About one million Islamists live in Russia – expert

Moscow, October 11, Interfax — About one million Russian Muslims are radically minded, expert on Islamic affairs and deputy head of the Russian Justice Ministry’s state religious appraisal council Roman Silantyev said.

«There are about one million Islamists in Russia, which is every 15th Muslim [living in the country],» Silantyev said in an interview published by the newspaper Kultura on Friday.

He said the successful fight against radicals consisted of the use of force 90% if the time and only 10% of counterpropaganda, «which would be effective only if supported with the use of force.»

«Just like the way we fought the Nazis during the Great Patriotic War [of 1941-1945]. There is no big difference between them: both the Islamists and the Nazis wished to destroy our country. So, counterpropaganda should be mostly limited to an idea: you will be dead unless you quit the ranks of Islamists,» the expert said.

He also said that Russia had intensified the struggle against religious extremism over the past year.

«It seems that law enforcement authorities have finally realized that it was better to overreact than to react insufficiently. The Islamists understand nothing but the language of force,» Silantyev said.


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