False Signposts and High Climbing

The Search for a Localised Islamic Orthodoxy in Russia

in Anthropological Journal of European Cultures

In Russia, the division between a ‘folk’/‘ethnic’ and ‘doctrinal’ Islam is linked to the Soviet attempts to weaken scholarly religious knowledge. Today, similar to various regions of the Muslim world, certain Tatar Muslims with the madhhab system (Muslim schools of jurisprudence), engage in constructing a localised orthodoxy, an Islamic orthodoxy based on the universal foundations of Islam, while striving to integrate folk customs and traditions of ‘traditional Islam’ that formerly were denounced as state-loyal piety.