No Russian should have to live in a situation where the health care he or she is likely to be able to get won’t measure up to Afghan standards, Nalgin and Nikitsky conclude. Obviously, in publishing their posts, the Moscow newspaper agrees. For its part, Novyye izvestiya notes that there has not been any reaction from officials from its earlier coverage of this issue.
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Nearly half of the article is devoted to the complex life path of a man born in the Tatar community of Rostov in the 1870s – there is some confusion as to the exact date – who sought civic education in St. Petersburg but was rebuffed, and trained as a theologian in many medrassahs in the Russian Empire, the Middle East and India.
In Russia, Bigiyev played a major role in the Muslim rebirth in 1905 and was responsible for compiling the records of the All-Russian Muslim congresses as well as taking part in the initial stages of the Tatar national movement. But even in that period, Khayrutdinov says, he began his important work on rethinking Islam.
In 1909, he attracted attention for what others described as his identification of “errors in the Koran.” In fact, he did not speak about errors in the Koran itself but rather errors among those who read it because the Koran in its current written form has “more than 60 places” where interpreting the Arabic language has been problematic.
His corrected version of the Koran won widespread recognition by the ulema throughout the Muslim world; and this constituted his first “victory” in what some call the reformation of Islam. And he followed this up with books using his revised version as the basis for the rereading of earlier Islamic thinkers.
In 1917, he accepted both revolutions initially largely in the latter case because the Bolsheviks separated church and state thereby opening the way for Muslims to get out from under the combined forces of the Russian state and the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church.
But he quickly broke with the Soviets, sought to help Tatar nationalists, and for his positin ceased to be printed in Russia. Nonetheless, he continued to write and was published in Western Europe and the Middle East. In the mid-1920s, he was arrested, confined to the Lubyanka and exiled.
Then, in 1930, he recognized he had to flee and he illegally crossed the border into Eastern Turkestan. Bigiyev subsequently acquired Afghan citizenship and travelled throughout the Muslim world on that. But when war began, he sought to get to Turkey and was jailed by the British when he passed through India. He finally reached Istanbul where he died in 1949.
Bigiyev wrote, the Kazan historian says, “that if human wisdom is allowed to display its full power, it will eclipse even the sun.” Some want to call him a reformer, but he wasn’t. He “stressed that it is not Islam which needs reform” and decalred that “Islam did not need any Luthers, although he was called that by many.”
“Yes, we know,” Khayrutdinov says, “Luther reformed religion. But Bigiyev says that what must be reformed is not Islam but our understanding of Islam.” He wasn’t a jadidist or a modernist either, the scholar continue, because those terms are too narrow. He was a believer who used his profound knowledge of Islam and his own mind to change how Muslims view it.
The new head of Russian crime was chosen by a group of thieves in law at a Moscow restaurant at the end of last week. Shishkan, whose real name is Oleg Ramensky and who is now 54, has been near the top of Russian crime since the early 1990s, Moskvin says, when he worked closely with the odious crime figure, “the little Japanese.”
According to the journalist, “the election to a high post in the criminal world of an individual of Slavic origin … is in its own way a revolutionary event” given that in recent years this post was occupied by Yezidi Kurds and given that Shishkan faced competition from two Georgians.
One of these Georgians was eliminated as a candidate when it became clear that he wouldn’t be released from prison in 2019 when his current sentence runs out. Instead, he will be extradited, probably to Spain, where he faces a new trial and likely a new spell behind bars, Moskvin says.
But Shishkan’s election matters. Yevgeny Chernousov, a retired MVD colonel, says it “marks the end of the domination in the [Russian] criminal world of those born in the Caucasus.,” although he points out that the Caucasians always have had close ties with the Russians and vice versa.
“All thieves in law are monitored by law-enforcement organs, the retired policeman says; but it is very difficult to move against them because “they with rare exceptions do not commit crimes with their own hands and people from their immediate circle do not testify against their bosses.”
Nonetheless, other police officials and experts with whom Moskvin spoke, suggest that the Russian authorities are making progress.