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Vladimir Putin’s support of moderate Muslim education reveals difference between Russia and the West

‘Destructive ideas can only be tackled by other ideas’ said Putin, stressing Russian patriotism is an inclusive concept

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Vladimir Putin said that Russia will “definitely support” Islamic education via “major state universities” in a meeting with top Muslim clergy in Kazan, RT reports.

I can already hear some voices gasping, but rest assured, this is still Putin, the traditional Russian Orthodox man, who in some publications is portrayed as a communist, and likewise in others as a Czarist, in some as an anti-immigration nationalist, while in others as a friend to Chechnya. We have already covered how a variety of ideologies each like to claim Putin as being of their school of thought, when in reality Putin is far more moderate than people realize.

Putin tries not to divide people into sectarian or ethnic lines, but rather to unite the entire country for the greater good of the whole. Before we explain what this support of Muslim education means in the context of Russian culture, let us first listen to Putin’s words in full before immediately taking our favorite soundbites and appropriating him to justify our cause.

Putin spoke on the importance of education for young Muslim people, as there exist many harmful ideas which target them. Dangerous radical groups often seek to recruit new members among young people in the Muslim regions of Russia. The Russian president realizes the truth applies here that education is paramount. Far more effective than guns and tight border control, or the disastrous immigration policies we have seen in Europe, letting in murderers and rapists disguised as refugees, education is the key to turning young Muslim people into opponents of radical ideologies, rather than becoming radicalized by terrorists.

Education is preventative in nature. It is crucial to teach critical thinking skills which can actively prevent young people from supporting radical thought. Putin described this when meeting with Russian Muslim leaders in Kazan:

These ideas, even destructive ones, can only be tackled in one way – through other ideas. Those, which are being promoted and taught to the people in the Theological Academy, which was created here [in Kazan] and in other academies and educational institutions… in Moscow, Ufa and the Caucasus,” he said.

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Kazan

Putin also said that:

Traditional Islam is an important part of Russia’s cultural code and that the Muslim community is, undoubtedly, a very important part of the Russian multinational population.

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The Kazan Kremlin – where Orthodox Churches and a Mosque stand side by side

Russian Muslims from the core Russian territories like Kazan (Tatarstan), Bashkortostan, Chuvashia, (as opposed to the more volatile Caucasus) are some of the most peaceful and well integrated [into a European society] Muslims in the world.

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Kazan is fully Russified

Cynics who imagine Muslims are all terrorists should realize that the idea of a terrorist attack in Kazan perpetrated by local Tatars (as opposed to terrorists from the Caucasus, or abroad) is almost unthinkable.

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So why is it that a Muslim region of Russia can be quite peaceful, whereas there are around 3000 violent extremists in Sweden with Islamist ideology. What is the difference between Muslims who have lived in Russia for centuries, and those from abroad?

The difference between how Russia successfully deals with and educates Muslims vs the western model reveals a critical failure of education from every level of society, particularly in two fields:

  1. Very poor knowledge of one’s own European, Christian culture and history.
    How can anyone begin to respect a foreign culture if they have zero understanding of their own culture and history?
  2. Very poor knowledge of Islamic history, and Muslim cultures. Very poor experience dealing with ANY foreign culture.
    Most westerners have a very poor understanding of foreign cultures. Even those who wish to welcome Muslims often know very little about them, their languages, their histories, and often confuse the religion for a race. Comparing a shamanistic Tatar-Mongolian Muslim to a Saudi Arabian Sunni Muslim, to a most secular Azerbaijani is like comparing the English, Italians, and Russians. They have some basic religious and European roots, beyond which they are totally different.

Ignorance of one’s Own Culture

It is surprising and sad how many Western Europeans have fallen victim to internationalist globalism, which disdains local culture. It is simply not fashionable in Western Europe to be a patriot. One can talk about “European values” which allows Ukraine to tear itself apart, and Scandinavian women to fall victim to brutal sexual assaults, but it is considered almost extremist to be willing to defend one’s culture. You may find more French young people who sing American pop songs, and read Japanese comics than those who would proudly sing la marseillaise or read Les Misérables.

In Russia, the situation is quite different. The entire country isn’t filled with Cossacks riding bears on every street constantly singing folk songs and screaming “Glory to Russia”. Sadly, you can still find amongst some groups, lack of enthusiasm towards one’s own culture and history, but generally speaking, Russians are far more patriotic than western Europeans.

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I feel the number of Russian men and women who would fight for Russia is FAR higher than displayed, but Russians are a lot like Ilia Muromets. They sleep like him, passively, but once awakened i.e. once Russia is threatened, they arise and defend the Motherland. Even if they don’t have every aspect of their history memorized, many Russians will tell you Russia is the best country in the world with genuine Faith. That respect for own’s own culture is key to respecting others. How can you respect another if you don’t even respect yourself – better yet, how can you expect a foreign people to respect yours, if you don’t respect your own?

How the West Approaches Foreign Cultures

The West’s general lack of self-consciousness often displays itself in two opposite ways:

  1. A rabid, xenophobic, hatred of foreign cultures. Like all racist ideologies, it’s largely based on ignorance. These people are not unlike small dogs who bark and bite at strangers because they feel constantly threatened and insecure about themselves. Perhaps if they studied their own history and culture, they would find something to be proud of. These people claim to be patriots, though xenophobic racist suits them better.
  2. A naive, disingenuine professed love for all peoples, more the result of virtue signaling and a desire to fit in with the globalist elite and the PC crowd than a genuine understanding of another culture. These people are like prey animals that simply lay down and cower when threatened, and they’re allowing violent extremists into Europe by the literal boatloads all for the sake of proving to the world how tolerant they are, even unto death. These people claim to be cosmopolitans, with a hatred for nationalism.

Russia has an entirely different approach.

How Russia Approaches Foreign Cultures

Russian patriotism is one of the most unique and ancient in the world. Historian Egor Kholmogorov, a living legend amongst conservatives goes as far as to say Russia is the birthplace of patriotism, with the most primordial sense of continuous nationhood in Europe – and I agree.

Whether or not you agree with that statement, it is undeniable Russia approaches Patriotism different from the west. This is how Vladimir Putin is able to be a devout Orthodox Chrisitan, but support Muslim people in establishing schools for their children in Russia. This is how Russia is able to shake hands with the Prime Minister of Israel in one moment, and in another, the President of Iran, receiving both with statesmanship and respect, even if Russia does not agree with either. Russia, in fact, does not agree with one of those aforementioned “gentlemen”, more than the other, but I’ll leave our readers to guess who. You’re all smart, you’ll figure it out.

Of all the worlds superpowers, only Russia could do such a thing, as meeting two diametrically opposed powers, while maintaining it’s own strong interests and national pride. It is in this unique Russian mentality that reveals how Russia is able to reconcile itself, and Kholmogorov describes it perfectly:

Russian national awareness evolved in a different way. It was not directed against a neighbor…Russian self-awareness was based on a positive patriotism, on love for one’s own land, people, culture, and ruler. The rejection of others expressed itself not in hatred but in a good-natured gibe similar to the manner in which The Lay of the Ruin describes the neighbors of Rus’.

The “foreign” becomes a threat only if it is injurious and harmful to Russian identity. It is menacing not as an external but as an internal threat, as demonstrated by the Time of Troubles.

How Russia Approaches Muslim Cultures

That quote above is key to how Russia deals with Muslim cultures. Russians are able to be profoundly patriotic, but lacking the xenophobia and racism of western extremists like white nationalists and Neo-Nazis. Russia approaches Muslims from a position of gentile strength, like it does all cultures. Russia says “This is not your land, this is Russian land, it is ours, but you are welcome to share it. In time…maybe you will become Russian”

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Our Lady of Kazan depicts the Blessed Virgin Mary and The Lord Jesus Christ. The Lady is protectress of the city and all Russia.

Russia will respect all foreign cultures, but always honor Russian Orthodox culture above all else, teaching foreigners how to integrate into Russian society rather than teaching Russians “cultural sensitivity” and forcing them to adapt to strangers. American conservative Russophiles upset at finding a Spanish language option in their country may be surprised to know every republic in Russia with its own ethnic group has the right to use their own language on official papers together with Russian. The difference is the strength of the Russian culture in society means indigenous people often choose to use Russian above all by their own accord.

Russian foreign policy is epitomized in the words of Saint Alexander Nevsky

Those who come to us with the sword will die by the sword.

His example of allying with the Mongols to fight the German Catholic knights is touted by Eurasianists and Western Nationalists alike as proof Russia choose to be an Asian culture, but this is false. Saint Alexander preferred the Mongols because unlike the Teutonic Knights, who wanted Russia to convert to Catholicism, they simply wanted money, and did not pose a threat to the Russian culture. Russia welcomes all peoples, but she will always defend her culture.

