Crimean Tatars: from National Ambitions to Religious Self-Determination
The paper analyses the cultural and social-political role of Islam and religious policy of local authorities in Crimea taking into account religious diversity of the peninsula and political conditions after March 2014 when Russia took control over the territory of Crimea during the Russian-Ukrainian crisis (Ukraine and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, as well as USA and many other countries, name accession of Crimea to Russia annexation). The article is based on the field sociological studies of the religious life conducted by the author in Crimea in 2016. The expert surveys were based on the social-anthropological approach and open interviews with the respondents. The author has come to a conclusion that after 2014 a new period of the development of Islam and new national self-determination of Crimean Tatars began on the peninsula associated with both self-determination of the national Islam and spiritual quests of the Crimean Tatars intelligentsia. Religious progress at that period was characterized by the fact that Islamic organizations were put in stringent conditions the Russian legislation and the religious policy of local authorities that renders support to two competing with each other Muslim spiritual authorities. Islam represented by Crimean Muslim spiritual authority is developing both through a dialogue with or opposition to Sufism and Salafism as well as Crimean Tartar national movement being both oppositional and loyal to Russia.
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