The Diversification of the Muslim Community in St. Petersburg in the 2010s

in Journal of Religion in Europe
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?


Through the intensification of migration, the number of Muslims has multiplied in ethnically Russian areas, including St. Petersburg. Within the heterogeneous Muslim community of the city, countless new communities and initiatives have emerged, but they increasingly face suspicions and restrictions from the authorities. These difficulties reflect the general political urge to exercise more control over religious activity in Russia. Nevertheless, discussions about the need to police Islamic activity contain arguments—similar to those in Western Europe—about the alleged incompatibility of Islam and modern secular societies. This article surveys the development and challenges of new Muslim communities in St. Petersburg in the 2010s. It is argued that the diversification of religiosity is an expected outcome of the pluralization of modern societies. Paradoxically, the restrictive politics that are based on the supposed illiberal, anti-modern nature of Islam promotes religious monopolies and thus a very traditional understanding of religiosity.

The Diversification of the Muslim Community in St. Petersburg in the 2010s

in Journal of Religion in Europe



Aitamurto Kaarina Definitions of Islam and Muslim Minorities in Russia” in: Simons Greg & Westerlund David (eds.) Religion State and Nation-Building in Post-Communist Eastern Europe (Farnham: Ashgate2015) 99116.

Anon. “Muftii Ravil’ Pancheev: ‘V samom ponyatii “islam” est’ mir’” 18 September 2013. (accessed 26 April 2016).

Anon. “Prokuratura trebuet zakryt’ Islamskii kul’turnyi tsentr v Peterburge, gde nashli ekstremistskuyu literature14 March 2013. (accessed 2 May 2016).

Anon. “Spravka o musul’manskikh religioznykh organizatsii Sankt-Peterburga1 p. Internal document of the city committee for relations with religious organizations at the administration of the governor of St. Petersburg October 2013.

Anon. “V Peterburge postroyat samuyu vysokuyu mechet v Rossii1 May 2013. (accessed 19 November 2013).

Anon. “V Sankt-Peterburge prigovoren musul’manin-‘nursist’” Vsemirnyi Islamskii sait musulman30 August 2013. (accessed 19 November 2013).

Asad Talal Formation of the Secular: Christianity Islam Modernity (Stanford: Stanford University Press2003).

Bekkin Renat & Tagirdzhanova Almira Musul’manskii Peterburg: Istoricheskii putevoditel’. Zhizn’ musul’man v gorode na Neve i ego okrestnostyakh [Muslim Petersburg: Historical Guide-book. The Life of Muslims in St. Petersburg and Its Suburbs] (Moscow & St. Petersburg: RAN2016).

Berger Peter L. The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion (New York: Anchor Books1967).

Beyusov Munir Pochemu Said Nursi?” 7 August 2008. (accessed 19 November 2017).

Beyusov Munir “‘Gryaznye tekhnologii’ rossiiskikh neokharidzhitovLivejournal5 February 2013. (accessed 19 November 2013).

Braginskaia Ekaterina “‘Domestication’ or Representation? Russia and the Institutionalisation of Islam in Comparative Perspective’” Europe-Asia Studies 64/3 (2012) 597620.

Casanova José Public Religions in the Modern World (Chicago: Chicago University Press1994).

Coleman John A. Selling God in America: American Commercial Culture as a Climate of Hospitality to Religion” in: Madsen Richard et al (eds.) Meaning and Modernity: Religion Polity and Self (Berkeley: University of California Press2002) 136149.

Curanović Alicja Cecyla Relations Between the Orthodox Church and Islam in the Russian FederationJournal of Church and State 52/3 (2010) 503539.

Dmitrev A. V. Ledeneva V. Yu. & Nazarova E. A. Migratsiya v Moskve: Modeli i perspektivy (Moscow: Al’fa-m2013).

Fagan Geraldine Believing in Russia—Religious Policy after Communism (London: Routledge2013).

Federal’naya sluzhba gosudarstvennoi statistkikiVserossiiskii perepis naseleniya 2010: Naselenie po natsional’nosti i vladeniyu russkim yazykom po subektam Rossiiskoi Federatsiin.d.–04.pdf (accessed 18 November 2013).

Gaidukov Aleksei V. Islam” in: idem (ed.) Religioznye organizatsii Leningradskoi oblasti: Mezhkonfessional’nyi dialog i sotsial’naya deyatel’nost’. Spravochnik (St. Petersburg: Versta2014) 211225.

Haddad Yvonne Yazbeck & Golson Tylor Overhauling Islam: Representation, Construction, and Cooption of ‘Moderate Islam’ in Western EuropeJournal of Church and State 49/3 (2007) 487515.

