Muslim Informal Organizations of Tatar Youth in the Republic of Tatarstan (Russia)

Monday, July 14, 2014: 5:10 PM
Room: Harbor Lounge B
Distributed Paper
Guzel GUZELBAEVA , Kazan Federal University, Kazan, Russia
Muslim Informal Organizations of Tatar Youth in the Republic of Tatarstan (Russia)

The report deals with the revival of Islamic identity in the Republic of Tatarstan which is an ethnic republic within Russia and the Muslim informal organizations of Tatar youth. Sociological research shows that religion is more important for Tatars than for other ethnic groups who traditionally do not profess Islam. There are more believers amongst Tatars who observe religious customs and ceremonies; there are less non-observers and non-believers. As far as religion is concerned, sociologists used to argue that women were more religious than men, older people more than youth, the uneducated more than people with higher education and people from rural areas were more religious than citizens from urban areas. However due to processes of post-modernity the situation have changed and another tendency has become apparent, which is sometimes the reverse. One of these trends is Tatar youth. The research data reveals that desecularization has increasingly affected young people, and their degree of religiosity does not depend on their level of education or place of residence (there is even more rapid Islamization among the educated youth of big cities). A group of strictly observing young Muslims has been pointed out. They are about 5% of all Tatar youth. They are very religious and they confirm it by their behavior. The report focuses on some initiative groups and informal organizations of Muslin young people in Tatarstan cities who are not passive but involved a lot in social life (‘Consciousness’, ‘Altyn Urta’, ‘Ikhlas’, ‘SAMI’). They were formed in 2004-11 and gained their activity uniting Muslim students of Tatarstan cities. The report is based on the results of sociological research, 2008-2013 in Tatarstan, Russia. The methods comprise of two surveys by 1500 respondents each and about 80 in-depth interviews.