Monday, April 22, 2024

Moscow's Muslims Given 2,000 Haj Slots This Year, More than Their Co-Religionists in Any Federal Subject except Daghestan and Chechnya

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Apr. 20 – After Saudi Arabia set Russia’ s haj quota this year again at 25,000, the Muslim leadership of the Russian Federation divided those slots among the regions and republics of their country. As in the past, Daghestan and Chechnya were given the most, with 10,000 and 3100 respectively. But strikingly, Moscow city ranked third with 2,000.

            The Saudi number is based on the principle that each country should have a total quota equal to one Muslim for every thousand believers. But the numbers set within the Russian Federation reflect both past demand and a variety of calculations including politics and economics.

            Muslims in Moscow are likely better connected and wealthier than their co-religionists in the North Caucasus. But it is still striking that the city of Moscow was given so many slots, more than Muslims in Stavropol (1100), Kabardino-Balkaria (400), Karachayevo-Cherkessia, occupied Crimea (300), and North Ossetia (180) (

            More than that, this figure is a useful reminder that the Russian capital has become increasingly Islamic in population, something that many Russians are alarmed by and will be even more disturbed by this reminder of the fact that there are in the eyes of the Muslim establishment some two million Muslims there, far more than the Kremlin admits.

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