Problems of similarity and difference between Islamic communities of Russia and Canada, as well as problems of their integration into legal environment were discussed at the conference held on Friday in Ottawa.
“With this conference Carleton University is carrying on traditions of studying the experience of Russia and Canada in such a delicate topic as interaction of different cultures, religions and nations”, – said Pyotr Dutkevich, the professor and Director of the Public and Municipal Management Centre of Carleton University, and member of the advisory council of the international discussion club “Valday”, at the opening of the conference.
“The conference “Multiculturalism: Russia and experience of Canada. On possibility to use Canadian experience of multiculturalism in the Russian Federation” was held in 2007 and the respective paper was published later on. Today we are putting a question on how to be a Muslim and simultaneously a responsible citizen of one’s own country at the state and regional levels, which is urgent for both of our two countries”, – added he.
The Russian scientists – Alikber Alikberov, the Director of the Centre for Central Asia and Volga Region of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Science, and Nail Mukharyamov, the Director of the Institute of Mass Communications and Social Sciences of Kazan (Volga Region) Federal University, delivered lectures on history of Islam spreading and its current state in Russia as a whole and in Caucasus and Tatarstan, in particular.
Mr. Alikberov told the audience that there are two camps the present day – the political and traditional Islam. In his lecture he devoted main attention to measures of counteraction to Salafism in Russia and necessity to create such a situation in the country, in which both political and traditional Islam would be equally spaced from the state thanks to civil rights and social values domination.
“Political elite of Tatarstan managed to restrain the situation in the Republic from sliding down to crisis connected with an activity of national separatists and radical Islamists, and joining of these two groups hadn’t occurred”, – added Mukharyamov, explaining the background of the latest events in the Republic. In July, 2012 attempts on the lives of the leaders of Muslim clergy of Tatarstan were made: the Chairman of the Muslims Ecclesiastical Directorate (MED) of the Republic of Tatarstan, mufti Ildus Fayzov, was wounded during a bomb explosion; the head of the Training Department of the MED, Mr. Valiulla Yakupov, was shot. Criminals who had committed these crimes were destroyed in Kazan during a special-forces raid.
At the conference Canadian scientists, in their turn, were holding discussions on how Muslims were changing in this country depending on waves of emigration. Particularly, Farhang Rajaee, the Dean of the College of Humanities of Carleton University, considers Muslims who have come to Canada within the last 30 years to be a new generation of migrants, who are characterized by the fact that they are not trying to assimilate into the society or isolate themselves from it – they want to integrate into the Canadian society.
In conclusion the conference organizers noted that Russia and Canada – the two Northern frontiers located far from centres of Islam – could serve as examples of mutual enrichment of cultures and religions.
The conference was organized by the Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, the Department of Political Science and the Centre for the Study of Islam of Carleton University, supported by the Embassy of Russia in Canada and international discussion club “Valday”. (RIA News)