Chechniya and muslims?

Please explain the link - I’m confused because I thought the Chechniyan’s have been fighting for independence from Russia on ethnic lines and the recent link to Islam is due to Alkaeda infiltration. What is the percentage of muslims to christians in Chechniya - anyone?

Some basic information here:

(BTW, you’ll find much more information searching for Chechnya rather than Chechniya)

Thank you for the good website.

No problem. A Google search (with the spelling I mentioned, which seems to be the most common in English) will easily turn up plenty of media sites, showing all sides of the conflict. And history sites. And crackpot extremist ones. It’s your job to sort one from the other :slight_smile:

Hence my OP - I was hoping that respondents could come up with their own takes on the situation and sift out the crap. Whilst Google is always and option, it is sometimes better to get expert opinion from other dopers, should it exist.

That site you linked to had lots of good information, GorillaMan, though the article was obviously translated from Russian sources. Their spelling of “Vakhabite” instead of Wahhabi was a little annoying. But nowhere near as annoying as the Wahhabis themselves.

Along the same lines as Gorilla’s suggestion, the people indigenous to Chechnya are generally called “Chechens” (confusingly, there are a lot of ethnic Russians, Armenians and Ingushetians around as well). Also, “al Qaeda” is the most common transliteration. Try Googling these instead, see if you have more luck…

Another thing to consider - many of the official sources that might be helpful for these questions (eg the CIA World Factbook) are peddling an official government line. Most don’t recognize Chechnya as a separate entity, and therefore do not supply statistics on it.

Similarly, you should remember that the question of whether there is a Chechen separatist - al Qaeda link has political overtones. The Russian government supports the idea of a link, but since this is politically convenient for them (since it blurs the line between local separatists and Osama and co), you should take notice of the source of the information, and take it with a grain of salt. Remember the stories about a nexus between Iraq and al Qaeda, for example.

If you look at what happened in Algeria (and more recently in the Philippines) for so long, you will see that it doesn’t matter what the % of Muslims is in a place, they want to dominate - they want a Taliban-like regime & a religion-based government. In Algeria they cut the throats of thousands of women and children in village after village for a decade trying to take over. That Russia says Al Queda is involved indicates that this is not some freedom-loving separatist group in Chech - just the opposite - which, if they succeed means Russia will forever have a hostile regime on its border trying to also takeover other repubics like Georgia. It is an interesting question to consider - The current U.S. admin claims to want to instal “democratic” practices in places like Iraq. But how can “democracy” and Islam co-exist? Is there any Muslim dominated nation in existence that is actually “democratic?” How would we know for sure as they are all so utterly corrupt? I must admit here that the U.S. & Canada are both becoming almost as corrupt in every way as any other regime in the world - so we may soon ask if “democracy” (I use the word very lightly) can continue to exist here. Certainly our own religious fanatics are always working against its survival.

twelvericepaddies, your post is more suited toward GD than to GQ. In the interest of providing some facts, however, it should be noted that the insurgency in the Philipines pre-dated the U.S. conquest of those islands in the nineteenth century and that the insurrection has suffered from being accused of savages, Mohammedans, Communists, and, now, Islamists. It is simply one group of people who are seeking independence who will accept help where they can find it.

The notion that Islam is incompatible with democracy is popular among some people, but it relies on selective interpretation of events to bolster its (largely false) claim.

Mohammedans and Islamists are pretty well the same thing.

It is not simply one group of people! Away with the broad brush! There are at least four separate groups that have been involved in the insurgency,the Moro National Liberation Front, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Abu Sayyaf, and the New People’s Army (Communist rebels) . All groups are heavily populated by muslims, but the middle two are quite radical and the Abu Sayyaf is the group that most believe is connected to al Qaeda. The communists are a whole other ball game.

I’m curious as to how the insurgents have suffered by being accused of being what they self identify as? Please note that group one is in power in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Well if the claim is largely false, can you selectively interpret an event to bolster your assertion that Islam is compatible with democracy ? Largely?

