Abstract. The article explores the current place and role of the Russian Muslim community in the global Islamic Ummah. The evolution of the community’s relations with Islamic countries in the post-Soviet era, along with the growing interest shown to it by Muslims worldwide, is studied. Perception of current events in the Middle East by Muslims in Russia, as well as their participation in these events, is analyzed. Here it is important to mention their presence and activity in the ranks of the Islamic State. According to some information, the number of mudjahids from Russia reached four thousand. Even after the defeat of the IS, some Russian Muslims stayed in the Middle East. Moscow declares that the existence of Muslim minorities contributes to the country’s good relations with the Islamic World. Russian Muslims support the official course in the foreign policy. However, the article also refers to the attempts of some Muslim politicians and representatives of the clergy, despite their loyalty to the authorities, to speak out in some cases and take an independent position that may differ from the official foreign policy course. Firstly, it concerns Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of the Chechen Republic, who makes attempts to establish direct ties with some Muslim countries, first of all, in the Persian Gulf. Moreover, Kadyrov expressed his disagreement with official position during the crisis in Myanmar, when Russia supported the fight of the country’s government against the Muslim opposition. Also there was a disappointment in the Republic of Tatarstan regarding Russian-Turkish conflict in 2015.
Keywords: Islam, Ummah, Middle East, Islamic State, Russian Muslims, Kadyrov, Tatarstan, foreign policy
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