The Influence of Wahhabism on the Commission of Crimes of a Terrorist Nature in Russia: Criminological Aspects

By Pavlik, Michael Yu | Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues, January 1, 2017 | Go to article overview

The Influence of Wahhabism on the Commission of Crimes of a Terrorist Nature in Russia: Criminological Aspects


Pavlik, Michael Yu, Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues


INTRODUCTION

At the turn of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries there is a noticeable increase in the influence of Islam on political, economic, cultural processes and international relations in the world. Its strengthened influence can be seen on the post-Soviet space. From the late 80s to the present time, various Islamic political trends, groupings, organizations that operate at the international and regional levels have been formed here. Some of them are trying to cooperate with the official authorities, while others are making radical-opposition demands to it. In a number of regions of the former Soviet Union, in particular in the North Caucasus, the activity of radical Islamic trends has become a factor of instability, which negatively affects the international relations of the new independent states with the countries of the Islamic world. The phenomenon of politicization of Islam from the mid-1990s can also be seen where the Muslim community of the Crimea at the beginning of the 21st century demonstrated the ability to perceive the social ideas of Islam, sometimes even in radically extremist forms, which became a completely new and unexpected phenomenon for the state. These circumstances determine, first of all, the relevance of the chosen topic.

At the same time, sociologists have revealed signs of a contradictory public reaction to the dynamic growth of the role of Islam in world politics, the emergence of a fairly integral community of Muslims, which resulted in a gradual increase in the level of tension in society and contributed to the formation of a distrustful view of Muslims. The surge in the activity of radical Islamic groups, the ultra-radicals carrying out terrorist acts, the violent protests of Muslims against the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad led to the belief that Islam as a religion is supposedly extremist in the minds of the general public (especially after the September 11 tragedy) and Muslims are allegedly inclined to terrorism by their nature. Against the backdrop of the foolish information policy of the media sphere in its pursuit of sensation, along with a deficit of accurate scientific knowledge of Islam, the biased, is steadily forming a prejudiced attitude of at least part of society towards Muslims as a whole.

The increase in the level of intensity of anti-Muslim phobias is often associated with the implementation of special political technology projects on the territory of the Russian Federation, called to consolidate the Russian community on the perceived danger, to provoke a state of internal mobilization for the achievement by the subjects of international politics of concrete Political goals by imposing in the media space the sharply negative image of the "Muslim terrorist". Along with this, the lack of minimal religious education and elementary Islamic training in the part of political analysts and journalists that cover events in the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Crimea leads to the appearance of a bizarre confusion with concepts that are incomprehensible to a wide audience with undetermined content in many publications. Islamic fundamentalism and radicalism, Wahhabis and Salafis and the like are mentioned most of all.

Given this, there is an urgent need for a scientific study of the "Islamic radicalism" phenomenon (other common variants of its name are "radical Islam", "Islamism"), the need for a clearer vision of the specific features of its political platform as compared to traditional Islam is growing. Accordingly, the main problem of the article is the definition of the radical version of Islamic fundamentalism's essence as an important stream of Islamic political thought, the features of the "Islamic radicalism" concept functioning (hereinafter IR) in science and media space and the use of its image in political technology projects. An important step towards solving this problem is to clarify the concepts' content related to the IR fundamentalism, Wahhabism, extremism, ultraradicalism, etc. …

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