Racial Problems in Soviet Muslim Asia

Racial Problems in Soviet Muslim Asia

Racial Problems in Soviet Muslim Asia

Racial Problems in Soviet Muslim Asia

Excerpt

The present brief study aims at describing the impact of the Russians and their civilization on the Muslim peoples of the eastern republics of the Soviet Union. Every effort has been made to record the facts in so far as they can be determined, without drawing either morals or comparisons. To present an objective picture is, however, no easy task. There are no impartial accounts of past and present events and affairs in Asiatic Russia during either the Tsarist or the Soviet periods, and claims and counterclaims made by supporters and opponents of the present régime are often exaggerated.

Outside the Soviet Union racial problems and the tension resulting from them have for many decades past been freely and often acrimoniously discussed wherever they arose, and the situation in some countries has been considerably eased by the grant of self-government to former colonial territories, sometimes willingly and sometimes under pressure. In the Soviet Union, which includes nearly half the total area of Asia, the authorities do not admit the existence of any racial tension or even of any racial problems. They say that this results from Article 123 of the Constitution, which stipulates that 'any kind of direct or indirect privileges for citizens on account of their racial or national characteristics, and similarly any encouragement of racial or national exclusiveness or of hatred or neglect are punishable by law.' But, as in other countries whose constitutions include or imply the same liberal principles, and where there is in fact no discriminatory legislation, it does not necessarily follow that people of all nationalities are treated equally or uniformly in the Soviet Union. There are indeed certain geographical and demographic factors which make this almost impossible.

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