly for Proximity of Islamic Denominations), led by Hamid Shahriar, were also received.

One might ask, what is interesting about this? The interesting part, as it may seem, is the complete absence of any principles, interests and agenda, although this is not actually the case. But let’s talk about everything in order.

Regardless of Haftar’s politics in Libya, in religious terms it is characterized by a preference for certain types of Salafi groups — the so-called Madkhalis (we apologize in advance to those who do not consider them Salafi, but they themselves identify as such). And this group is known for its uncompromising attitude not only toward Shiites, but even toward the Muslim Brotherhood.

So what logic allows one to embrace Shiites today and those who waged war against them yesterday? And we haven’t even asked where the sympathies of the leaders of the SDMR have gone with regard to those very members of the Muslim Brotherhood that Haftar is trying to eradicate in Libya?

Looking at all this, it might seem that there is no logic in the SDMR leadership’s behavior of hosting expensive guests with opposing political and theological views. But this would be a mistake.

In fact, there is logic in their behavior, and this logic is clear and precise. It lies in serving the Kremlin and any of its aspects that can be somehow connected with Islam and the Muslim world. Therefore, if it is necessary to host Haftar, who is fighting against the Shiites, then they will host Haftar. If it is necessary later to host representatives of Iran, which is an ally of the Kremlin on many important issues, then they will host them. If they need to host the Aga Khan, they will host the Aga Khan. If they have to meet with the Taliban, who do not consider him a Muslim, they will meet with them.

So to our readers who have written to us about this and asked for a comment, we simply advise them to look at all of this in the right perspective. In this case, we are talking about employees of the Kremlin’s «Muslim Protocol Service» receiving «expensive guests» from the Islamic world. If we look at it this way, no further questions will arise.

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