National state crisis in the Muslim regions of non-Muslim countries:a republic of Daghestan case study(in the first decade of the 21st century) – тема научной статьи по философии, этике, религиоведению читайте бесплатно текст научно-исследовательской работы в электронной библиотеке КиберЛенинка

National state crisis in the Muslim regions of non-Muslim countries:a republic of Daghestan case study(in the first decade of the 21st century) – тема научной статьи по философии, этике, религиоведению читайте бесплатно текст научно-исследовательской работы в электронной библиотеке КиберЛенинка Реферат

National state crisis in the muslim regions of non-muslim countries:a republic of daghestan case study(in the first decade of the 21st century)


Ph.D. (Hist.), Lecturer at the History Chair of Daghestan State University

(Makhachkala, Russia).




Based on a case study of the Republic of Daghestan, this article examines the political instability in the region from the viewpoint of destruction of the national state in the Islamic countries of the world and the Muslim-populated regions of non-Muslim countries. According to the author, a national state crisis typi-

cal of Islamic countries and regions is going on in the region. The term «national state crisis» implies the critical development of two complementary processes: an increase in the combat activity of Islamist insurgents along with a decrease in the legitimacy and efficiency of government institutions.


The Republic of Daghestan is the most densely populated of the constituencies of the North Caucasian Federal District of the Russian Federation. It is well known that there are Islamist insurgents in Daghestan who are actively opposing the secular state and using terrorist warfare methods in their struggle.

Religious political extremism was imported into the Caucasus as early as the 1990s and put down strong roots during the two armed conflicts in Chechnia. At that time, against the background of the acute social and political crisis, the first seats of extremism also emerged in Daghestan. However, in the 2000s, religious-political extremism in Daghestan acquired a different nature: from support of nationalist moods in the Caucasus to rejection of the very idea of a state that is not built on the principles of Islam.

This period in conflict development is particularly interesting since it coincides timewise with similar processes going on in many Islamic countries (hereafter—ICs) and Muslim-populated regions of non-Islamic countries (hereafter—MRs). In other words, the matter concerns the manifestation of a pattern characteristic of the entire Islamic World.

Political Instability in Daghestan at the Present Stage

In 1999, Islamist insurgents led by Khattab and Shamil Basaev, who encroached from Chech-nia, were killed in Daghestan. At the same time, enclaves of armed insurgents (Salafis, or Wahhabis) in the villages of Karamakhi and Chabanmakhi who did not recognize the central authorities were eliminated.

The war between the extremist underground and law-enforcement and power bodies of Daghestan was revived in 2002 and gained momentum in 2005. The dynamics of the war losses can be seen in Table 1.

Table 1

Activation of Hostilities in Daghestan against the Background of Economic Recovery

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2021

Dynamics of gross regional product, %

115.0 119.0 111.0 113.9 115.9

116.4 119.1 117


disposable personal income in % of

previous year* 115.7 188.8 125.6 144.7 121.3

Number of 77—

law enforcers accord-

and servicemen ing to

killed in the press

terrorist war** statistics, 45—

more more more accord-

than than than ing to

— 45 10 25 NATC***

129.9 117.9 116.6 112.4 108.2






Total number of other victims (insurgents killed, insurgents arrested, civilians killed, total injured, homeless)

more more more more more more than than than than than than 350 300 300 300 350 250

* Data of Territorial Branch of the Russian Statistics Board, available at [http://].

** According to the data of an analysis of current press announcements.

*** Data of the National Anti-Terrorist Committee of the RF Federal Security Service, available at [].

**** A. Kuznetsov, «Na Degestanskom fronte,», 27 June, 2021, 18:39:15, available at [].


It is typical that the war gained momentum against the background of rapid economic recovery, an increase in citizen prosperity, stabilization of the social situation, and higher-than-anticipat-ed infusions from the federal budget. For example, in the 2000s, direct aid to the Daghestan budget from the federal budget alone increased more than 6-fold, from 7.5 in 2001 to 46 billion rubles in 2021.

Aid from the federal center was supposed to stabilize the political situation in the republic. But real stabilization did not occur. An ever increasing number of observers are coming to the conclusion that socioeconomic factors are not the main driving force behind the development of political instability in the region. Many politicians and officials also think that the increase in terrorism is in no way related to the economic or social situation in society.

