posted on Jul, 6 2006 @ 12:15 AM
It is funny to see so many opinions about Russia, yet so few people actually knowing the situation in Russia.
Putin stated that Russia is the supporter of the Islamic World (in fact he first did this exact thing 2 years ago) due to several reasons. Money and
oil are probably the last reasons importance wise.
1. Islam is second religion in Russia after Orthodox Christianity. In fact about 55% of Russians are aetheists. Only 15-20% are Orthodox. Islam is
not far behind with 10-15%. -This is based on CIA World Factbook. Out of about 80 main regions (provinces) in Russia, about 15 are Muslim. Islam is
the fastest growing religion in Russia. Out of ex Soviet Union states, 1/3 was Muslim- mostly in Central Asia. Islam is not just some far away
culture to Russians, like it is to Americans and Europeans. Islam is PART of the Russian culture. it figures richly into Russian history, and
traditions. AND THAT IS NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF.
2. Russia has maintained ties and relations with Arabs abd Muslims longer than most of Europe has, let alone the US. When the Russian tsars in the
Medieval Ages were considering a religion for Russian people, Islam was one of the main options. Russian Orthodoxy in came from Constantinople
(current day Istanbul). Even after the fall of Constantinople, Russia had much influence in the Middle East.
Russian relations with Afganistan, Iraq, and Iran (much of what used to be Persia), date back hundreds of years. During the Cold War Russians had
military, political, and economic ties with countries like Iraq, Afganistan, Syria, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Iran, and others. Russia send thousands of
engineers, economists, and siplomats to each of those countries. Russia is not an amateur dealing with Middle East so. It had done thise hundreds of
years prior to America and its interest in oil (and nothing else I might add).
3. After the Chechnyan War (which Russia won ultimately), Russia needed to assure 15% of its population (Muslims) as well as other minority groups
that it is dedicated to upholding their culture, and is in no way against Islam. Putin went on a campaign to achieve this 3 years ago, and much of it
has been successful. Today Russian Muslims feel more like a part of Russia than they ever have.
In fact the war in Chechnya was not about Islam or oil (small part was about oil pipelines). It was about keeping the country together, and not
letting it separate into hundreds of independent and poor nations.
4. After America started its WOT, Russia noticed the growing animosity towards the US among Muslim nations in the world, and pretty much everyone
else in the world. It correctly decided to exploit this animosity for its favor. The so called members of the imaginary "Axis of Evil", wanted
support from Russia against their new enemy. Syria, Iran, and several other states had no one else to turn to. Russia was only glad to help them,
and improve its relations with them.
5. True part of these relations were about selling weapons and military tech. But its more than that. It was done to ensure the survival of those
states in the time when US is toppling down anyone it feels like anywhere it feels like. If you noticed countries outside Middle East are starting to
improve relations with Russia. Germany, Italy, France, Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, Cuba once again, Colombia, Peru. Russia is a strong country, and
there is no reason why it does not have a right to have relations, economic and military with countries around the world, just like US does.
-Oil? Russia does not need oil. It is a large exporter of oil, and it has its hands full with its own rich resources. Don't mistake it for
America, that both has oil, wants more oil, and will kill anyone to get that precious oil so its corporate conglomerates can continue unwinding its
globalization machine around the world.
Many Muslims do feel like Russia is the only support left in the world.