The «crusade» against the «Islamization of Russia» initiated by the mouthpiece of pro-Kremlin hawks — the Telegram channel «Readovka» with 2.3 million subscribers — is gaining momentum. It is worth recalling that a week ago this channel, financed by the presidential administration, called for an official ban on the niqab in Russia, arguing that it had nothing to do with traditional Islam in Russia and that Muslims living in the Christian-majority country should abide by its rules (https://golosislama.com/news.php?id=41925). This time, the pro-Kremlin channel goes further, calling on the Russian Orthodox community to declare a cultural war against the «Islamization of Russia,» which it says is happening through «memes and TikToks» (https://readovka.space/shaitan-lies-in-the-details).
The article states: «It is known that TikToks, shorts, clips or reels — different names for the same template of short videos on social media — are gradually conquering the information space, which means that they are already at the core of soft Islamization. Such videos are often entertaining, but they also become a platform for the propagation of views and customs. …. Hassbik, who seems to be the object of ridicule, is also a millionaire and a «faithful» Muslim, always supported by brothers who are also lovers of a luxurious life, expensive cars, vacations in the UAE and occasional Koran readings…. Or there is the Astrakhan blogger Ruslan, a butcher, whose favorite phrase, according to users, is «alhamdulillah»….. This soft Islamization has two obvious vectors of development. On the one hand, the invitation to explore the Muslim world through memes becomes a kind of inoculation of tolerance — young users’ perceptions of Islam can easily shift from misunderstanding to tolerance and eventually to genuine interest. On the other hand, there is a growth of animosity, as when you want to relax by watching videos, and one after another you are confronted with sermons or excerpts from the Sunnah that you not only do not understand, but simply do not want to delve into.»
Finally, the authors call on Russian society to engage in a cultural mobilization from which a «bold and prosperous person associated with Orthodox Christianity» could emerge as an alternative path for Russians who do not want to know about the Sunnah or immerse themselves in the foundations of the cultural traditions of the Arab and Turkic worlds.
So what are we dealing with here? First of all, it is obvious that contrary to what the «Kremlin Muslims» hoped and tried to convince us, the war of attrition with Ukraine and the West will not make the «Russian world» forget the «Islamic threat» or turn to Islam for salvation. On the contrary, realizing that they have fallen into a trap (which they have set for themselves), they are deeply concerned that while this war is eroding the already limited demographic resources of Russians (and of course those of other ethnic groups, but they don’t care about them), Muslims are strengthening their demographic position through higher birth rates and migration. Second, as we can see, any form of Islam, even the most politically powerless, is a threat to them. And although the article mentions radicals and Abdullah Kostexky for the sake of decency, the real threat turns out to be Hassbik or Ruslan, through whom Russians are becoming accustomed to Islamic expressions and images on social media. So if anyone thought that they would support the «Russian world» in its struggle against the West and Ukraine, and that they would be loved and embraced, they are told that this is not the case. And if anyone thought that Abdulmumin Gadzhiev and Aslambek Ezhayev would be imprisoned and Abu Umar Sasitlinsky expelled, but people like Habib and Hassbik would be allowed to promote a completely apolitical Islam as an example of their success, they are also being told that this is not the case. So, isn’t it time for Muslims to come to their senses and realize that for the builders of the «Russian world», for which thousands of young men with Muslim names and surnames have died and continue to die, you will remain a threat as long as there is something of Islam left in you and as long as you continue to promote it in any way?