Reference: BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Guide to the Philippines conflict

Not really. The labels I used were the labels applied by their opponents in chronological order. While they have always been Muslim, the Islamist movement is separate from the mere fact of their religion in 1903 or 1911.

Your BBC link simply discusses the current factions within the various groups fighting for independence. It pretty well ignores the history in which the parents and aunts and uncles and grandparents of the current fighters were associated with the “Communists” that preceded them and the “Mohammedans” that preceded them. Each group has looked for help where they could find it, so after the indigenous rebellion was suppressed, they turned to Communists in the middle of the century and, as that source of support dried up, they turned to the Islamist groups now active. The Islamist support does pose the threat of leaving a Fundamentalist Islamist mindset among the rebels, just as the Communist support left the threat of turning them into socialists. However, the rebellion springs from the people and the support is simply where they can find it. It is not a specific Islamist movement.

I really don’t know where you get that idea. In my opinion you have some research to do before entering threads like this one to make such weird statements in the firm belief that you give here a factual answer/information.

  1. “Mohammedans” do not exist. (Tom, you could have pointed that out to begin with, I am surprized as to why you did not).
    It is a terminology that was used by the early days Orientalists (of mostly Christian background) who deliberately or not (mostly not) took Muslims for followers of Muhammed in the same way Christians follow the teachings of Jesus.
    The word “Mohammedans” is not used anymore and certainly not on academic level. Therefore refering to Muslims as “Mohameddans” is a give away for having no understanding about Islam and its followers (and for relying on outdated sources when wanting to gain information.)

  2. Islamism/Islamists is the commonly used name when refering to movements that are loose coalitions of 3 elements:
    a) An opposition elite of better situated people like businessmen and other professionals.
    b) A second component is formed by frustrated intellectuals and by people with a university or secondary school diplome who are are frustrated by their unemployment or by being underemployed
    c) A thrid component is to be found among a large base uneducated or half-educated young people.

In addition to the former categories there is the presence of a mixture recruted among poor urban areas (and this often in a sort of competition with crimals who focus on drugs or smuggling or the likes.)

Some argue that these core of militants is getting younger and less educated but I don’t support this view.
The core of the Islamist movements is in my experience still formed by the vast mass of urban young males who are unemployed, received some education yet can’t validate it and/or can’t find a way to get access to higher education.

One of the greatest problem in all the countries of the MENA region is its seemingly uncontrolable population growth (figures on this vary a bit but it is in my view reasonable to following the estimations that this already goes on for over 40 years and that populations double in merely 25 years.)
Although there are some indications that there is a slow decline, the presence of so many young people influences ever aspect of economic, social and political development of the society.
It is a problem that is largely overlooked in common discussions about “what goes wrong in the ME” while it is most certainly among the most important factors of all the problems the region faces today.

.As for Chechnya:
There are indications that Wahabbi orientated outside influence is still present in the region and is gaining steadily influence among more radical opponents of the Russian oppression. (I only have some vague information on that, I think this is a subject for Eva Luna to expand on). Yet even so, I can’t imagine myself that such radical elements who bring teachings and traditions that are in opposition with the present (Sufi based) doctrines have a vast public support. I would say: on the contrary.
Salaam. A

Forgot: I didn’t read the article behind the link. It goes about a different situation that is of no importance in this thread. Could be an interesting issue for an other one in GD though. Not one for which I have some special interest because I have no clue about the finesses of that situation. :slight_smile:

Perhaps you might provide some cites to support your contrary opinions in the previous post. Hey, I’m all for research.

Well, I suppose that Moslems do not exist either then. Or Orientalists. Or perhaps you might explain how Mohammedans differ from Muslims or Moslems. Or lets go back all the way. Is the Koran an outdated source? (By the way, when taking on tomndebb you may be surprised to learn that he takes a dim view of spelling errors.)

I would just love to get a cite to back up this definition of Islamism. Not one mention of the prophet or Allah? Your definition of Islamism could encompass the black civil rights movement the second half of the 20th century!