Heelas Paul & Woodhead Linda The Spiritual Revolution: Why Religion Is Giving Way to Spirituality (Malden: Blackwell Publishing2005).

International Federation for Human RightsA Society Under Control: Misuse of the Fight against Terrorism and Extremism in Russia29 July 2009. (accessed 17 August 2014).

Jamal Arif A. Moving Out of Kazanistan: Liberal Theory and Muslim Context” in: Marranci Gabriele (ed.) Muslim Societies and the Challenge of Secularization: An Interdisciplinary Approach (Berlin: Springer2010) 8397.

Kemper Michael Mufti Ravil’ Gainutdin: The Translation of Islam into a Language of Patriotism and Humanism” in: Bustanov Alfrid K. & Kemper Michael (eds.) Islamic Authority and the Russian Language: Studies on Texts from European Russia the North Caucasus and West Siberia (Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Pegasus2012) 105141.

Khayretdinov Damir (ed.) Islam Sankt-Peterburge: Entsiklopedicheskii slovar’ (Moskva & Nizhnii Novgorod: Medina2009).

Kochnov Vyacheslav & Beresnev Valerii “Zapetnyi khram” Novaya Gazeta19 July 2008. (accessed 30 August 2016).

Kortmann Matthias & Rosenow-Williams Kerstin Islamic Umbrella Organizations and Contemporary Political Discourse on Islam in Germany: Self-Portrayals and Strategies of InteractionJournal of Muslim Minority Affairs 33/1 (2013) 4160.

Malashenko Aleksei Islam dlya Rossii (Moskva: Rosspen2007).

Marranci Gabriele Introduction” in: idem (ed.) Muslim Societies and the Challenge of Secularization: An Interdisciplinary Approach (Berlin: Springer2010) 18.

Mitrokhin L. N. Religiya i terrorizm” in: Kudryatsev V. N. (ed.) Terrorizm i religiya (Moscow: Nauka2005) 424.

Modood Tariq Multicultural Politics: Racism Ethnicity and Muslims in Britain (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press2005).

Petlyanova Nina Tysyacha i odin ‘terrorist’” Novaya Gazeta11 February 2013. (accessed 17 August 2014).

Petlyanova Nina Allakh ego znaet?” Novaya Gazeta8 2016.

Pliev Ernst “‘Neugodnyi patriot’—Kommentarii k travle17 July 2014. (accessed 1 March 2018).

Ponchaev Rushan Sankt-Peterburgskaya sobornaya mechet’ (St. Petersburg: Evropeiskii dom2008).

Press-sluzhba gubernatora i pravitel’stva Leningradskoi oblastiGubernator vstretilsya s muftiem Sankt-Peterburga i Severo-Zapadnogo regiona RossiiLeningradskaya Oblast 30 January 2013. (accessed 19 November 2013).

Sakaranaho Tuula & Martikainen Tuomas The Governance of Islam in Finland and IrelandJournal of Religion in Europe 8/1 (2015) 730.

Shuster Simon Underground Islam in Moscow” 2 August 2013. (accessed 26 August 2014).

Sidorov Kharun Salman Sever—Uznik sovesti22 August 2013. (accessed 2 May 2016).

Stark Rodney & Bainbridge William The Future of Religion: Secularization Revival and Cult Formation (Berkeley: California University Press1985).

Tagirdzhanova Al’mira Khanum Musul’mane v zhizni I kul’ture Peterburga (XVIIIXIX vv.) (St. Petersburg: Poltorak2013).

Taylor Charles A Secular Age (Cambridge: Harvard University Press2007).

Thuswaldner Gregor A Conversation with Peter L. Berger ‘How My Views Have Changed’” The Cresset Lent LXXVII/3 (2014). (accessed 26 February 2018).

Tumanyan T. G. Islam kak sotsiokul’turnyi factor migratsionnykh protsessov v Sankt-Peterburge” in: idem (ed.) Islam v Rossii: Kul’turnye Traditsii i Sovremennye Vyzovy. Materialy mezhdunarodnoi nauchnoi konferentsii (St. Petersburg: SPBGU2013) 101105.

Yemelianova Galina M. Islamic Radicalization: A Post-Soviet, or a Global Phenomenon?” in: idem (ed.) Radical Islam in the Former Soviet Union (London: Routledge2010) 1130.

Zainullin Timur & Vyshenkov Evgenii Smol’nyi razmeshaet islam kompaktno” 16 May 2016. (accessed 16 May 2016).


Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 28 28 9
Full Text Views 47 47 33
PDF Downloads 4 4 2
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0