Crisis in Syria teaches the Russian Ummah a lesson
Lingering Syrian crisis is an opportunity for the Russian political and religious organisations to evaluate the errors made by Syria in the clerical medium.
Similarity of the situations in Syria and Russia is unique. This is why it is essential for Russia not to make the same mistakes as the Syrians did before the beginning of the conflict in their country in the first decade of the century.
As a part of enhancing relations with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Iran programme, the authorities of Syria did not pay due regard to the “religious” ideologies’ agitators alien to the Syrians. Every preacher delivered his own message to the Syrians. Syria turned into the arena of confrontation between various heretical movements.
What kind of lesson can it be for Russia? Like Syria, Russia has its own unique Muslim legacy and culture which need to be preserved, reinforced and introduced to the younger generation. It is important not to let foreign lecturers in, while we stay under the immediate geopolitical appeal.
Making use of the Syrian religious and educational centres’ difficulties, the so called “benefactors” from Saudi Arabia and other countries were kind enough to provide them with a considerable financial support. Clearly, these gestures of goodwill were not gratuitous. In return, they asked to enter some adjustments to the educational syllabus, to teach according to some “friendly” textbooks and to let some people recommended by “sheikhs” deliver lectures. For instance, the management of the study centre “Al-Fath” in Damascus agreed to accept such kind of charity. Even at its best time of its functioning, the graduates and students of the centre had viewpoints which were very different from those of the graduates and students of other educational institutions. Unfortunately, their distinctions were not quite positive.
What lesson can it be for Russia? Russia is a financially independent country. The fact that religion is separated from the state does not mean that the Russian religious and educational centres have to ask foreign countries in which religion and state are not separated for financial support. Russia is capable to support its own Muslim organisations itself.
Clearly, this does not mean that Russian Muslims are to be isolated from the international Ummah. It is essential to apply a positive international experience and knowledge of the foreign scholars if their viewpoint coincides with the spirit of Islam in Russia. It is widely believed that it is better to choose a neighbour before buying a house. If we, Russian Muslims, listen to this wise piece of advice and follow it, the outcome will be favourable.
What can serve as an example for us – global pessimism of some group of scholars or passionate enthusiasm and dedication of other scholars aiming to save at least one lost soul? Trying to save at least one human soul is an achievement for a genuine Muslim. The only way out of the current situation is agitation and propaganda of the genuine traditional Islam given to us by the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) and enriched with the experience of the multinational and multireligious society.
Educating all the generations, promoting the genuine traditional Islam, spreading true knowledge and publicly refuting the false statements about Islam will definitely pay back. Moreover, we should not repeat others mistakes. We are to learn from the mistakes of others.