(Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin accused foreign rivals on Tuesday of using radical Islam to weaken Russia and appealed to Muslim clerics to help reduce tensions after a deadly suicide bombing and nationalist riots.
THE stabbing murder on October 10 of an ethnic Russian, Yegor Shcherbakov, 25, apparently by a Muslim from Azerbaijan, led to anti-migrant disturbances in Moscow, vandalism and assaults, the arrest of 1200 people and brought to the fore a major tension in Russian life.
Not only do ethnic Muslims account for up to 23 of Russia’s 144 million, 15 per cent, but their proportion is growing fast…
Hopefully, Putin stands by what he says. Â This kind of thing can only happen in the West:
- Illegal immigrants deported at a cost of SEK 250,000 â€” two weeks later, the entire family back in Sweden again
In Moscow, ethnic Christian women have an average of 1.1 children. In contrast, Muslim women bear 2.3 children on average… In Moscow, Tatar women have six children and Chechen and Ingush women 10. In addition, between three million and four million Muslims have moved to Russia from ex-republics of the USSR, mainly from Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan; and some ethnic Russians are converting to Islam.
These trends point to Christians declining in numbers by 0.6 per cent a year and Muslims increasing by the same, which will have dramatic effects over time.
Some analysts foresee Muslims becoming a majority in the 21st century, a demographic revolution that would fundamentally change the country’s character.
Think how Russian foreign policy will be affected. Think what the Russian army will – or won’t – do if most soldiers are Muslim.
But the unrest over the Shcherbakov murder suggests there could be an ugly interruption to this demographic change.
A mutual acquaintance tells me he once asked Putin about the predicted Muslim majority in his country. Putin’s reported response: “We won’t let that happen.”
Meanwhile, back in the USSR: