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Challenges of the youth upbringing in the North Caucasus in context of Islamic education

The senior researcher of the International Laboratory of Socio-Cultural Research Victoria Galyapina made a presentation called “Challenges of the youth upbringing in the North Caucasus in context of Islamic education” on 26th April.

Studies of the role of religious education for young Muslims and Christians in the North Caucasus were shown in this presentation. V. Galyapina also paid attention to the membership of young people in extremist groups, to the contradictions between their religious beliefs and real behavior and to ambivalent attitudes towards Islam in the North Caucasus.

Content-analysis of pupils’ essays, focus-groups and deep interviews with people relating to Islamic education showed interesting results. The vast majority of Islamic pupils of 6-10 grade build their typical Friday in order with Mohammedan prayer, describe the rituals of preparation for it. Teachers also encourage them visiting mosques and listening to sermons of Mullah. While these students are getting older, Islam becomes more important for them, so religion conducts the whole life of Muslims. Even the television includes Islamic programs. On the contrary, among 70 Christian adolescents participated in the study only two mentioned religious life in their essays about their typical Sunday.

Despite of the fact that younger generation is proud of their religious views, there is an enormous amount of social and political problems which could be connected with Islamic education in the North Caucasus. The Umma (Muslim religious community) survived two Chechen wars. Some terroristic groups are forming in the Umma, and adults are nervous about their children who might be influenced by the Wakhabits (fundamentalist Islamic organization).

What are the reasons of such instability of this region? According to experts’ views, one of the reasons is the low quality of religious education and the lack of control over the doubtful interpretations of Quran and sermons.

Despite of these problems the whole life of the typical Muslim of the North Caucasus is permeated with religious relations and beliefs. Moreover, religiosity covers political relations and it is spreading among young people day after day.

Lazutkina Marina