The Relationship between Islamic Structures and the State: the Case of Tatarstan

Cover Page


The paper focuses on the relationships that have developed over the past 30 years of the post-secularity period between the state and Islamic structures and communities using the example of the Republic of Tatarstan as a region with a significant Muslim population. Based on the data of 14 in-depth interviews with the experts, imams and residents of Tatarstan, it is shown that the secular power controls the Islamic community and the Spiritual Administration of Muslims and plays a dominant role in the interaction between the state and Islamic organizations. The modern processes of re-Islamization are associated with the risks caused by Islamic globalization which may lead to the loss of regional Islamic tradition and threaten the stability of the Republic. The state has strengthened control over the religious sphere in this context and has charged the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of the Republic of Tatarstan with an important task of neutralizing and preventing extremism. The main ways to overcome radicalization of believers are educational activities with special attention paid to young people and work for training Muslim clergy. The paper also analyzes whether it is possible to observe the principle of secularism. Special attention is paid to the description of the two main parts that make up the Muslim Ummah of Tatarstan, their different attitudes to the issue of the state intervention in the affairs of Islam and the reaction that they received from the state and official Islamic organizations. The Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Tatarstan is forced to respond to the demands of not only the state, but also ordinary Muslims. However, it can hardly cope with the request to be a buffer between the secular authorities and the Islamic community.

About the authors

Guzel. Ya. Guzelbaeva

Kazan Federal University

Author for correspondence.
18, Kremlevskaya St, Kazan, 420008, Russian Federation

PhD in Sociology (Candidate of Science in Sociology), Department of General and Ethnic Sociology


  1. Habermas J. Notes in Post-Secular Society. New Perspectives Quarterly. 2008; 25: 17–29.
  2. Uzlaner D. Cartography of the postsecular. Otechestvennye zapiski. 2013; 1 (52): 175–192 (In Russ.).
  3. Filippova E.I., Radvani Zh. (eds.). Religions and Radicalism in the Post Secular World. M.: Institut etnologii i antropologii im. N.N. Miklukho-Maklaya RAN, Goryachaya liniya – Telekom; 2017 (In Russ.).
  4. Casanova J. Public Religions Revisited. In: de Vries H. (ed.). Religion: Beyond the Concept. New York, NY: Fordham University Press; 2008. p. 101–119.
  5. Terner B. Religion in Post-secular Society. State, Religion and Church. 2012; 2: 21–51 (In Russ.).
  6. Mchedlova M.M. Religious Situation in Russia and Its Regions. In: Tishkov V.A., Stepanov V.V. (eds.). Ethnic and Religious Diversity in Russia. Moscow: Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology Russian Academy of Sciences; 2018. p. 161–190 (In Russ.).
  7. Sagitova L.V. Islam in the Construction of the Regional Political Design of Contemporary Tatarstan. RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2018; 20 (3): 313–322 (In Russ.). doi: 10.22363/2313-1438-2018-20-3-313-322.
  8. Guzelbaeva G.Ya. PostSecular Trends among Tatars at the Beginning of the XXIst Century. Proceedings of Kazan University. Humanities Series. 2014; 156 (6): 212–219 (In Russ.).
  9. Kosach G. Tatarstan: Religion and Nationality in the Mass Consciousness. In: Kaariaynen K., Furman D. (eds.). New Churches, Old Believers – Old Churches, New Believers: Religion in Post-Soviet Russia. Moscow; Saint Petersburg: Letniy sad; 2007. p. 341–395 (In Russ.).
  10. Furman D., Kaariainen K., Karpov V. Religiosity in Russia in the 1990s – the beginning of the XXIst century. In: Kaariaynen K., Furman D. (eds.). New Churches, Old Believers – Old Churches, New Believers: Religion in PostSoviet Russia. Moscow; Saint Petersburg: Letniy sad; 2007. p. 6–86 (In Russ.).
  11. Bourdieu P. Genesis and Structure of the Religious Field. In: Bourdieu P. Social Space: Fields and Practices. Saint Petersburg, Aleteya Publ.; Moscow, Institut eksperimentalnoy sotsiologii; 2005 (In Russ.).
  12. Nabiev R.A. Power and Religious Revival. Kazan: Kazan University Publishing House; 2014 (In Russ.).
  13. Khabutdinov A.Y. The Development of Muslim Community (Ummah) of the Republic of Tatarstan in Late 2018-2019. Islam in the Modern World. 2019; 15 (4): 155–172 (In Russ.). doi: 10.22311/2074-1529-2019-15-4-155-172.
  14. Akhunov A.M. Foreign Factor in the Formation the System of Religious Education in Post-Soviet Tatarstan: Problems and Ways of Overcoming Them. Islam in the Modern World. 2016; 12 (3): 179–188 (In Russ.). doi: 10.22311/2074-1529-2016-12-3-179-188.
  15. Pochta Yu.M. Religion and Politics in the Post-Soviet Russia (Example of Islam). RUDN Journal of Political Science. 2019; 21 (4): 620–632 (In Russ.). doi: 10.22363/2313-1438-2019-21-4-620-632.



Abstract - 343

PDF (Russian) - 95




Copyright (c) 2020 Guzelbaeva G.Y.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies