Empress Catherine II of Tsarist Russia had great relations with Suleiman the Magnificent. To have better relations with the Ottomans, she patronized Islam by lifting restrictions on the construction of mosques. However the ruthless conquest of the Caucasus by the Tsarist Empire in the mid XIX century led to virtual genocide of the natives, the Tartars, the Dagistanis and the Chechniyans.
This forceful aggression continued under the Soviet regimes of Lenin, and Stalin. In fact Stalin dug up all the Tartars and Chechens and deported them to Siberia. Today's Chechniyan's made their way back from the Soviet gulags.
Islamic places of worship were subjected to mass destruction.
The Muslim Autonomous Republics of Bashkiria, Tataria and Turkestan had been established under the Communist regime as puppet regimes to keep the Muslims down.
Right after the Russian revolution, in October 1926, the muftis of Russia were eager to unite Muslims around the world under the banner of Communist revolution against "imperialism". The subsequent Soviet Stalinist repressions and especially the deportation of Chechens and Crimean Tatars left a deep scar in the hearts of Muslims.
When the USSR were the weakest, during the Brezhnev regime, in the 70s Muslims began publishing the Koran, print lunar calendars and open mosques in magazines like "Muslims of the Soviet East".
In the aftermath of Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Islamic revolution in Iran instigated the KGB repressions which only fueled the rage against the atheist regime.
The August 1996 announced of autonomy by President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev and 1998 proclamation of "Islamic Emirate" in Dagestan, -the second wars against Chechen led to the total destruction of the two states.
The North Caucasus was crushed. A new more pliable Kadyrov's clan was brought to power by the Kremlin.
Muslims are present in the Volga region, in ancient Russian cities as Izhevsk, Cheboksary, Ufa, Penza, Saransk, and Kazan 9the capital of Tatarstan).
Tatarstan (or Tataria) was never an integral part of Russia. Islam became the national religion of the Tatars in the 14th century. Tartaristan's Khanate was conquered by Ivan the Terrible in the XVI century.
Recently, the Tatar Youth Union "Azatlyk" (Freedom) announced the year 2013, in Tatarstan, as the "Year of Batu Khan" (pagan who worshiped "the great blue sky"), grandson of the Chengez Khan, the ruler of Golden clan, who collected toll from the Russian cities in XIII century. The "Azatlyk" promises to hold protest rallies "in honor of of the liberation of the Russian cities of Moscow, Ryazan, Suzdal, Vladimir, Kozelsk". Batu Khan collected tolls from the conquered population.
Now "Batu Khan" the "protector of Islam" is appreciated by the "Azatlyk" who have been distributing calendars, postcards and icons with the image of the founder of the Golden Clan.
Protest rallies under the slogan "Tatarstan isn't Russia" are held on an annual basis. The "Suitcase, Railway Station, Russia" become ordinary in Kazan. The Original Tartar language is once again resurrected. Abdullah, the "Emir of Tatarstan" is in charge.
Islam is coming of age in Krasnodar and Stavropol regions between the North Caucasus and the Volga region. Islam also exists in the heart of the Russian federation's ancient and primordial territories.
Islam is spreading in Russia, gathering steam in its home. Within a decade Russia will be a Muslim majority union.
Source: Rupee News