It would seem unfathomable to imagine that a country where Muslims are among the largest religious groups is at the same time an enemy of Islam. But that’s exactly the case with Russia.
The thing is that traditionally, Russian authorities – both in the Soviet era and modern times – never reflected any high moral principles, so playing the card of interethnic and interreligious strife has always contributed to the strengthening of their autocratic, repressive regime.
Throughout Russia’s history, its authorities have been steadily imposing on their population enmity toward non-Slavic ethnic groups and non-Orthodox Christian religions, leading to a variety of insulting clichés emerging in the society. This made it possible both to divert public attention from pressing internal economic and political problems, placing a focus on factors of interethnic rejection, and to tighten control over the population.
But it is also important that Russia has been exploiting these interethnic and interreligious differences in order to unleash wars, stage provocations, and spread fake and manipulative news. For example, during the First and Second Chechen wars, the “interethnic hostility” factor played a critical role and served as a pretext for the massive extermination of the Chechen population, which amounted to genocide.
Nothing stopped the Russian army from carpet-bombing Syrian cities, destroying schools, hospitals, and residential quarters. The Russian interventionists staged genocide of the Syrian people on a scale just as major as that pursued by a bloody dictator Bashar al-Assad.
Another recent example is Karabakh. In 2020, during the 44-day war, Russian propagandists were spinning fakes about Azerbaijani troops “shelling” religious shrines, including Christian churches and even mosques. Armenia’s illegal armed formations in Karabakh deliberately fired on the ancient Iranian mosque in Shusha, but it’s precisely the Azerbaijani military that was accused of the attack. This was done in order to sow distrust across the Muslim world towards Azerbaijanis and tar them in the eyes of the fellow Muslims.
Since early 2023, a series of provocations has taken place involving the public burning of the Quran.
In Sweden’s Stockholm, wannabe politician Rasmus Paludan in a defiant stunt burned the Quran outside the Turkish embassy. He claimed the performance was his reaction to Ankara’s long hesitation to approve Sweden’s bid for Nato membership. In fact, his task was to block this very process.
It was recently revealed that Mr Paludan had been in close contact with the Russian intelligence and repeatedly met with the Wagner Group members. The man is simply a puppet in the hands of the Russian “special services” working within the plot to discredit Sweden, while the Quran became a tool for achieving the psyop goals.
This week, a hastily filmed series of videos was circulated across Runet purportedly showing Ukrainian soldiers slicing pork fat (a traditional Ukrainian snack) using the Quran as a cutting board (with a knife, which is a Chinese copy of Columbia, purchased specifically for the Akhmat ethnic Chechen military units); starting a fire with the Quran pages (while speaking in a dialect that is not even close to Ukrainian and using words that aren’t popular anywhere in Ukraine); as well as using the these pages as toilet paper…
It seems like the Russian intelligence agencies have some kind of fetish for insulting Islam and, more specifically, the Quran. And, of course, I’d like to ask what Russian Muslims will say, watching this cheap and ridiculous hoax.
Again, the actors were cutting pork on the Holy Quran with a knife, which is part of standard gear for the Akhmat unit – an element of the Russian Guard. And yes, worth noting is the reaction by Putin’s long-term ally, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who poured gallons of bile on the “infidels” and even offered bounty for their capture.
But this is exactly the case where someone is so zealously trying to find the villain that all traces eventually lead to them. But that’s not even the most important thing.
The important thing is that for the Russian Muslims serving with the Akhmat unit or Kadyrov’s troops, desecrating the Quran is totally appropriate if this is the way to fulfill the task set by the Russian leadership, which is to discredit Ukrainians in the eyes of the Muslim community. I can’t believe Kadyrov is so mentally challenged that he actually believed in what he saw in that hoax video? He isn’t. It’s just that he would also be fine with wiping himself with the Holy Book if his boss told him to.
This proves that modern Russia is nothing but the actual enemy of Islam. Anywhere across the globe where Russia pursues its interests be it Karabakh, Syria, Sweden, or Ukraine, they are ready to destroy Islamic shrines, kill Muslims, and desecrate the Quran to achieve their malign goals…