In the 16th century, Czar Ivan the Terrible famously defeated the Khanate of Kazan destroying the last great remanent of the Golden Horde. His victory is depicted on one of the most famous Icons in the world “Blessed be the Hosts of the Heavenly Czar”

The icon depicts Ivan’s victory of Kazan as an army of Angles and Saints departing burning Sodom and Gomorrah towards a heavenly city.

Russians are not ashamed of this icon, even as Kazan is a major city in Russia. The idea of Russians apologizing to Tatars for conquering them hundreds of years ago is unthinkable. Russia abolished slavery amongst them, built their roads and cities.

Kazan

For centuries they lived together, they defended Russia together, and Tatar children learn in Russian schools. It is thanks to this education that Tatar people were uplifted to space, joining the ranks of Russian cosmonauts.

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Astana Kazakhstan, another country where Russia made peace with the local culture

This is Putin’s strategy, when he spoke to Kazan people about the need for Muslim education. Like it or hate it, the reality is Muslims have lived in Russia for hundreds of years…they’re part of the country. Putin refused to take the xenophobic approach which empowers the rhetoric of extremists, nor does he let radical Islam pose a threat to Russia. While the idea of radical Islam is Kazan is mostly unthinkable – the people there are heavily Russified and almost totally assimilated, more prone to agnosticism than devout Islam, the threat in the Caucasus is very real.

Unlike the more core Muslim regions in Russia like Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, where most of the population is Russian or mixed, the Caucasus were incorporated into Russia later in history, and lacked the centuries of Russian integration and education that pacified the Tatars.

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Kazan

Putin’s leadership proves that Russia will take a proactive role in educating young Muslims to be loyal Russian citizens.

It further demonstrates that the world should look to Russia to see a successful healthy interaction with Muslims rather than the “tolerant” west, as described in the RT report:

Among other things, the Russian Muslim organizations stage the annual International Muslim Forum, which brings together Muslim leaders from Europe and elsewhere. “They hear us; they see how we develop; how good the relations of the Russian Muslims with the country’s authorities are and how we are being supported by our president,” Russian Grand Mufti Ravil Gainutdin said.

According to Gainutdin, Russian Muslims are “a sort of a ‘soft power’ in promoting our model of development of civil society… I recently accepted the US ambassador, then his counterpart from Spain. We’re not politicians and diplomats, but we have our own people’s diplomacy – we talk to them, turning them to our side.”

Putin’s words and actions have touched the hearts of Russia’s Muslims in a real way. Just listen to how the Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov supports Putin:

These are not just words, Vladimir Putin has constantly proven that he is fulfilling his promises. While the United States and their allies are bringing wars and destruction to the Muslim world, Russia is consistently defending the interests of the Islamic nations and peoples,” the Chechen leader wrote.

In his message, Kadyrov also drew attention to a more recent statement by the Russian president. Last Wednesday, Putin met with representatives of Muslim clergy in the city of Kazan, and said that Russian authorities would support Islamic education through major state universities and other means.

Kadyrov supported Putin’s stance on the issue. “In Chechnya alone there are two Islamic universities, six Hafiz schools [dedicated schools for studying and memorizing the Quran] and dozens of Madrasas. For this, we are sincerely grateful to Vladimir Vladimirovich. But all rights are tied to responsibilities, and I am convinced that Muslims must actively counter the destructive and anti-Islamic movements such as Wahhabism. Conciliatory positions never lead to anything good, and we will always adhere to our position that we must never allow Wahhabism to rear its head in any of the Russian regions,” the Chechen leader wrote.

Putin faced the issues head-on, standing firm to his beliefs, but offering a genuine partnership with Russia’s Muslims. As a result of his patronage and support, they have proven loyal to Russia, and many are fighting in the Russian armed forces against Islamic terrorists in Syria and abroad.

In conclusion, Putin’s policy on Islam, and the success of the Russian model as opposed to western one can be revealed in the microcosm of Chechnya compared to countries in which the west intervened.

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The picture above is Grozny, the Chechen capital during the war, not a building was left standing. Indeed, Russia raised it to the ground. The difference…

Russia Rebuilt Grozny

Grozny has been rebuilt into a beautiful, modern city, thanks to cooperation between Russians and Chechens.

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Russia assumed full responsibility for Chechnya. Russia didn’t simply bomb it into the stone age and say “Okay, here’s your new democracy. Enjoy! Oh, and do sell us your oil and or natural reserves! No hard feelings for the war…right?” To do that would simply create a breeding center for terrorism within Russia.

