Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Why the Russian Occupation of Crimea Could Lead to a New Islamist Terror Hotspot
The Heritage Foundation ^ | March 10, 2014 | Ariel Cohen

Posted on 03/11/2014 6:24:09 AM PDT by 1rudeboy

As Putin is tightening his grip on the Crimean Peninsula, the Crimean Tatars are becoming increasingly worried about their future.

By annexing the Crimea to Russia, Moscow will most likely radicalize an otherwise peaceful indigenous Tatar community. One of Tatars’ political leaders, a member of Ukrainian Parliament, Mustafa Jemilev, has warned that Tatars are already forming self-defense units to get ready for a struggle against the Russians. Jemilev is not an Islamist himself. He is a historian who was among the ones cleansed by Stalin in 1944.

As conflict between Russia and the Crimean Tatars escalates, there is a danger that it might bring international extremist organizations like al-Qaeda into the region, as happened in Chechnya during Russia’s military campaigns there in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Some Tatar extremists, who are Sunni Muslim, have already fought in Syria against the pro-Iranian Alawite regime of Bashar El-Assad and have links to the Islamic militants.

If Islamization and radicalization of the Crimean Tatars takes place, Moscow will have no one to blame but itself. However, security repercussions of such a development would echo beyond the Crimea, which is strategically located in the Black Sea and is part of Europe. Moreover, a jihad (Islamic “holy war”) in the Crimea would open another Islamist front against Russia, which has been fighting a long war in North Caucasus – since the second half of the eighteenth century – against local Moslem ethnic groups there, including the Chechens, the Ingush, and many others.

The Tatar concerns have deep historic roots and are based on facts, not fears. This year marks seventieth anniversary of deportation of the entire population of Crimean Tatars by Joseph Stalin to North Kazakhstan and Central Asia in 1944. Up to 25 percent of the Crimean Tatars died in these deportations. Tatars were allowed to return to their homeland after 1989. Now, they are worried that if Russia annexes Crimea, they could face another forcible deportation.

On Sunday, March 16, Crimea will hold an illegal referendum on whether it should become a part of Russia. The Tatars, who compose over 12 percent of the Crimean population and have been largely supportive of the Ukrainian governments in Kyiv, are planning to boycott the referendum.

Most Islamic organizations in the Crimea are allied in the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of Crimea and have close connections to Turkey, which also hosts a large diaspora of Crimean Tatars. Turkey has a particular interest in the region across the Black Sea, as the Crimea was a vassal of the Ottoman Empire until Catherine the Great brought it under Russian control in 1771-1783.

Moscow’s support of the Assad regime has already strained its relationship with Ankara, and that relationship is poised to worsen even more if Russia begins a crackdown on the Tatars.

Today, the pro-Russian Crimean “government” tried to reassure the Crimean Tatars’ leadership of their good intentions by offering them several positions, including those of “Deputy Prime Minister, two ministerial seats and top offices in the rest of departments,” according to The Voice of Russia. In addition, the Financial Times reports they were offered “financial help for returning Tatars and even committed to reinstating the original Tatar names of some towns and villages.” However, the Tatars remain suspicious of the deal and are unwilling to sign it, fearing that the Crimean government and the Russians cannot be trusted.

It will be a tragedy if Russia’s heavy-handed moves in the Crimea ignite the fire of the religious war. If this happens, Russian policy makers will have only themselves to blame.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Russia; War on Terror
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 03/11/2014 6:24:09 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: 1rudeboy

Let me get this straight, some mooslims want to return to their former homes and live in peace (sure that is a mooslim principle, uhhuh). Thank god we have the brilliant Mr. Cohen to explain that to us simple folk of the Heartland who get so confused with these complicated issues and stuff.


2 posted on 03/11/2014 6:31:12 AM PDT by junta ("Peace is a racket", testimony from crime boss Barrack Hussein Obama.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: junta

I’ve lived in the Heartland all my life, and I understand life is complicated. Best of luck.


3 posted on 03/11/2014 6:34:08 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: 1rudeboy

No mention that the deputy Defense Minister of the radical puppet regime in Kiev fought alongside Al-Qaeda affiliates in Chechnya?

That’s neocon sophistry for you.


4 posted on 03/11/2014 6:36:07 AM PDT by mac_truck ( Aide toi et dieu t aidera)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mac_truck

Source, please.


5 posted on 03/11/2014 6:36:53 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: 1rudeboy

And sir keep up with the good work of keeping us simple people updated with such brilliant work.


6 posted on 03/11/2014 6:38:52 AM PDT by junta ("Peace is a racket", testimony from crime boss Barrack Hussein Obama.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: junta

No problem, it’s my pleasure. Just trying to avoid hearing the “simple folk of the Heartland” claim “I told you so” when it happens.


7 posted on 03/11/2014 6:42:35 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: 1rudeboy
Lets see if you can identify the deputy Defense Minister first.

What is his name?

8 posted on 03/11/2014 6:42:54 AM PDT by mac_truck ( Aide toi et dieu t aidera)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: mac_truck

Good grief. Put up or shut up.


