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by Robert D. Crews

  • ISBN: 0674021649
  • Author: Robert D. Crews
  • ePub ver: 1419 kb
  • Fb2 ver: 1419 kb
  • Rating: 4.1 of 5
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 480
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; First Edition (1st printing), edition (May 30, 2006)
  • Formats: docx lrf lit txt
  • Category: History
  • Subcategory: World
epub For Prophet and Tsar: Islam and Empire in Russia and Central Asia download

For Prophet and Tsar book. In stark contrast to the popular "clash of civilizations" theory that sees Islam inevitably in Russia occupies a unique position in the Muslim world.

For Prophet and Tsar book. Russia occupies a unique position in the Muslim world  . Unlike any other non-Islamic state, it has ruled Muslim populations for over five hundred years. Though Russia today is plagued by its unrelenting war in Chechnya, Russia's approach toward Islam once yielded stability.

For Prophet and Tsar" is like a moderately interesting magazine article expanded into a book. Robert Crews' pathbreaking book forces us to rethink Imperial Russia's relationship with its Muslim populations. The core of the work consists of repetitions, with slight variations, of some not-very-surprising observations about the challenges of maintaining a monarchy in a multi-ethnic, multi-faith state, especially during the tendency towards rising nationalism in the nineteen century (perhaps I should write "nationalism", since the author is one of those who liberally sprinkle quote marks around words like nationalism.

Crews’s aim is laudable: he wishes to move beyond the ‘conflict- driven’ approach which has generally characterized writing about the Russian Empire and Islam (pp. 3–4).

As America and Western Europe debate how best to secure the allegiances of their Muslim populations, Crews offers a unique and critical historical vantage point.

Crews brings together the diverse interests of Russia's empire and adeptly balnaces them to stimulate constructive thought about important issues.

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ст. преподаватель факультета истории, по-литологии и права РГГУ, Москва, Россия. Формирование нации и основные направления развития татарского общества в конце XVIII – начале XX веков.

Despite this weakness, Crews' book is in other ways ground-breaking.

Robert Crews's For Prophet and Tsar is a work of historical scholarship, but it speaks directly and effectively to today's burning debates. Crews has written a splendid book that should be read by anyone interested in contemporary Russia, Central Asia, or the predicaments and challenges of Muslims in states not usually identified.

Robert D. Crews, For Prophet and Tsar: Islam and Empire in Russia and Central Asia, Harvard University Press, 2006, ISBN 0-674-02164-9, Google Print, . 7. Deborah Goodwin, Matthew Midlane, Negotiation in International Conflict: Understanding Persuasion, Taylor & Francis, 2002, ISBN 0-7146-8193-8, Google Print, . 58. Nicolas Spulber, Russia's Economic Transitions: From Late Tsarism to the New Millennium, Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-521-81699-8, Google Print, . 7-28. Reinhard Bendix, Max Weber: An Intellectual Portrait, University of California Press, 1977

Russia occupies a unique position in the Muslim world. Unlike any other non-Islamic state, it has ruled Muslim populations for over five hundred years. Though Russia today is plagued by its unrelenting war in Chechnya, Russia's approach toward Islam once yielded stability. In stark contrast to the popular "clash of civilizations" theory that sees Islam inevitably in conflict with the West, Robert D. Crews reveals the remarkable ways in which Russia constructed an empire with broad Muslim support.

In the eighteenth century, Catherine the Great inaugurated a policy of religious toleration that made Islam an essential pillar of Orthodox Russia. For ensuing generations, tsars and their police forces supported official Muslim authorities willing to submit to imperial directions in exchange for defense against brands of Islam they deemed heretical and destabilizing. As a result, Russian officials assumed the powerful but often awkward role of arbitrator in disputes between Muslims. And just as the state became a presence in the local mosque, Muslims became inextricably integrated into the empire and shaped tsarist will in Muslim communities stretching from the Volga River to Central Asia.

For Prophet and Tsar draws on police and court records, and Muslim petitions, denunciations, and clerical writings--not accessible prior to 1991--to unearth the fascinating relationship between an empire and its subjects. As America and Western Europe debate how best to secure the allegiances of their Muslim populations, Crews offers a unique and critical historical vantage point.

Comments (6)

Adaly
Crew's research found `systematic investment in particularism had managed to accommodate diversity while strengthening the regime's hold on these population;' on the other hand, `the state remained the weakest where it was least entangled with the affairs of Islam and where Muslims could not utilize its power on behalf of religion.' During Catherine the Great's reign, the establishment of a state-back Islamic hierarchy in Ufa extended the state's power throughout Ural and Volga regions. Her successors' attempt at marginalizing state-sponsored Islamic involvement in Kazakh steppe and Turkestan `deprived themselves of a mechanism for controlling Muslim intermediaries' and thus `full integration of the populations of the steppe and Tukestan was inhibited by the state's failure to establish more extensive ties to Muslim institutions and collaborators.'

By grounding `imperial authority in religion,' `the tsarist state became an essential forum for the resolution of disputes among Muslims, who learned to associate the state with the mediation of family conflicts as state reached deep into the mosque communities.' By turning her regime into a patron of Islam, Catherine the Great's religious toleration per her `Instruction' was a `pragmatic means to avert confrontation' and `accommodation becomes a means to win over Muslim intermediaries who might assist the regime in securing eastern provinces and projecting Russian power into the steppe.' In Ufa, she supported the creation of `an Islamic establishment under imperial direction' - the Orenburg `Ecclesiastical Assembly' under the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Education until 1832 and the Ministry of Internal Affairs - which became `a center of doctrinal authority' and `a framework of bureaucratic supervision' by licensing clerical duties.

Heading the Assembly, the first mufti Kusainov and his successors were `willing to employ their interpretation of Islamic writ to legitimize tsarist law.' These helpful intermediaries also alleviated tensions and contradictions between Muslim beliefs and state laws. In the dispute over the timing of burying the deceased, they `evaded enforcement rather than assumed an wholly oppositional stance that would have led to the momentous undertaking of emigration or rebellion.' The compromise of the `Muslim traditional interests and tsarist administrative demands' also manifested itself under `common religious idiom focused on sin.' Such `improvisation of moral language' could be found in the case of venereal disease prevention: Governor Obruchev amended Mufti Suleimanov's religious exhortation to `omit references to Imperial law' and assert that `the regime disciplined not for its own sake but for Islam.'

The anti-clericalism of Catherine's successors elevated the state to become a `critical tool for ulans and lay people alike' and `redefined orthodoxy and amplified the reach of the state into previously inaccessible locales.' Conflicts arose as lay people were given new venues in the Assembly and the imperial legal traditions to air grievances against the clerics over the `parishioners' own understanding of the sharia.' Accusations over mullah's neglect of duties, competition between rival mullahs and intrafamilial conflict all reinforced the state's role as the arbitrator. Hence, many unpredictable outcomes resulted since even the `guardians of law did not always gain state backing for the efforts to extirpate a false teaching.'

Officials at the time also interpreted the state's intervention in family matters as `Muslim submission to the paternal authority of the state.' The chief feature of the tsar's justice was to `define guardianship of the sharia.' On property division and rights of female heir, the state `indirectly sanctioned polygamy' by enforcing sharia norm. Woman's rights in many cases advanced `following textual tradition of Islam': `Disputing practices afforded women novel opportunities as volumes of demands for divorce enabled women to end/renegotiate unhappy marriages.' In the case of Mar'iam Zubairova and Zuleikha Akhtiamova, the `Assembly overrode parental wills and upheld the right of these women to marry men of their choices.' State sponsorship of Islam furnished many rigorous debates within the Muslim communities and provided opportunities to challenge the status quo.

`Treating the Kazakhs as a special case and distinguishing them from both Muslims in Orenburg,' `governors there undermined the general statues of toleration with administrative decrees that closed mosques and schools and in doing so, deprived themselves of the regulatory apparatus that accompanied toleration throughout the rest of the empire.' By preferring customary law over an Islamic one, the court of biys was `absence of formality and all official routine' and as Kazakh informant Valikhanov contended that `its informality precluded various kinds of intrigue.' The state became less involved in familial life as shown by the low appeal rates and Kazakhs' efforts to appeal to the Orenburg Assembly for direction were institutionally forbidden. The Ibragimov report `forced lawmakers to rethink their strategy of leaving Kazakh religion without hierarchical regulations,' while N.A. Dingel'shtedt in a 1892 publication of the Journal of Civil and Criminal Law found `officials' tendency to idealize the patriarchal charms of the customary court, whose main element is represented by arbitrariness.' Ironically, nearly half a century before, Kazem-Bek rallied against `the disarray and the arbitrariness that marred the legal reasoning of Muslim scholars.'

In Turkestan, `Russian rule was made conditional upon the new authorities' support for the preservation of the moral injunctions and rights granted by sharia.' The state found itself allied with a cast of unsupportive intermediaries in existing religious notables and conferred upon them tax exemptions and other perquisites. The result was chaos and manipulation. For example, the Namargan kazis seized the power to make jurisconsultant and legal appointments by taking advantage of imperial policies - the district chief was tricked. On the burial law, the kazi judges ruled against the state instead of working with it and regulators contended that such `decision provoked disturbances.'

Crew concluded that `the particularistic order of confessional politics remained the foundation of the empire' and the `empire was a product of imagination, not just of elites but of heterogeneous groups of subjects. He also refuted many Muslim reformers and Islamic scholars' contention of stagnation under the establishment of the mufti because they `downplayed the dynamism and vitality of religious debate that contact with tsarist institutions had unleashed and ignored the initiative of Muslim laypeople who challenged the authority of the `ulama by adapting imperial law and bureaucratic procedure to Islamic controversies.''
Brick my own
Excellent
Bil
I could do no better job than Alexander Morrison's critique of this book, see: https://www.academia.edu/466457/Review_of_Robert_D._Crews_For_Prophet_and_Tsar._Islam_and_Empire_in_Russia_and_Central_Asia
Skyway
"For Prophet and Tsar" is like a moderately interesting magazine article expanded into a book. The core of the work consists of repetitions, with slight variations, of some not-very-surprising observations about the challenges of maintaining a monarchy in a multi-ethnic, multi-faith state, especially during the tendency towards rising nationalism in the nineteen century (perhaps I should write "nationalism", since the author is one of those who liberally sprinkle quote marks around words like nationalism and civilization, as if afraid that we might not be sophisticated enough to grasp that these words might mean different things to different people, or worse, suspect that he is not). To this is added a rather small amount of essentially anecdotal evidence, after which the reader is constantly reminded not to draw overgeneralized conclusions. This book is not cultural or religious history: there is surprisingly little about the actual practice of Islam in the Russian empire, or if and how it changed after Russian conquest. It's also not clear what we meant to take from this history today: after the Russian Revolution, the book flies over the Soviet period (whose theories and practies must have been quite different) in a few pages and then very briefly registers a vague concern about efforts by current European governments to engage with some sort of moderate Islamic authorities. Again, this might be thought-provoking in four or five pages of, say, The New Yorker, but it is a long slog in book form for relatively thin conclusions.
Ausstan
Robert Crews' pathbreaking book forces us to rethink Imperial Russia's relationship with its Muslim populations. Elegantly written, and drawing on sources in numerous languages from largely untapped archives, Crews' work is balanced and insightful. It is sure to become a classic.
Jake
Most difficult to read. A heavy subject made all the heavier by the author's approach of writing this book as 1) a two-semester course on the subject delivered by a graduate student delivering prepared text and/or 2) a doctoral disertation not edited for reading; but rather to be used as footnotes in someone else's disertation on a similar subject.

Almost unbearable.

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