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Introduction: the image of Islam in Russia

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Russia has a long, complicated and, at times, contradictory relationship with Islam and Muslims. Islam is classified as one of the ‘traditional’ religions, along with Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism. Throughout Russia’s history across the centuries, the efforts by the state and Muslims to define their relationship have led to contradictory outcomes. This special issue grew out of a conference that took place in 2016, seeking to explore the complicated nature of the image of Islam in Russia from a multidisciplinary perspective. A collection of six contributions explore how Islam is viewed and projected in the public and media sphere in contemporary Russia, including state attempts to ‘manage’ the development of Islam, initiatives to transform the public image of Muslims and the charitable work of a mosque at the local level.
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Keywords: Islamic identities; Muslim community; Russia; political and security threats; ‘Native’ Islam

Document Type: Introduction

Affiliations: Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Publication date: March 15, 2019

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