Muslims in general and Muslim women in particular have carved out a space for themselves, she says. There are now even special lawyers who handle cases in which Muslims feel their rights have been violated. Those who can afford it are sending their children to private Muslim schools; and others are now engaged in home schooling to avoid Russian public schools.
Moscow’s Muslim women, Dzhalilova says, have now created “their own public space, completely female” and completely Muslim. And she provides in her article a map of these places in the Russian capital, places where even Muslims from Daghestan feel comfortable. For them, as a result, “life in Moscow is no more difficult than life in Makhachkala.”
Significantly, these places are focal points for Muslims, even for those who do not live close by. But they are likely to become the sites around which Muslim neighborhoods will crystallize, leading to the appearance of religiously-defined ghettos that until now the Russian capital has avoided.
What makes Dzhalilova’s article important in addition to the map is her implicit suggestion that it is going to be Muslim women rather than Muslim men who will be taking the lead in forming this new geography of the city.