Feb 28th, 2021 by akbarschamber
Since the middle of the sixteenth century, Russia has been home to a large but little-known Muslim community that stretches from the Caucasus mountains across the Volga-Ural plains to Siberia. Today, Russia’s Muslims make up between 10 and 15 percent of the overall population, between two and three times the proportion of Muslims in the European Union. In this episode of Akbar’s Chamber, we’ll trace the history of Russia’s multiethnic Muslim mosaic, from its origins and expansion under the Tsarist empire through the persecutions of the Soviet period to the religious revival of more recent decades. We’ll pay particular attention to the intellectual and spiritual traditions that found expressions in thousands of manuscripts and printed books written in languages that range from Arabic and Persian to Tatar and Kazak. Nile Green talks to Alfrid Bustanov, the author of Soviet Orientalism and the Creation of Central Asian Nations (Routledge, 2015).