Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

The Newspaper Discourse Dynamics of Religious Extremism in the Tatarstan Republic

Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

The Newspaper Discourse Dynamics of Religious Extremism in the Tatarstan Republic

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

The Tatarstan Republic is an example of different ethnic and confessional groups representatives' tolerant coexistence. Of them Tatars (53,1%) and Russians (39,7%) (Results of the All-Russian population census - 2010, free, reference date: 3/20/2016), Muslims (50,4%) and Orthodox Christians (38,7%) are main (R. G. Minzaripov, S. A. Akhmetova, L.R. Nizamova, 2013, p. 232). Historically a cohabitation of the different people on one territory has generated the high level of tolerance that is confirmed by sociological polls data. Results of the region inhabitants interviewing carried out by sociologists of the Kazan Federal University in 2012 show that 91% of respondents estimate condition of the inter-ethnic relations in the republic as favorable, quiet and satisfactory (R. G. Minzaripov, S. A. Akhmetova, L.R. Nizamova, 2013, p. 232). The idea of tolerance was for many years and continues to remain one of the official political discourse crucial elements.

In Post-Soviet Russia questions of religious extremism spreading, radicalization of Islam rose in the analysis of the North Caucasus situation, the region considered as threat of Wahhabism and terrorism spreading. The Tatarstan Republic, occupying "medium" place on Russian map, was presented as an example of tolerant coexistence of the different people and faiths, as center of the Tatar and Muslim cultures.

The possibility of crushing the status of the republic as stable region in the ethno-confessional plain has arisen in 2012 and 2013 in connection with religious orientation crimes. On July 19, 2012 there was an attack on leaders of Spiritual management of Tatarstan Muslims (the head of education department Valiulla Yakupov has been shot near the house, the mufti of the republic Ildus Fayzov has been wounded as a result of car explosion). In the fall of 2013 several orthodox churches have burned down, the peak of fires has fallen on the second half of November when four temples were damaged.

Within research interest there was a question of how these events are presented in official newspapers of the federal and regional centers which actually are or can be spokesmen of elite opinions. Electronic versions of Russian Gazette (the federal edition) and Tatarstan Republic (the regional edition) newspapers have been analyzed. In 2012 on the website of Russian Newspaper there was a heading "Assassination Attempt on the Mufti of Tatarstan" from where from June 19 till October 30 52 articles have been selected. In the Tatarstan Republic newspaper from July 20 till July 22 and from October 24 to November 15, 2012 27 articles were chosen. Lengthening of the considered period has been connected with the fact that on October 24 intelligence agencies have destroyed alleged offenders. In 2013 articles in the studied cases was 10 times less - in Russian Newspaper - 7 articles, in the Tatarstan Republic - 13; the considered period is from November 16 to December 31.

Within work the following research questions have been brought up: 1) do the taken place events have serious consequences in the form of religious extremism further distribution or are these local criminal acts described; 2) who has been included in the images "we" - "they", how large-scale is the inclusion; 3) what strategy maintenance / overthrow of the approved status quo was used, what is the republic position as the tolerant region in the ethno-confessional plain.

RESEARCH METHODS

The American expert in the field of sociological research qualitative techniques A. Berger suggested considering materials of mass media as the narrative containing consecutive expansion of the subject line, the narration (Berger A.A., 1996, p. 214). Thus, the considered religious extremism manifestation cases can be presented in the form of independent stories from the beginning, we develop the subject line and the conclusion. It is interesting to reveal whether there is some interrelation between these two cases. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.