A fierce ideological battle that appears to favor a radical Islamic constituency may hold the key to the future of a little-known but restive region in south Russia. The religious topography of the North Caucasus can no longer be reduced to a simple theological contest between Sufi traditionalists and Islamists. Increasingly, ideological schisms are emerging within the Islamist constituency itself, which Moscow rather ambiguously labels the “Wahhabi” community. The infighting revolves around differences in thinking between moderate reformers and radicals, a rivalry that, while long-prevalent in nearby Chechnya, has now become especially apparent in the republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, another patch [...]
Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of articles by Rhea Wessel on the rights of Muslim women in Europe, particularly Turkish women in Germany. The stories will appear occasionally on World Politics Review. FRANKFURT, Germany — Forcing girls and young women into marriage is illegal in most countries and banned under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but that doesn’t keep the practice from remaining prevalent in dozens of countries. In Europe, immigrants from Asia, Africa and the Middle East continue to force partners on their children for economic security, clan continuity or the preservation of a [...]
The relationship between Russia and Serbia has remained close despite numerous turnovers of leadership in both countries. The continual upkeep of this relationship finds its roots in similar cultural traditions. Both countries boast many of the same Slavic traditions, including the Cyrillic alphabet, Orthodox Christianity and a Slavic brotherhood that differentiates itself from the West. It should come as no surprise then why Russia, despite the breakup of the Soviet bloc, has continued to side with Serbia in its post-Soviet years — specifically regarding the current controversy surrounding Kosovo, which holds the status of an autonomous territory within Serbia. However, [...]
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