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Russia rebuilt the city, taking an active role in the construction of not only infrastructure, by civil society.

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When Chechens see beautiful squares, clean roads, and tall blue skyscrapers, they know who to thank.

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The situation in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, etc is…well…

We may as well add Ukraine to the list. Russia didn’t invade Ukraine, but Ukrainian nationalists should maybe…just maybe wish she did…if the pattern continues, Ukraine would be rebuilt by now.

The reality speaks for itself. The West only knows how to destroy, be destroyed (mostly by itself), whereas Russia knows how to educate and built real cities and communities for the national unity of the Motherland.

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Constantinople: Ukrainian Church leader is now uncanonical

October 12 letter proclaims Metropolitan Onuphry as uncanonical and tries to strong-arm him into acquiescing through bribery and force.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The pressure in Ukraine kept ratcheting up over the last few days, with a big revelation today that Patriarch Bartholomew now considers Metropolitan Onuphy “uncanonical.” This news was published on 6 December by a hierarch of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (running under the Moscow Patriarchate).

This assessment marks a complete 180-degree turn by the leader of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople, and it further embitters the split that has developed to quite a major row between this church’s leadership and the Moscow Patriarchate.

OrthoChristian reported this today (we have added emphasis):

A letter of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine was published yesterday by a hierarch of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in which the Patriarch informed the Metropolitan that his title and position is, in fact, uncanonical.

This assertion represents a negation of the position held by Pat. Bartholomew himself until April of this year, when the latest stage in the Ukrainian crisis began…

The same letter was independently published by the Greek news agency Romfea today as well.

It is dated October 12, meaning it was written just one day after Constantinople made its historic decision to rehabilitate the Ukrainian schismatics and rescind the 1686 document whereby the Kiev Metropolitanate was transferred to the Russian Orthodox Church, thereby, in Constantinople’s view, taking full control of Ukraine.

In the letter, Pat. Bartholomew informs Met. Onuphry that after the council, currently scheduled for December 15, he will no longer be able to carry his current title of “Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine.”

The Patriarch immediately opens his letter with Constantinople’s newly-developed historical claim about the jurisdictional alignment of Kiev: “You know from history and from indisputable archival documents that the holy Metropolitanate of Kiev has always belonged to the jurisdiction of the Mother Church of Constantinople…”

Constantinople has done an about-face on its position regarding Ukraine in recent months, given that it had previously always recognized the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate as the sole canonical primate in Ukraine.

…The bulk of the Patriarch’s letter is a rehash of Constantinople’s historical and canonical arguments, which have already been laid out and discussed elsewhere. (See also here and here). Pat. Bartholomew also writes that Constantinople stepped into the Ukrainian ecclesiastical sphere as the Russian Church had not managed to overcome the schisms that have persisted for 30 years.

It should be noted that the schisms began and have persisted precisely as anti-Russian movements and thus the relevant groups refused to accept union with the Russian Church.

Continuing, Pat. Bartholomew informs Met. Onuphry that his position and title are uncanonical:

Addressing you as ‘Your Eminence the Metropolitan of Kiev’ as a form of economia [indulgence/condescension—OC] and mercy, we inform you that after the elections for the primate of the Ukrainian Church by a body that will consist of clergy and laity, you will not be able ecclesiologically and canonically to bear the title of Metropolitan of Kiev, which, in any case, you now bear in violation of the described conditions of the official documents of 1686.

He also entreats Met. Onuphry to “promptly and in a spirit of harmony and unity” participate, with the other hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in the founding council of the new Ukrainian church that Constantinople is planning to create, and in the election of its primate.

The Constantinople head also writes that he “allows” Met. Onuphry to be a candidate for the position of primate.

He further implores Met. Onuphry and the UOC hierarchy to communicate with Philaret Denisenko, the former Metropolitan of Kiev, and Makary Maletich, the heads of the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate” and the schismatic “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church” respectively—both of which have been subsumed into Constantinople—but whose canonical condemnations remain in force for the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

The hierarchs of the Serbian and Polish Churches have also officially rejected the rehabilitation of the Ukrainian schismatics.

Pat. Bartholomew concludes expressing his confidence that Met. Onuphry will decide to heal the schism through the creation of a new church in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church under Metropolitan Onuphry’s leadership is recognized as the sole canonical Orthodox jurisdiction in Ukraine by just about every other canonical Orthodox Jurisdiction besides Constantinople. Even NATO member Albania, whose expressed reaction was “both sides are wrong for recent actions” still does not accept the canonicity of the “restored hierarchs.”