This is a significant revision of the traditional understanding of how political conflicts develop. As early as Soviet times it has been customary to believe that any conflict is prompted by socioeconomic factors. In the absence of another generally recognized school of conflict studies, this understanding of the nature of conflicts is still pertinent in Russia today. But it is obvious now that religious extremism cannot be understood by analyzing a specific socioeconomic situation alone. When people with a European one-dimensional «economic» mindset can no longer find socioeconomic reasons to explain the phenomenon, terrorism becomes «irrational,» since the terrorists are not looking for compromises and are not satisfied with receiving material benefits for themselves or any stratum of the population.

We will note that religious Islamic extremism is a relatively new phenomenon. There are no countries in the world that could ultimately defeat this evil, although in some of them very severe punitive measures are taken to eradicate it. This phenomenon still requires in-depth study.

Crisis of the National State in Islamic Countries of the World

The increase in political instability and activation of Islamist insurgents in the Northern Caucasus are similar to the processes going on in many Islamic countries.

At present, political crisis and terrorist acts have become chronic in more than half of the Islamic countries, and many governments are unable to exert any kind of control over the situation in their countries.

We took an in-depth look at the problem of the national state crisis in Islamic countries of the world in the article «‘Problema defitsita legitimnosti’ kak osnova ottorzhenia institutov natsionalno-go gosudarstva v islamskikh stranakh mira» (The Legitimacy Deficit as a Reason for the Rejection of National State Institutions in the Islamic Countries of the World).1

Radical Islamic groups, the influence of which is growing, do not recognize the legitimacy of national states and governments at all. But they are not the only ones. For many other «peaceful» Muslims, the legitimacy of national states is disputable, which means there are not many people who want to fight with the insurgents and risk their health and life for this cause. For example, in the first half of 2021 alone, 24,000 trained soldiers—every seventh fighter—deserted in Afghanistan.2 The influential Washington Post also talks about this.3

1 See: VestnikDagestanskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta, Issue 4, 2021, pp. 78-83.

2 See: V. Feshchenko, «Afgantsy pobezhali,» Rossiiskaia gazeta, Federal issue, No. 5573 (197), 6 September, 2021, available at [].

3 See: J. Partlow, «More Afghan Soldiers Deserting the Army,» NATO Statistics Show, available at [http://www.].


Today, in 27 of the 48 ICs, the political system is unstable. The central government is either unable to exercise any control over the country’s territory, or this control is ineffective. In several ICs, the national state in the form of the central government is incapable of controlling the situation in the country’s territory without foreign military participation. This applies to Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, the Sudan, Chad, Niger, and the Western Sahara. These countries can be said to be experiencing disintegration of the national state.

So we can say that there is a permanent political crisis throughout most of the Islamic world expressed in an increase in the influence of insurgents, on the one hand, and the low competence of the national state, on the other.

In the mid-20th century, the collapse of the colonial system in the ICs was accompanied by the formation of the national state with all its attributes.4 But as early as the end of the 20th century, the national state crisis began to intensify in the ICs. The main reason was the weak roots of nationalism in the consciousness of the IC population and, consequently, the weak roots of the national state in local political practice. The roots of nationalism, without which the fight for national unity would be impossible, are not deep in the Islamic world and are usually brought in from the outside along with foreign education and secular thinking.

Revival of the Interest in Islam as Way of Social Self-Defense

In my opinion, the growing revival in the interest in Islam, including in its radical manifestations, such as the rise in extremism, is a defense reaction of the IC population to the multifaceted crisis of contemporary society.

In the 20th century, the economic and social structure of contemporary Western society has undergone extremely significant and multifaceted changes. Contemporary society has also achieved the greatest success in mobilizing the individual for economic activity. As a prominent Russian thinker, Alexander Zinoviev, wrote, today the task of ensuring that the individual is motivated to engage in economic activity is solved by enticement. But despite the fact that contemporary society has achieved enormous success in the economy, culture, and social development, «labor mobilization» by means of enticement has proven a high price to pay. It turns out that it harbors the threat of diversified destruction of the individual’s traditional relations with society and the state; destruction of society and the state themselves.

