ISSN 2330-717X

Islam Is Changing Russia Rapidly And Profoundly – OpEd


Last week, Muslim morals police began patrolling the streets of Moscow to warn the faithful against violating the norms of their religion (, just one of the ways in which “Islam is changing Russia” rapidly and radically.

In an essay for Warsaw’s Dzennik newspaper, Michał Potocki catalogues this and other ways in which Islam is now transforming the Russian Federation in profound and unexpected ways (,islam-zmienia-rosje-muzulmanie-moskwa-czeczenia.html; in Russian at

Among his findings:

  • There are now three million Muslims in the Russian capital, one in every four of its residents even though the Russian government continues to insist that there are fewer than 300,000 and allows only four mosques to function in the city proper.
  • Moscow’s Muslims commit far fewer crimes per capita than other residents do. They form 25 percent of the population but make up only three percent of the police lists.
  • Seven of Russia’s non-Russian republics – Ingushetia, Chechnya, Daghestan, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachayevo-Cherkessia – have Muslim majorities, and two others Bashkortostan and Tatarstan are approaching that figure.
  • Muslim nationalities are growing 60 to 90 times faster than the all-Russian average, with Chechens increasing by 1.82 percent a year, for example, while the all-Russian figure is only 0.02 percent.

In short, Russia is becoming an ever more Muslim country, something that has profound consequences not only for its domestic organization but also for its involvement in other parts of the Muslim world.

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Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

One thought on “Islam Is Changing Russia Rapidly And Profoundly – OpEd

  • March 8, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Would it be nice if in America we could have as well behaved minorities as the Muslims in Russia?


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