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Appropriating and contesting ‘traditional Islam’: Central Asian students at the Russian Islamic University in Tatarstan


Müller, Dominik (2019). Appropriating and contesting ‘traditional Islam’: Central Asian students at the Russian Islamic University in Tatarstan. Central Asian Survey, 38(3):400-416.

Abstract

Based on an ethnographic case study of an Islamic university in Russia, I examine how the state-implemented and bureaucratized traditionalization of Islam in Russia affects the everyday life of Central Asian students and how this project ‘from above’ is entangled with their coping strategies. I show how religious education has become a resource for the state as well as for young students and their parents. The Russian state uses these official religious institutions to control the Muslim population by creating and promoting a state-approved version of ‘traditional Islam’ and producing official religious specialists. For the young Muslim students, however, Islamic education provides, in addition to religious knowledge, access to networks, social security and new economic opportunities. It thereby offers a way to cope with the uncertainty caused by high unemployment rates and other socio-economic difficulties among young people.

Abstract

Based on an ethnographic case study of an Islamic university in Russia, I examine how the state-implemented and bureaucratized traditionalization of Islam in Russia affects the everyday life of Central Asian students and how this project ‘from above’ is entangled with their coping strategies. I show how religious education has become a resource for the state as well as for young students and their parents. The Russian state uses these official religious institutions to control the Muslim population by creating and promoting a state-approved version of ‘traditional Islam’ and producing official religious specialists. For the young Muslim students, however, Islamic education provides, in addition to religious knowledge, access to networks, social security and new economic opportunities. It thereby offers a way to cope with the uncertainty caused by high unemployment rates and other socio-economic difficulties among young people.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
390 Customs, etiquette & folklore
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Geography, Planning and Development
Social Sciences & Humanities > Development
Physical Sciences > Earth-Surface Processes
Uncontrolled Keywords:Islam in Russia, Islamic education, bureaucracy, migration, coping strategies, religious authority
Language:English
Date:2019
Deposited On:14 Feb 2020 10:58
Last Modified:22 Apr 2020 23:11
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0263-4937
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/02634937.2019.1636767

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