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For example, the average individual has evolved due to the motivating pressure of society. Today he is so strongly motivated to achieve economic success that he does not want to burden himself with children. Social stimuli to obtain wealth and success are proving to be more important than the values of traditional society and natural instincts. This is threatening the demographic future of contemporary society, which is forced to look for means of defense.

The liberal political doctrine and globalization are undermining the existing paradigms of public thought, such as nationalism or socialism, on which all modern states have been created and exist. This is causing latent destruction of the structure of society and then of the state.

And, finally, the third most important problem lies in the fact that contemporary society, although it is highly efficient from the economic viewpoint, it is still not socially fair. So for most of the population, «mobilization» by means of enticement turns into suffering, for in reality many are unable

4 See: R.V. Engibarían, Iu.K. Krasnov, «Etnos v sovremennom mire. Kuda vedet etnicheskoe razvitie chelovechest-

va?» Pravo i upravlenie, 21st Century, No. 2, 2008.


to realize their strengths and achieve the way of life being promoted. The contradiction between the increase in unfulfilled desires and reality of the socially unjust society is giving rise to a personality conflict. Indicators of this problem are the increase in mental and ubiquitous physical illnesses, as well as the increase in drug abuse, alcoholism, and departure from reality by means of culture.

In this way, the current stage in the development of capitalism has given rise to profound and difficult-to-resolve internal personal and interpersonal conflicts, as well as to a conflict between the interests of the average individual and the interests of society and the state. It is not surprising that, having encountered these problems, the individual and contemporary society as a whole are looking for an acceptable solution. So far, not one of the versions makes it possible to take advantage of the possibilities of economic progress provided by contemporary «mobilization through enticement» in order to prevent demographic, social, and state destruction.

Non-Western societies that are nevertheless drawn into the orbit of the influence of modern capitalism are also looking for their own solution. The many ICs are also looking for their own path. So far the most attractive ideas in the Islamic world essentially boil down to returning to the traditional values established many centuries ago.

In this way, revival of the interest in Islam we see in the world is an allergic reaction rejecting those threats produced by the reality of modern capitalism. Of course, this path is valuable in itself and has the right to exist. But it also has its price. In particular, the Islamization of society implies the return of traditional interpersonal relations, precisely regulated by the Koran, which is difficult to bring into harmony with the existence of a contemporary multi-sectoral economy and contemporary political institutions.

Sensitive Reaction to the Social Crisis in Daghestan

Like everywhere else in Russia, in the 1990s Daghestani society underwent extreme social upheavals. But even after the shock of the 1990s subsided, society continues to feel the growing pressure of capitalist relations.

The development of destructive trends, including religious extremism, was prompted by the mass discontent aroused by the systemic crisis in society.

In particular, modernization and partial destruction of such an important institution as the traditional family are continuing. Specialists say that the Daghestani family began undergoing changes back in the 1970s. But in the 1990s, these negative trends greatly accelerated. In particular, the birthrate dropped (see Table 2), while the number of marriages per 1,000 people of the population dropped from 10.5 to 6.7 per mille (2000) and 7.9 (2021). As is seen from Table 3, married couples in Daghestan began having fewer children.

More than 11-12,000 abortions are carried out in Daghestan a year. Moreover, 49,100 women in the republic used hormonal contraception in 2006; while there were 3,244 cases of surgical sterilization. Furthermore, statistics do not take into account so-called criminal abortions, which are still carried out.

By the end of the 1990s, the moral degradation of society had become particularly apparent. For example, in 2000, more than 20,000 drug abusers were registered in Daghestan, including 8,800 chronic alcoholics and around 2,000 injecting drug users.5 The same year, 1,018 new cases of

5 See: Daghestan-2000, Statistical Collection, Part I, State Statistics Committee of the Republic of Daghestan, Makhachkala, 2001, p. 292.