9 posted on 03/11/2014 6:44:28 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: 1rudeboy

I know there is money to be made whipping up the anti-Russian news, and I certainly do not want to crimp anyone’s high falutin Beltway lifestyle (no sireee). But here is the deal I myself do not want to put much into the effort of denying a land power such as Russia its warm water port. Its not a high priority on my list.


10 posted on 03/11/2014 6:44:35 AM PDT by junta ("Peace is a racket", testimony from crime boss Barrack Hussein Obama.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 1rudeboy

In other words you don’t have a frickin clue. No surprise here.


11 posted on 03/11/2014 6:46:49 AM PDT by mac_truck ( Aide toi et dieu t aidera)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: junta

How about a bit of honesty from the anti-Russians? All they have to say is that “Gazprom sucks”, and its true.


12 posted on 03/11/2014 6:47:53 AM PDT by junta ("Peace is a racket", testimony from crime boss Barrack Hussein Obama.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: mac_truck
This thing that you are posting on? It's called the "internet." It is possible, using a thing called a "search engine," to find out nearly anything, including the name of a deputy minister in Ukraine. So even if I didn't know the name, I could find it in seconds . . . making your question what it really is, a dodge of mine.
13 posted on 03/11/2014 6:49:35 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: 1rudeboy
On Sunday, March 16, Crimea will hold an illegal referendum

stopped reading right there. No bias in reporting here, right?

So there is a violent overthrow of the government in Kiev, and that's okay with the world, but this vote is illegal? Lol

14 posted on 03/11/2014 6:55:06 AM PDT by bill1952 (Choice is an illusion created between those with power - and those without)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bill1952
I saw that, too. My guess was that the author was making a distinction between Yanukovych's illegal actions leading to the violent protests leading to his impeachment, versus the illegal actions of the illegal "premier" (whatever his name is--gosh, I hope no one gets mad at me, I only know his alleged nickname) in illegally seceding from Ukraine.

Like I stated, it's complicated.

15 posted on 03/11/2014 7:00:23 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: 1rudeboy

C’mon show everyone how smart you are and post the name.


16 posted on 03/11/2014 7:03:44 AM PDT by mac_truck ( Aide toi et dieu t aidera)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: mac_truck

Right after you reveal your source.


17 posted on 03/11/2014 7:04:40 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: 1rudeboy

Do you deny the link between Ukrainian nationalists and Muslim Chechen separatists or are they all just “freedom fighters” in your book?


18 posted on 03/11/2014 7:08:38 AM PDT by mac_truck ( Aide toi et dieu t aidera)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: mac_truck

I’ll answer that question after I answer your first question after you reveal your source.


19 posted on 03/11/2014 7:10:10 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: 1rudeboy
Today, the pro-Russian Crimean “government” tried to reassure the Crimean Tatars’ leadership of their good intentions by offering them several positions, including those of “Deputy Prime Minister, two ministerial seats and top offices in the rest of departments,” according to The Voice of Russia. In addition, the Financial Times reports they were offered “financial help for returning Tatars and even committed to reinstating the original Tatar names of some towns and villages.”

Anyone who thinks that this Russian invasion of the Crimea wasn't planned a very long time ago is sadly mistaken.

20 posted on 03/11/2014 7:19:49 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (ObamaCare: Make them pay; do not delay.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 1rudeboy

I know Putin is not fond of Muslims...but, has he made any offensive moves on the Crimean Muslims?

Never hurts to be prepared (as it appears the Tarters are doing), but would Putin want to escalate this into an “Islamist terror hotspot” by going after Muslims?


21 posted on 03/11/2014 7:20:23 AM PDT by moovova
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mac_truck
Do you deny the link between Ukrainian nationalists and Muslim Chechen separatists or are they all just “freedom fighters” in your book?

Are you including the Circassians in that picture? When the Olympics went down in Sochi, I was suspecting they might make a move on the 150th anniversary of the Russian genocide there. I wondered if all the money Putin blew there was in part to buy them off.

22 posted on 03/11/2014 7:24:54 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (ObamaCare: Make them pay; do not delay.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Carry_Okie
Are you including the Circassians in that picture?

No, as far as I know the militant Ukrainian nationalists who are now part of the radical government in Kiev have only associated themselves with the Muslim Chechen separatists. They don't make a secret of their association with the Chechens either, or at least they didn't until recently.

23 posted on 03/11/2014 7:44:19 AM PDT by mac_truck ( Aide toi et dieu t aidera)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: mac_truck
No, as far as I know the militant Ukrainian nationalists who are now part of the radical government in Kiev have only associated themselves with the Muslim Chechen separatists. They don't make a secret of their association with the Chechens either, or at least they didn't until recently.

Circassia is closer to the Crimea than is Chechnya and I would bet that there are Circassians among the Chechnyan terrorists. The purging of Circassia by Russia was the largest genocide of the 19th Century, so I doubt that battle will be over any time in this century either.

24 posted on 03/11/2014 7:59:44 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (ObamaCare: Make them pay; do not delay.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: mac_truck

BTW, the Circassians were Muslims too.


25 posted on 03/11/2014 8:00:18 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (ObamaCare: Make them pay; do not delay.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson