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Religious political technology: Damir Mukhetdinov’s ‘Russian Islam’

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This contribution introduces the concept of ‘religious political technology’ (RPT), using as a case study the strategies of Damir Mukhetdinov, deputy mufti of the Moscow-based muftiate DUMRF. RPT encompasses the construction and professional dissemination of an ideological platform that presents religion – in this case Islam – as an asset to the state and the nation. Mukhetdinov’s RPT is historically enrooted in Russia’s Islamic discourse (through references to Tatar intellectuals and theologians of the late imperial period), and presented as loyal, tolerant, peaceful and modern – and at the same time as ‘traditionalist’. His RPT is meant to appeal to mainstream trends in Russian society (including Neo-Eurasianism and Slavophile thought), to the Orthodox Church, and to the Kremlin; it also presents itself as an instrument of Russia’s foreign policy. At the same time, Mukhetdinov’s provocative statements meet strong opposition.
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Keywords: Chechnya; Eurasianism; Jadidism; Kremlin; Tatars

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of History, European Studies and Religious Studies, Faculty of Humanities, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Publication date: March 15, 2019

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