On June 27, the RIW Group has launched a monumental reference book on Islam in Russia on Wednesday. The presentation took place at the Russian International Affairs Council in Moscow.

The book authored by Alikber Alikberov, Vladimir Bobrovnikov, and Alfrid Bustanov focuses on the emergence of religious schools, practices, communities since the 7th century onward. The research relies on manuscripts by people in the North Caucasus, Volga and Urals Region and Western Siberia.

In his opening remarks, RIW Group Coordinator Veniamin Popov said the book came as a response to the request by the Russian Foreign Minister.

 

Editor-in-chief of the website of the RIW Group Ekaterina Podkolzina sat down with the three authors for an exclusive interview.

What is the main focus and who is the book’s audience?

Alikberov: It was an attempt to present the most exciting chapters of the history and culture of Islam in Russia including the times of the Russian Empire. It is a jigsaw puzzle both geographically (mainly, but no limited to, the North Caucasus, the Volga and the Urals areas) and historically. We trace Islam from the early years all the way to contemporary Russia. We sought to get the big picture by looking at separate stories.

But most importantly, it is the focus on Islam’s role in Russia. People share their belief in Islam around the world but every country still has a unique Muslim identity both in terms of its historical background and culture.

Bobrovnikov: The book demonstrates both the unity of what we call Islam in Russia and diversity in terms of unique local aspects.

Bustanov: Our research documents the multi-faceted experience of Russian Muslims and the complicated formation of Islam in Russia. We are convinced that there is a wide audience that would be interested in learning more about the country’s history.