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date: 22 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Compared with other European countries, Russia stands out by a contrast between, on the one hand, its anciently Islamized stable populations absorbed from the sixteenth century onwards into the Russian Empire and, on the other hand, the very recent character of mass labour immigration from the now independent countries of the former Soviet south. New transnational Muslim networks and the intensification of labour migration from the Caucasus and Central Asia have led to an unexpected alliance between the country’s ‘muftiates’ and the Russian Orthodox Church. However, a clear-cut dichotomy between ‘domestic = traditional = good’ and ‘foreign = fundamentalist = bad’ Islam has informed a growing Islamophobic public discourse and practice. This chapter assesses recent scholarship on Russia’s Islam on issues such as Islamic history studies; the cleavage between ‘domestic’ and ‘alien’ Islam; demographic studies; the sociology of religious identity; Islam in the public sphere; Islam in politics; and security and terrorism approaches.

Keywords: Russia, Islam, Orthodox Church, Islamophobia, Muslim studies, labour migration

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