Saturday, September 30, 2023

Muslim Migrant Workers in Russia Radicalizing, Posing Challenges for Russia and Their Homelands, New Poll Suggests

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Sept. 22 – According to a new poll conducted by the Federal Agency for Nationality Affairs, 43 percent of Central Asian migrant workers in Russia say they would prefer to live according to shariat law and according to the laws of their home countries rather than the laws of the Russian Federation.

            The poll also found that 24 percent of them say they are ready to take part in protests to defend their right to live according to shariat inside the Russian Federation, and 15.3 percent say they are ready to engage in illegal actions to that end (

            Such attitudes not only exacerbate tensions between them and the dominant ethnic Russian population but serve to spread such convictions to Muslims from the indigenous population of Russia and to trigger greater Islamic radicalism in their homelands when they return.

            As such, they are a threat to both Russia and to the Central Asian countries.

            Igor Barinov, the head of the nationalities agency, says that the way before is to enforce Russian law and to set up programs to filter immigrant workers so that those with radical ideas do not enter or do not dominate opinion among the growing number of immigrant workers  (

            Vladimir Putin for his part continues to play down the problem, arguing at the Eastern Economic Forum that migrant workers form only “3.7 percent” and that any problems can be solved by insisting that the immigrants learn Russian and enforcing existing Russian legislation to the fullest.

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