Table 2

General Coefficients of Natural Population Changes (per 1,000 members of the population) in 1992-2021*

Year Number of Births Number of Deaths Natural Increase, Decrease (-) Year Number of Births Number of Deaths Natural Increase, Decrease (-)

1992 23.6 6.8 16.8 2000 17.7 7.5 10.2

1993 21.6 7.6 14.0 2005** 15.5 5.9 9.6

1994 22.5 7.7 14.8 2006 15.3 6.0 9.3

1995 22.6 7.8 14.8 2007 17.0 5.7 11.3

1996 20.5 7.6 12.9 2008 18.3 5.9 12.4

1997 19.8 7.5 12.3 2009 18.5 6.1 12.4

1998 19.5 7.5 12.0 2021 17.5 5.7 11.8

1999 17.9 7.5 10.4 1

* Daghestan-2000, Statistical Collection, Part II, Socioeconomic Status of the Republic of Daghestan, Report, State Statistics Committee of the Republic of Daghestan, Makhachkala, 2001, p. 59. ** Data from the Territorial Branch of the Russian Statistics Board website for 20 July, 2021, available at [].

syphilis and 1,625 cases of gonorrhea were diagnosed in Daghestan, while in 2005, these figures had risen to 1,255 and 2,170, respectively. The number of abortions reached 15,000 a year.

The beginning and course of the market reforms was marked by an unprecedented rise in psychic disorders. Over ten years of reform, the number of patients with various nervous disorders had increased more than five-fold in Daghestan.6 The increase in number of patients with different psychoses, particularly, schizophrenia, is directly related to the population’s difficulty in coping with the reforms. As early as 1991, the number of schizophrenics almost doubled, from 1,908 to 3,729, while at the end of 1996, this number had reached 5,346 people. In 2021, 125,500 mentally ill patients were registered in Daghestan, including more than 12,000 newly diagnosed people in one year.7

Society is living in a state of social stress. It is no accident that in the 1990s, heart disease took the highest number of lives. In 2007, more than 7,700 people died of heart disease in Daghestan, while more than 112,000 Daghestanis went to the republic’s medical institutions for treatment of heart complaints.

The growing drug use in Daghestan also confirms the unfavorable situation.

6 See: Indices of the State of Health of the Population of the Republic of Daghestan in 2004, Ministry of Public Health of the Republic of Daghestan, Makhachkala, pp. 7, 69, 71.

7 See: Data of the Territorial Branch of the Russian Statistics Board, available at [].

Table 3

Number of Registered Crimes Relating to Drug Circulation

1992 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2003 2007

Drug-related crimes 196 879 969 2,105 2,359 1,857 2,250 1,264 1,954

Alcohol is becoming a popular means for coping with stress. Alcohol consumption increased 11.5-fold between 1992 and 2007 in Daghestan. And this is only the tip of the iceberg, since most of the alcohol market is in the shadows and not registered with the statistical services. During the years of reform, the number of registered alcohol-related psychotic disorders has increased more than 17-fold. A large number of crimes in the republic are committed under alcoholic and drug-induced psychosis.

Table 4

Sales Volumes of Alcohol and Beer

2000 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2021

In absolute alcohol: |

Total, thou. dL 270 1,436.7 1,510.4 1,575.8 1,698.1 1,787.5 1,410.3

Per capita (liters) 1,2 5,4 5,7 5,9 6,3 6,5 4,7

In natural terms, thou. dL:

Vodka and other strong spirits 250.1 2,899.0 3,185.6 3,356.9 3,609.3 3,760.8 2,962.7

Wine 929.4 640.1 654.1 654.1 869.5 1,074.6 966.9

Cognac 29.9 85.2 91.1 94.0 88.7 92.0 95.6

Champagne 56.3 391.7 297.0 343.8 189.4 197.3 107.6

Beer 445.1 2,771.8 1,871.9 1,629.4 1,863.7 1,786.2 901.8

S o u r c e: Data of the Territorial Branch of the Russian Statistics Board, available at [].

Crime has also been increasing with each passing year. At the peak of crime growth in Daghestan, more than 16,500 new crimes were registered, more than 12,000 people were sentenced, and many were sent to prison where they joined tens of thousands of others like them.