In fact, about the only people in this dispute that seem to be in support of the “restored” hierarchs, Filaret and Makary, are President Poroshenko, Patriarch Bartholomew, Filaret and Makary… and NATO.

While this letter was released to the public eye yesterday, the nearly two months that Metropolitan Onuphry has had to comply with it have not been helped in any way by the actions of both the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Ukrainian government.

Priests of the Canonical Church in Ukraine awaiting interrogation by the State authorities

For example, in parallel reports released on December 6th, the government is reportedly accusing canonical priests in Ukraine of treason because they are carrying and distributing a brochure entitled (in English): The Ukrainian Orthodox Church: Relations with the State. The Attitude Towards the Conflict in Donbass and to the Church Schism. Questions and Answers.

In a manner that would do any American liberal proud, these priests are being accused of inciting religious hatred, though really all they are doing is offering an explanation for the situation in Ukraine as it exists.

A further piece also released yesterday notes that the Ukrainian government rehabilitated an old Soviet-style technique of performing “inspections of church artifacts” at the Pochaev Lavra. This move appears to be both intended to intimidate the monastics who are living there now, who are members of the canonical Church, as well as preparation for an expected forcible takeover by the new “united Church” that is under creation. The brotherhood characterized the inspections in this way:

The brotherhood of the Pochaev Lavra previously characterized the state’s actions as communist methods of putting pressure on the monastery and aimed at destroying monasticism.

Commenting on the situation with the Pochaev Lavra, His Eminence Archbishop Clement of Nizhyn and Prilusk, the head of the Ukrainian Church’s Information-Education Department, noted:

This is a formal raiding, because no reserve ever built the Pochaev Lavra, and no Ministry of Culture ever invested a single penny to restoring the Lavra, and the state has done nothing to preserve the Lavra in its modern form. The state destroyed the Lavra, turned it into a psychiatric hospital, a hospital for infectious diseases, and so on—the state has done nothing more. And now it just declares that it all belongs to the state. No one asked the Church, the people that built it. When did the Lavra and the land become state property? They belonged to the Church from time immemorial.

With the massive pressure both geopolitically and ecclesiastically building in Ukraine almost by the day, it is anyone’s guess what will happen next.

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Ukrainian leadership is a party of war, and it will continue as long as they’re in power – Putin

“We care about Ukraine because Ukraine is our neighbor,” Putin said.

RT

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Via RT…


Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has branded the Ukrainian leadership a “party of war” which would continue fueling conflicts while they stay in power, giving the recent Kerch Strait incident as an example.

“When I look at this latest incident in the Black Sea, all what’s happening in Donbass – everything indicates that the current Ukrainian leadership is not interested in resolving this situation at all, especially in a peaceful way,” Putin told reporters during a media conference in the aftermath of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

This is a party of war and as long as they stay in power, all such tragedies, all this war will go on.

The Kiev authorities are craving war primarily for two reasons – to rip profits from it, and to blame all their own domestic failures on it and actions of some sort of “aggressors.”

“As they say, for one it’s war, for other – it’s mother. That’s reason number one why the Ukrainian government is not interested in a peaceful resolution of the conflict,” Putin stated.

Second, you can always use war to justify your failures in economy, social policy. You can always blame things on an aggressor.

This approach to statecraft by the Ukrainian authorities deeply concerns Russia’s President. “We care about Ukraine because Ukraine is our neighbor,” Putin said.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have been soaring after the incident in the Kerch Strait. Last weekend three Ukrainian Navy ships tried to break through the strait without seeking the proper permission from Russia. Following a tense stand-off and altercation with Russia’s border guard, the vessels were seized and their crews detained over their violation of the country’s border.

While Kiev branded the incident an act of “aggression” on Moscow’s part, Russia believes the whole Kerch affair to be a deliberate “provocation” which allowed Kiev to declare a so-called “partial” martial law ahead of Ukraine’s presidential election.

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When Putin Met Bin Sally

Another G20 handshake for the history books.

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Via Zerohedge


In the annals of handshake photo-ops, we just may have a new winner (much to the delight of oil bulls who are looking at oil treading $50 and contemplating jumping out of the window).

Nothing but sheer joy, delight and friendship…

…but something is missing…

Meanwhile, earlier…

Zoomed in…

And again.

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