02.06.2016On June 1st, 2016 Pyatigorsk State University started the work of International Scientific and Practice Conference on “Threats and Challenges of DAISH (ISIL terrorist organization prohibited in the Russian Federation) and the Ways for their Negotiation”.
It was the first time for experts, theologists, governmental, and public figures of Russia and 8 foreign countries, which faced ISIL treats to gather together on one site.
“Today, the university is a very important site for interaction of civil society with governmental structures, religious organizations in extremism and terrorism ideology counterwork”, - said Professor A.P. Gorbunov, the Rector of Pyatigorsk State University, vice-president of the Russian Council of Rectors, chairman of the North Caucasus Federal District Institutions Rectors Council. “The representatives of the USA, France, Spain, Italy, Slovakia, Sudan, Yemen, and Tajikistan participate in the conference. The discussion becomes international on the university site, therefore it has another strong impact”, - he said.
The discussion of characteristic features of extremism ideology of DAISH and methods of its expansion were the main issues to discuss.
Welcome letters of the Plenipotentiary of the President of the Russian Federation in North Caucasus Federal District S.A. Melikov, director of the Department of Governmental Policy in Children and Youth Education of the Russian Ministry of Education and Sciences A.E. Stradze, chairman of Federal Agency for the Nationalities I.V. Barinov were read during the meeting.
A.E. Stradze focused his letter on the systematic realization of measurements directed on the negotiation of terrorist and extremist ideas among the young, and education of international and interreligious tolerance. “The issues brought up for discussion at the conference, are rather timely, and correspond to all contemporary challenges, which include trouble spots around the world, absence of mutual understanding in international relations, confrontation growth, international tension”.
Assistant Plenipotentiary of the President of the Russian Federation in NCFD A.Y. Semyonov noted that the conference is the continuation of a co-work, led by the plenipotentiary office, Federal agency on the nations, Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, Pyatigorsk State University, muftis of the regions of the North Caucasus and other civic institutions. He reminded that several big events were held in North Caucasus Federal District this March, devoted to the counterwork against extremist ideology, including the base of Pyatigorsk State University.
Nowadays terrorism is a global problem. It can only be solved together. As it was noted by the chairman of the Management for the National Unity Strengthening and Extremism Prevention in National and Religious Sphere of Federal Agency for Nationalities of Russia A.O. Bulatov, the problem of terrorism cannot be solved with unsystematic approach. “Nowadays we cannot ignore the influence of traditional religions of Russia, especially in the North Caucasus. Century potential of these religions, potential of interrelation and cooperation, peaceful coexistence, protection of the country should serve the society. For this purpose it is necessary to interrelate with religious organizations, and assist them”. A work with the young people should be a priority.
The work against the spreading suicide bombing ideology among the young, which is promoted by DAISH was a special subject of the meeting. “We observe how communication media develop, what elaborate ways our enemies and opponents of our religion use trying to rich the minds of our young people”, - said the first Deputy Chairman of Spiritual Body of the Muslims of the Russian Federation D.V. Makhetdinov. “Both scientific community and representatives of traditional religions, religious leaders of Islam at the first place, should provide information what is real Islam is via mass media, work in mosks, parishes, madrasah, magazines, newspapers, social networks”.
Within the frameworks of the conference the participants discussed the issues of interrelation of authority bodies and institutes of civic society, including scientific and religious organizations concerning systematic actions against the expansion of religious extremism. “We should understand that so-called Islamic State and other terrorist structures do not have any relation to Islam and religion on the whole”, - said Mufti of Spiritual Body of the Muslims of Stavropol Krai Muhammad-hadji Rakhimov. “This is the reason why terrorists afflict damage to Muslims in spiritual aspect, and discredit our religion. … All this makes the problem of inter-confessional understanding and interaction more difficult”.
Theologists and scientists from different regions of Russia and other countries came for the conference to participate in discussion for an experience exchange in extremism counterwork. Representatives of muftis and educational organizations of the North Caucasus Federal District, Kalmykia, Adygea, Krasnodar Krai, Bashkiria, Tatarstan, as well as representatives of foreign countries performed at the conference. President and Prorectors of Hastings College (USA), D. Jackson, R. Babcock, E. Fromberg, Professors of the Second University of Napoli (Italy) Antonio Shaudone, S. Anjoi, Andrea Shaudone, F. Scarano, representatives of Lille-3 University (France), B. Dahmani and G.Galstyan, Cadiz University (Spain) T. Mohammed, University of Bahri (Sudan) M. Sharafeldin, F. Omar, counselor of Mufti of Stavropol Krai (Yemen citizen) A. Mohammed, representatives of Trnava University (Slovakia) M. Moravchikova and Institute of Technologies and Innovative Management in Kulab (Tajikistan) S. Khasanov and U. Abdurakhmanov.