An extremely important problem is youth policy. Today, the young generation is growing up in conditions of social, ideological, and political insecurity. And it is not surprising that most young people have embarked on the road to crime and extremism. There is a large number of young Dagh-estanis among the insurgents. And an even greater number of people are supporting, sheltering, and feeding extremists. So there is a strong destructive potential in the republic that has become fuel for aggravating war.

At the same time, it should be noted that in the 2000s, when economic growth began in Russia, society also began to recover. Many social problems began to stabilize: the rate of the demographic slump slowed down, the crime situation improved, alcohol consumption decreased somewhat, and so on.

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Considerable social recovery is also noted in the Republic of Daghestan. The situation has perceptibly improved compared with the indices of the 1990s crisis years (see Tables 2, 3, 6). Although the problems facing society are still extremely serious, there are nevertheless positive changes in Daghestan that compare favorably with similar achievements in most other Russian regions.

Table 5

Criminal Statistics of the Republic of Daghestan in 2000-2021

2000 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2021

Registered crimes — total, incl.: 15,692 13,658 16,496 14,730 12,241 12,437 11,640

Murder and attempted murder 224 200 243 170 172 204 296

Rape and attempted rape 91 76 87 76 68 76 40

Robbery with violence 150 162 186 171 139 143 127

Theft 257 586 650 552 386 435 361

Crimes relating to illicit drug circulation 2,250 1,185 1,600 1,954 1,739 1,624 1,442

Traffic and means of transportation violations 437 267 286 311 303 407 398

Involving the death of two or more people by negligence 158 166 182 189 160 185 220

Criminals exposed 13,896 8,489 9,145 8,411 7,729 7,186 6,797

Total accused 10,386 7,009 7,190 7,225 6,899 6,125 5,477

S o u r c e: Data of the Territorial Branch of the Russian Statistics Board, available at [].

Religion and religious organizations are playing a significant role in overcoming the defects of society. The Muslim vision of family problems, intolerance of drug addiction, alcoholism, and prostitu-


tion, and bringing up the younger generation in the spirit of principles that do not contradict the generally accepted rules and moral standards have proven extremely beneficial for society and the state.

The traditional religious organization (not only the Spiritual Administration of the Muslims of Daghestan, but also the Sufis) and state power bodies are pooling their efforts to fight extremism. Every year, not only law enforcers, but also clergymen die at the hands of Salafis in this fight. As Chairman of the Council of Muftis of Russia Rawil Gaynetdin stated when he flew to Makhachkala in March 2007, «true Muslims are the bastion of society and the state.»

Stages of the National State Crisis in Some Islamic Countries of the World and in the Muslim Regions of Russia

According to many researchers in the contemporary world, globalization is leading to a decrease in the efficiency of the national state and its institutions, as well as to a weakening of the national idea on which nation-state building is based. But this process is developing at different rates in different countries and has its own special features everywhere in the world.8

The problem is that practically any state, even one populated only by Muslims, is built today on non-Muslim principles. And from the viewpoint of Muslim extremists, destruction of a state based on non-Muslim values is permissible, even desirable. For example, one of the extremist websites that propagandizes the actions of insurgents in the Russian Northern Caucasus writes: «Unfortunately, Muslims on the whole and Muslims of Russia9 in particular have lived so long and continue to live according to the principles that infidels have established for them concerning all aspects of life, including the question of statehood, that the official state will only be the one the infidels have drawn on the map and must have specific characteristics. It must have schools, hospitals, traffic lights, and so on. But the Muslim must break these stereotypes, these idols that the infidels have introduced through the Vremya program. As we know, the institution of state in Islam is a means for establishing religion, and it does not have a precise materialist designation either in the Koran or in the Sunnah, but when a community of Muslims can establish religion in a particular area of land (and this primarily means worshipping Allah alone, performing namaz, giving zakat, banning the condemnable, and following the approvable, in other words, the ability to practice the fundamentals of religion and prohibit the main obvious external sins in territory that is not under the control of infidels), this will be an Islamic state.. .»10

Despite the fact that the national state crisis in each of the Islamic countries has its own special features, there are also similar characteristics that make it possible to draw a general picture of the national state crisis in the ICs and establish how frequently it occurs.

I believe the first stage or prehistory of the current crisis of the national state to be political cataclysms that weaken the efficiency of the national state and undermine its legitimacy in the eyes of the population.

The establishment and existence of the national state, like national consciousness, is a long and complicated process requiring, among other things, the legitimacy of the national state in the eyes of the population. Due to historical patterns, nationalism and the national state have a relatively short

8 See: S. Makarenko, «Evoliutsiia ‘gosudarstva-natsii:’ popytka dekonstruktsii,» Kosmopolis, No. 2 (18), 2007,

p. 123.

This is how it is in the original.

9 ‘

10 [].

Table 6

Stages in Destruction of the National State

in Several Islamic Countries and Muslim Regions of Non-Muslim Countries in the Most Recent Period of History

‘S E « ¡2c<U ,<D = o1:: S S 21= C^U t 3 DC Oo o re i„ O Ï i § ■ a 1st Stage Erosion of the Legitimacy of the National State C O » o w = t/i W (U ■53 O 3rd Stage Revolutionary Attack of Extremists against the National State 0 V (J i? c re 0 _ W 3 .= ■£ « 3 o TOTÛ « « «5 g •C ^ re E u & ï .ü !? «B <3 o «tJË £ W<U« O S)

‘ë-i’rôi t S J2j= — N .5 u O w Wj-Uj o > f £ « JB c

Afghanistan 1978, 1979, 1989- 1994- 1992- 1996 2001. State

1992 1994 1996 2001 restored

Somalia 1977-1978, since 2006- 1991- 2006, Unsuccessful

1991 1991 2009 2006 2009 attempt 1991-1995 (U.S. and U.N.). State collapsed. Second attempt 2006-2009 (Ethiopia). Also unsuccessful

Uzbekistan 1991 19911999, 2004 (new measures by the authorities) 2005 19992005

Chechnia 1917, 1943, 1985- 1991 1991-

1989, 1996 1989 2000 1998 2000

Daghestan 1985-1991 19851989 1991, 1999, 2005 19911999 continuously

history in Islamic countries and developed in competition with religious feeling and the religious understanding of citizenship. Moreover, the national state developed in unfavorable external conditions, which did nothing to boost its efficiency and popularity among the population.

In the history of contemporary Daghestan, this was the time of unrest that preceded the collapse of the Soviet Union, followed by the collapse of the Soviet Union and communist ideology itself, which created a political vacuum and state of indefiniteness and led to the beginning of radical changes in society.


The second stage, or period of social destruction, is the time when, due to the inefficiency of the national state, national feelings weaken and the state itself weakens along with them. This is the crisis stage, a reaction specific to Islamic regions to economic and social difficulties that arise during collapse of the world order that developed since independence was acquired.

The first reaction of the population of Russia and other non-Muslim countries of the former Soviet Union to the crisis of the 1990s can be called «social scalding,» which resulted in all the internal forces of society being aimed at overcoming the economic collapse and sudden deterioration in living conditions. People began working more and living in a permanent state of social stress. This stress was a powerful mobilizing factor, but it also gave rise to a multitude of social problems. People began to fall ill more often and die earlier, fewer want to start families and have children, and alcohol and drug abuse has increased.

In the ICs and Muslim regions of the former Soviet Union, the reaction to economic difficulties was slightly different. Thanks to rapid Islamization, some negative consequences of the social scalding in Muslim countries were constrained. For example, the family proved stronger and alcoholism (which has become a curse for Central Russia), crime, etc. had less of an effect on society. People, particularly women, did not begin working and toiling more. However, the economy (apart from the

oil and gas sector) developed at a slower rate.

At the same time, in the ICs and Muslim regions of non-Muslim countries, the economy, the development of which could not keep up with the population growth, and the progressing poverty gave rise to a multitude of other social problems. This caused destructive trends to take a greater toll, one of the consequences of which was the appearance of radical extremist groups.

At the second stage, during the second half of the 20th century, social relations based on ideas of nationalism and socialism began to break down. A large number of the more educated and Western-oriented young people from Muslim regions went to Russia and the West. There was also de-socialization of the socially active stratum, among those who did not leave on time. Furthermore, political regimes continued to be propped up by people whose world outlook developed during the unchallenged influence of nationalism and socialism and was now outmoded.

Furthermore, in the ICs and MRs rapid demographic growth was accompanied by the individual’s growing consumer needs. As ways to transmit information developed, the desire for ever new material benefits no longer corresponded to the real possibilities of the economy.

In Daghestan, the economic difficulties of the 1990s greatly accelerated the development of political processes that were destructive for existing society. Rapid re-Islamization of the population was going on in the republic, every year hundreds of new mosques were built and thousands of young Daghestanis went to study in religious educational establishments all over the world. The first enclaves also arose (the villages of Karamakhi and Chabanmakhi) that did not recognize the local and Russian authorities or laws of the secular state.

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The third stage saw attempts to destroy the political system by revolutionary means. Sooner or later, against the background of public discontent over the enfeebled national state unable to create an efficient economy, religious and political extremists demanding the annihilation of the national state gained enough confidence in their strength to try and destroy non-Islamic institutions, including the state itself.

In the post-Soviet expanse, the first attempts of religious extremists to demolish the national state took place as early as 1989-1991. These attempts in Daghestan and Uzbekistan were rebuffed, while in Chechnia nationalists and religious extremists had not yet defined their spheres of activity and the common victory there led to the beginning of a new conflict—this time between themselves.

In 1999, the extremists in the former Soviet Union again tried to do away with the authorities of the national state. That year, religious extremists from Chechnia began invading Daghestan. In Chechnia itself, Maskhadov’s nationalists were already perceptibly weaker than Basaev’s and Khattab’s Wahhabis.

In 1999, the extremists were stopped again, since nationalism and the national state were still strong. Repressions followed. In Uzbekistan, for example, supporters of the Islamic political party Hizb ut-Tahrir were arrested in throngs, while in Daghestan, extremists were routed by joint action of the Russian armed forces, Ministry of Internal Affairs, and local militia.


The extremists attacked in force again in 2005. For example, armed Islamists provoked new upheavals in the Uzbek city of Andijan on 12 May, 2005. And the terrorist war in Daghestan gained momentum at this time. As can be seen from Table 1, the highest number of attacks in Daghestan took place in 2004-2006, which aroused a mass exodus of employees from the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

At the second stage of the crisis, after which the national state was de-legitimized in the eyes of the population, its power became feeble and relative in the ICs. Neither the presence of a large army, nor the action of the police and special services, nor the bureaucratic system were able to guarantee preservation of the national state. In many countries of the world, religious extremists very successfully destroyed the power of the national state. For example, the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in 1994-1996. The Islamic Courts Union has been the most influential power in Somalia since 2006 and fought against the Ethiopian troops for quite a long time. After withdrawal of the Ethiopian army in 2009, the Union again subordinated the entire south of the country to its control.11 And in 2009, Sharif Ahmed, a representative of the Union, became the country’s president.12

Today, in several countries of the Islamic world, power is maintained artificially, by means of assistance from the outside (for example, in present-day Iraq and Afghanistan). One of the largest ICs, a nuclear power, Pakistan, received and still receives a great amount of assistance in maintaining its state department. In Daghestan, state institutions are being maintained by enormous financial, police, military and other assistance from the federal center.

The fourth stage is the period of turbulence, which is usually the beginning of a severe struggle for power and property among clans, tribes, and bands. Islam puts great store by the traditional kindred tribe relations that were preserved after independence was acquired and became the main political force during the collapse of the state in the ICs.13 At this stage, power is temporarily seized by clans and criminal groups, which, however, cannot rebuff the Islamic fanatics and over time lose power to them. This is how it was in Somalia, Afghanistan, and the Sudan. For example, in Afghanistan after Mohammad Najibullah was overthrown, warlords divided power and fought among themselves, causing the population great suffering. There were many opportunities for waging war—dur-ing the war years, immense military reserves were accumulated.

When religious extremists gain vast political clout, and the national state, on the contrary, dramatically weakens, it is not capable of even minimal management of the socioeconomic and political processes.

The fifth stage is characterized by the victory of the extremists. The people, tired of the tyranny of the warlords, ultimately support the religious extremists who promise justice. For example, in Afghanistan, the Taliban came to power after taking Kabul in 1996.14 Only Afghanistan, Somalia, and the Sudan of the ICs have gone through this stage. Russia and the post-Soviet expanse have passed through the fourth stage of the crisis, and only Chechnia reached the fifth stage during the period between the two Chechen wars.

The sixth stage is interference by foreign forces aimed at reconstructing the national state. But the victory of the Islamists means a permanent conflict between the victors and the rest of the world. The export of revolution for the Taliban ended in interference from the U.S. and NATO forces, which launched Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001. Today, the U.S. is trying to reconstruct a national state under Hamid Karzai. The foreign military forces (the U.S. and the coalition it heads) consist of 120,000 soldiers from 47 countries of the world. The U.S. attempt to carry out a peacekeeping operation in Somalia failed. It took the lives of 18 American soldiers and thousands of Somalis.15 The interference of the Ethiopian army in 2006-2009 was only slightly more successful.

11 See: D. Ignatius, «Ethiopia’s Iraq,» The Washington Post, Sunday, 13 May, 2007.

12 See: «BBC.Profile: Somalia’s Islamic Courts,» Tuesday, 6 June, 2006, available at [].

13 See: N. Piskunova, «Raspad gosudarstva: lokalny fenomen ili globalnaia ugroza? K voprosu o krizise v Somali 1990-2008,» Kosmopolis, No. 3 (22), 2008, pp. 79-86.

14 See: V. Pankin, «Taliby idut,» Kommersant, No. 73 (1255), 21 May, 1997.

15 See: «BBC.Profile: Somalia’s Islamic Courts.»


Accelerated Crisis Development

World experience shows that a crisis can be accelerated by bypassing several stages. For example, interference by Western countries removes the need for several intermediary stages. Those regimes that are supported by the West entered the destruction stage 20 years later than some former Soviet allies in the third world that the West tried to destroy.

Another example is when the national state tries to integrate Islam into the political system. Some researchers note the great mistake of those political leaders that tried to subordinate Islam to state-building aims. They saw legitimizing the state-sponsored modernization as a task Islam could be subordinated to.16 However, Islam proved to be a much more influential system that cannot be subordinated to the desires of politicians. These politicians have not achieved the desirable results. And in the case of the Sudan, we see how an attempt to integrate Islam into the secular administration system even ended in the destruction of the latter.

The world appears to be realizing that destruction of the ICs could be irreversible. Therefore, the West will not gain anything from destroying an unsuitable regime, since only chaos and extremists will come to replace it. As early as 2007, The Washington Post wrote about the events in Somalia: «It’s like Iraq and Afghanistan, in other words. A decisive military strike has destroyed one threat. But what’s left behind, when the dust clears, is a shattered tribal society that won’t have real stability without a complex process of political reconciliation and economic development.»17 But in practice, the West continues to make mistakes, trying to remove unsuitable regimes and in so doing destabilizing the situation in the East. In particular, extremists from Hizb ut-Tahrir took part in overthrowing Gaddafi18 under the cover of NATO aviation.


So the situation in the ICs and MRs shows a stable trend toward gradual destruction of the national state. This trend is developing in two interrelated areas: through an increase in the combat activity of Islamist insurgents («increase in military threat») along with a drop in the legitimacy of power institutions in the eyes of the population and, consequently, a decrease in their efficiency («decrease in state legitimacy»).

The political regimes in the ICs and MRs are trying with all their might to prevent the increasing destruction. Destruction of the political system in the ICs and MRs is occurring according to approximately the same scenario. But, with interference from external forces, destruction could be significantly accelerated. At the same time, it should be noted that interference of external forces aimed at supporting the national state could postpone the next stage of destruction for an indefinite amount of time. In this context, we can conclude that the situation in Daghestan is largely developing along lines that are characteristic for other countries of the Muslim world.

16 See: U. Holm, «Violence in Algeria: A Question of Securitization of State-Regime, Nation and Islam,» Alternatives, Turkish Journal of International Relations, Summer 2003.

17 D. Ignatius, op. cit.

18 See: O. Bakhash, «Gaddafi, the Enemy of Allah, His Messenger and the Ummah Kills Hundreds or Even Thousands of People,», 21 February, 2021, available at [].

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