For Prophet and Tsar: Islam and Empire in Russia and Central by Robert D. Crews

By Robert D. Crews

N stark distinction to the preferred "clash of civilizations" idea that sees Islam necessarily in clash with the West, Robert D. Crews unearths the notable ways that Russia developed an empire with large Muslim aid. For Prophet and Tsar reveals the interesting courting among an empire and its matters. As the US and Western Europe debate how top to safe the allegiances in their Muslim populations, Crews bargains a different and important historic vantage element.

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Additional resources for For Prophet and Tsar: Islam and Empire in Russia and Central Asia

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They looked first to a “clergy” in each community, even in traditions such as Islam that did not historically recognize such sociological categories. Yet in nineteenth-century Russia, as in Europe, an anticlerical spirit impinged upon toleration as well. Where the tsarist bureaucracy valued the supposed contribution of religion to morality and order but distrusted clerics, it created a space for lay initiative, inviting challenges to clerical authority from below. As in colonial India, suspicion of indigenous religious elites stimulated official interest in the exploration of texts that would allow administrators to overcome their reliance on such mediation.

While leading troops toward Astrakhan and the Caspian Sea, he commissioned a Russian translation of the Qur’an. Based on a mid-seventeenth-century French edition, it appeared in 1716 as The Al-Koran on Muhammad, or the Turkish Creed. The emperor also imported expertise supplied by numerous Christian émigrés from the Ottoman empire, who knew a great deal not only about Islam but about the Ottomans’ treatment of the Christian populations of their empire. In 1711, Dmitrii Cantemir, a former governor of Ottoman Moldavia, defected to Russia.

Orthodox elites also had to reconcile themselves to religious pluralism. 16 Thus the partitions of Poland absorbed Catholics, Protestants, Uniates, and Jews; and the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula increased the number of Muslims. Because her Instruction was more an abstract statement of philosophical principles than binding legislation, Catherine issued no general statement of toleration. Instead she made ad hoc announcements in various treaties and decrees pledging noninterference or respect for the status quo.

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