Speaker: Renat Bekkin
The proposed paper is based on the materials of a Ph.D. thesis, which is being currently finalized at the Religionsvetenskap of Södertörn University and which has the working title “The institution of muftiates in Russia”. The current presentation is based on a chapter “Independent Regional muftiates: (the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of the Republic of Tatarstan)”, which provides an illustration of the thesis’ central issues.
Tatarstan is one of the so-called Muslim republics, that is, the Russian regions where Muslims constitute a significant part of the population. The residence of the muftiate, the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of the Republic of Tatarstan (DUM RT), is located in the city of Kazan. The case of Tatarstan is particularly interesting in giving evidence and analysis to how the executive branch interferes not only in the election of the mufti, but also in the formation of the muftiate itself.
In my paper I discuss the strategies that DUM RT had applied in the past and continues applying in its interaction with the authorities of Tatarstan.
I use the theory of religious economics which views religious organizations as competitors in the market of religious and other services. The study is based on my field research materials (in particular, about 10 interviews that I have taken with muftis and other Muslim religious figures) as well as materials from public and private archives.