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It is the third such raid targeting Muslim places of worship in Moscow or St. Petersburg this year, Reuters reported. The “fight against corruption, crime and the insurgency has to be carried out harshly and consistently,” Putin told a meeting of security force officers, according to the radio station.
Putin has put security forces on high alert to safeguard the Games in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, which lies near to mainly Muslim southern provinces where Russia is battling an Islamist insurgency that has targeted Moscow.
"We must fight back hard against extremists who, under the banners of radicalism, nationalism and separatism, are trying to split our society," Putin said.
Predicting a Majority-Muslim Russia
by Daniel Pipes
Sat, 6 Aug 2005
updated Tue, 23 Dec 2008
"Russia's Turning Muslim, Says Mufti" is the startling headline in the Times of London today. Ravil Gaynutdin, head of the Council of Muftis of Russia, announced that Russia's population of 144 million contains 23 million ethnic Muslims – and not, as the census indicates, 14.5 million, or, as the Orthodox Church estimates, nearer to 20 million. An estimated 3-4 million Muslims are migrants from former Soviet regions, including 2 million Azeris, 1 million Kazakhs, and several hundred thousand Uzbeks, Tajiks and Kyrgyz."
"Goble notes the exponential growth in Islam since the demise of the Soviet Union: Russia had about 300 mosques in 1991 and now there are at least 8,000, about half of which were built with money from abroad, especially from Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia. There were no Islamic religious schools in 1991 and today there are between 50 and 60, teaching as many as 50,000 students. The number of Russians going on the hajj each year, has jumped from 40 in 1991 to 13,500 in 2005. He quotes a Russian commentator predicting that within the next several decades there will be a mosque on Red Square."
"By 2015, Muslims will make up a majority of Russia's conscript army, and by 2020 a fifth of the population."