The President of Hastings College (USA) D. Jackson informed about the anxiety of USA citizens concerning extremism. “For me and for the majorities of Americans it is extremely important to reach peace in the whole world. I cannot reply for the politicians of our country, but we as a nation want to find peace, and it is essential for us”.
Former student of PSPIFL, graduate of PSLU, dean of Interpreters’ Department at the University of Bahri (Sudan) M. Sharafeldin was among the participants. Performing in Russian he reported that the major part of Sudan citizens, who joined the ISLI groups are students. A heavy psychological trauma in a childhood or early youth, connected with humiliation, particularly by nation is usually a reason for them to join extremist groups in young ages. “Any psychological trauma, while it’s active, can get worse any moment”, - he said. “To defeat this problem we must work together, because these phenomena do not have any borders, religions, and races”.
Deputy Director of the Institute of Asian and African Countries of M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University D.M. Solodovnik started her performance with decoration of PSU Rector with 60th Institute Anniversary Medal as a gratitude for the years of fruitful collaboration in Islamic education support in Russia. Talking about new prospects of the problems resolution connected with prohibited in Russia DAISH organization’s activity directed on the young people, she focused attention on plenty of possibilities and sites to develop a moderate concept of Islamic religion, based on law and ethic principals. “The humankind is at the edge of self-destruction because of spiritless consumption; we must return to spirit!”
The first Deputy for Spiritual Body of the Muslims of the Russian Federation D.V. Mukhetdinov introduced “Islam in Contemporary World” Journal published by the body, which is included in Higher Attestation Commission on theology. A.P. Gorbunov, Rector of PSU accepted an offer of the D.V. Mukhetdinov about the opening of the representative office of this journal in PSU.
Constructive ideas on counterwork against extremism and terrorism were brought during the plenary meeting. Director of the Center of Ethnic and Politic Studies of PSU M.A. Astvatsaturova said that terrorism’s purpose is to destroy the existing governmental system and to remove citizens from the governmental and social influence. Besides, the presence of extreme forms of terrorism leads to the discrediting of authorities bodies in society, law power and forces, increases controversies between the state and civic society. In this connection, M.A. Astvatsarurova believes that Russian Federation and other countries should accept a special doctrinal political document – “Concept of Government and Religion Relations”. M.A. Astvatsaturova promoted an idea about the strengthening of Russian society ideology as an ideology of civic patriotism, which can be an important managing and politic measure for different peoples with different confessions reconciliation.
Discussing the principal subject of the meeting, participants considered issues of the development and improvement of Islamic education and enlightenment in conditions of new challenges and threats. Pyatigorsk State University – is the first institution in the Russian Federation to prepare human resources in “Government and Confessional Relations” in both Orthodox and Islamic disciplines. This innovative experience of PSU acquired a high acknowledgment of the President administration. According to the Rector of PSU, chairman of the Council of Rectors of the NCFD Institutions A.P. Gorbunov, uniform educational programs, directed on the fight with extremism and terrorism were partially introduced in education courses for the students of the North Caucasus. Apart from that, there are courses of retraining and advanced training for the representatives of spiritual bodies of Muslims and Islamic institutions of the North Caucasus. The similar courses for prorectors and managers of educational work bodies, as well as for the representatives of educational establishments (deputy directors in academic work) will start next week.
Two-days Scientific and Practice Conference was continued by the seminar called “The Role of Religious Organizations in Prevention and Counterwork Against Extremism and Terrorism Expansion” with foreign guests participation. Chairman of the Body for the Strengthening of a National Unity and Prevention of National and Religious Extremism of the Federal Agency for Russian Nations A.O. Bulatov and executive secretary of the Executive committee of Coordinational Center of Muslims of the North Caucasus, director of the Institute of Government and Confessional Relations of PSU I.D. Ibragimov were the moderators.
One of the most significant results of the conference work was the offer of Sudan’s representatives about the creation of an International Council of Institutions in Counterwork against Extremism and Terrorism on the basis of Pyatigorsk State University, which invited all foreign institutions which took part in the conference.
All performances were simultaneously interpreted by the leading experts in English language of PSU: Head of the Chair of European Languages at the Institute of International Relations T.V. Kara-Kazaryan, and Assistant Professor of the Chair of European Languages O.V. Efimova. Russian, English, and Spanish languages were the work languages at the conference.