Islam in Russia
According to world statistics, the population of Muslims (followers of the religion of Islam) in Russia is about 6.5% of its population or close to 9.5 million.
Since Russia embraced “glasnot“, the freedom of worship has been openly accepted by the government. Religions enjoy the freedom to expand their base. Russian Orthodox is still the dominant religion in Russia with about 41% of the population as members. One would think that with 41% of the population, the religion would have more influence and power over the government. But that is not so, because the Russian Orthodox Church does not impose its belief on others. It does not have an “exclusive” lobbying group for its purposes. On the other hand the religion of Islam is always vying for the position of power. So even at only at 6.5% of the population, it has a solid grip on the Russian government.
Islam is the only religion is Russia that has a state for itself in the Federal government of Russia. This land base is called the Republic of Dagestan. It is a subsidized state of the Russian federal government. Approximately 80% of its funding comes from the federal government. So as of now Dagestan is beholden to Mother Russia. The Muslim leaders of Dagestan are kept at bay because of Federal funding. Even then Sharia law is still practiced in Dagestan. In the capital city of Dagestan, Makhachkala, they even created a “sharia” beach for women.
The population of Dagestan is about 2.9 million. About 85% of that is Muslim. Sharia law dictates the lives of the followers of Islam. In this remote area of Russia, Sharia law rules supreme.
As mentioned before funding from the federal government is keeping the Muslim leaders at bay. So the Muslims practice tolerance. They can’t win yet. They are working towards a goal. They are not getting what they want. They wait for the opportunity to break away to be free or to conquer. They lost the war in 1999, but they are building up their forces again for another try in the future.