First Talgat Tadzhuddin, head of the Central Muslim Spiritual Directorate, a Communist era appointee loyal to Putin, called for a mutual Russian-Orthodox Muslim Jihad against the West.
A prominent Muslim preacher in Russia, Talgat Tadzhuddin, calling themselves the Supreme mufti of Russia, on Friday called on Muslims and Orthodox "to come together in a single-orthodox Islamic jihad against the empire of Satan", which in his opinion, is the United States.
Believes Tadzhuddin, anti-Western position of Russia, expressed in the recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, leading to an early loss of American influence in the international arena than "Muslims should take advantage of all countries."
"Now, in alliance with Moscow, we have all the chances to repay for all the suffering that the Americans have brought the Islamic world,"
This mutual religious Jihad against the West of course reflects the ongoing Russian government policy of arming and training Muslim terrorists and regimes in order to destroy Western allied governments, particularly in the Middle East. Naturally the Russian-Muslim alliance is cynical on both sides, as Russia is actively engaged in suppressing a Muslim insurgency in Chechnya with its own "loyal" Muslim units, not to mention its backing of the Armenians in Nagorny Karabakh, and any Muslim alliance with Russia is just as duplicitous.
But the push for integrating a religious component into this alliance marks another front in the ideological war.
The government controlled Russian Orthodox establishment meanwhile is continuing its usual Jihad against the West
Deputy Head of Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Protopresbyter Vsevolod Chaplin on Friday called on Russian authorities to strictly uphold the particular path of development and Russia to build military power.
"We need to be strong, including militarily, have the will and ability to stop any encroachment on our way of life, our interests in the world, our ability to influence the processes taking place in the world" - quoted the cleric newspaper Izvestia.
In his opinion, Russia should "offer its own path of historical development" and also the surrounding peoples.
Chaplin not explained what the specifics of this road, but expressed the view that the path of Western civilization - is "a vector, leading to nowhere."
root out Baptists and Pentecostal Christians, groups that were traditionally illegal in Russia, not to mention new groups such as Mormons and Mennonites, along with the usual antisemitism that includes the traditional claims about Jews drinking blood.
Behind this is the Russian government's drive to centralize religious expression in Russia under its own government controlled religious agencies. As part of this agenda, comes the persecution of non-Russian Orthodox Christians and their delegitimization as Western cults and foreign spies.
The Serbsky Institute, a traditional government facility used to delegitize, imprison and torture dissidents, has joined in as well, as I wrote a week ago, in defining non-Russian Orthodox denominations as agents of a foreign conspiracy.
Moscow’s Serbsky Institute, notorious in Soviet times for its criminal use of psychiatry and drugs against dissidents, is now playing an important role in the Russian government’s efforts to combat the spread of religious sects.
Tula oblast Deputy Governor Nikolai Kalinin opened the conference by observing that „the activity of destructive sets has not been taken under control by either the traditional culture-forming religions or by state structures.” And he suggested that it was time for the two to work together to counter this threat.
The main address to the meeting, which was hosted by the local health department and the St. John Society of Orthodox Doctors, was given by the Serbsky Institute’s Professor Fedor Kondratyev. His comments, summed up by the paper, deserve attention because of the light they shed on how Moscow may approach what it clearly sees as the sectarian challenge.
Kondratyev said that the influx of sectarian activists into Russia from abroad increased dramatically in the 1990s, but he argued that the purposes of this influx had not changed:
„This is one of the most effective measures of the struggle of the West against the powerful Russian state. Hitler already wrote that there ought to be a sect in every Siberian village in order that Slavs not have any spiritual unity.”
Some of the sects in Russia today are „camouflaged” as Christian while others are openly „satanist,” he added. But both, he suggested „are directed against the state, society, the family, and the personality.”
Stenyaev said that in Tula oblast the sectarian threat now includes hundreds if not thousands of people in four communities of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 12 communities of Pentecostals, and a variety of smaller religious groups, ranging from Mormons to the Roma to representatives of Oriental religions. Perhaps significantly, he did not mention the Wahhabis or any other Muslim groups.
Significantly of course because Muslim groups in Russia are already government controlled and therefore legitimate.
The Putin regime is centralizing religion under government control. Those religions not under government control are by definition "spies" and "foreign agents", just as they were under the USSR.
(That centralization has reached the Jewish community with a quiet campaign of intimidation and takeover of Russia's and Eastern Europe's Jewish institutions by a Chabad backed group led by Rabbi Berel Lazar.)
Putin's KGB run oligarchy is of course no more religious than Stalin's was, but exploits government controlled religious institutions to support the government and spread hate against the enemies of Russia. A telling sign is the Arctic mission that marks attempts to seize a chunk of the Canadian arctic being accompanied by an Archbishop who delivered the following remark.
This is yet another evidence of favorable cooperation of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Army. There was a time when Russian Orthodoxy, Russian priests blessed warriors for the battle for faith, their people and Motherland. And now, Russian warriors help our priests to reach almost inaccessible locations to bring the word of God "to the end of the world".
All this is significant in the general sense because the integration of religion and nationalism is an explosive mixture, as Islamism has shown us, with a state controlled Church blessing Putin's expansionism, leading a campaign against non-Orthodox Christians in Russia and the West in general, not to mention of course Georgia and Eastern Europe.
It is however also significant in the local sense as Russia's increasingly threatening posture toward Ukraine combined with its use of Clerics to conduct Russian government propaganda, sets the stage for another split in the Russian Orthodox church, many of whose parishes are actually based in the Ukraine.
The fusion of religion and state with expansionist aims in Russia is itself a powder keg, as the Putin regime attempts to fill the ideological void left by Communism with a State Controlled Church.