Islam in Ukraine
|This article is outdated. (September 2013)|
|Islam by country|
The majority of Muslims in Ukraine are ethnic Crimean Taters who live on the Crimean peninsula. According to a Pew Forum study, the Muslim population in Ukraine is 393,000, According to the Clerical Board of Ukraine's Muslims there were two million Muslims in Ukraine as of 2009.[dubious ]
History of Muslims in Ukraine
Whilst ethnic Ukrainians are predominantly Orthodox and Uniate Christians, Muslims have lived in the territory that makes up modern Ukraine for centuries. Muslim settlements are concentrated in the country's southern half, particularly in Crimea, although there were colonies of Lipka Tatars in other regions such as Volhynia and Podolia.
The Crimean Khanate was established by the Crimean Tatars in the 15th century. These people were formed from the Turkic-speaking descendants of both Turkic and non-Turkic peoples who had settled in Eastern Europe as early as the 7th century.
The Khanate soon lost its sovereignty and fell under the influence of the Ottoman Empire on behalf of which it was controlled by the local tributary rulers with a significant degree of autonomy. In the 15th-18th centuries, Crimean Tatars frequently raided Eastern Slavic lands to capture their inhabitants, enslaving an estimated three million people, predominantly Ukrainians. The influence of Russia in the area, initially small, was growing slowly, and in the late 18th century, after the series of Russo-Turkish Wars, the territory was annexed by the Russian Empire.
The Crimean Khanate had Bakhchisaray as its capital. In the 18th century, when it was conquered by Russia, there were at least 18 mosques in the capital and several madrassas. The Russian Empire began persecuting the Muslim population, and nearly 160,000 Tatars were forced to leave Crimea.
For the Muslims who stayed, there were conflicts in ideology among those who adhered to a conservative form of religion, the moderates, and those who subscribed to liberal and Western ideology.
Ukrainian Muslims in the 20th century
At the time of the Russian Revolution, Muslims were one third of population of Crimea. Nearly all major cities in Crimea had a significant Muslim population.
Crimean Muslims were subjected to mass deportation in 1944 when Joseph Stalin accused them of collaborating with Nazi Germany. Nearly 200,000 Crimean Tatars were deported to Central Asia, mainly Uzbekistan but also to Kazakhstan and some regions of Russian SFSR. The main deportation occurred on May 18, 1944. It is estimated that about 45% of all Crimean Muslims died in 1944–1945 from hunger and disease. The property and territory abandoned by Crimean Tatars were appropriated by the mostly ethnic Russians who were resettled by the Soviet authorities. This led to demographic changes in Ukraine with huge impact in the future. Although a 1967 Soviet decree removed the charges against Crimean Tatars, the Soviet government did nothing to facilitate their resettlement in Crimea and to make reparations for lost lives and confiscated property. The repatriation of Crimean Tatars to their homeland began only in 1989.
Ukrainian Muslims today
Since Ukrainian independence (1991), more Crimean Tatars have returned to Crimea than during the Soviet era. The Muslims are divided into various ethnic groups but the majority are of Tatar origin, of one particular clan or other. There has also been settlement by Chechen refugees in Crimea and other parts of Ukraine but the proportion is not significant by comparison.
Muslims have formed three structures for running their affairs. These are:
- Clerical Board of Ukraine's Muslims
- The Spiritual Center of the Muslim Communities
- Clerical Board of Crimea Muslims
Most Ukrainian Muslims affiliate to these organizations, which help them join mainstream Islamic and Ukrainian daily life. Most Muslims have been trying to form a party to have a united voice in Politics, a so-called Muslim Congress, but so far this has not been achieved (the registration certificate of a Party of Muslims of Ukraine was canceled in November 2011 because it did not had nominate candidates in elections since the parliamentary elections of 1998). Muslims have formed several charitable organizations which help both Muslim and non-Muslim communities. These mainly include CAAR Foundation, Al-Bushra, and Life after Chornobyl. There is also the Interregional Association of Public Organizations, Arraid which has often gained world attention due to its dedication.
In Crimea the Ukrainian Muslims make up to 12% of the population. At least 30 Ukrainian Muslim communities work without official registration (there are nearly 360 registered communities or organizations).
Ukrainian translation of the Qur'an and Sunnah
A few attempts to render the Holy Book of Islam into Ukrainian were undertaken during the last century. Since the first non-direct (source?) translation of Abranchak-Lysynecki (Lviv, 1915), few partial translations were published (Yarema Polotniuk - Vsesvit Journal, 1990), Valeriy Rybalkin ("Stylos", 2002) and Mykhaylo Yakubovych. Among the large Sunnah corpus the only translation of "Forthy hadeeth an-Nawawe" is known (Alexandria, 2006, by M. Yakubovych).
- http://risu.org.ua/en/index (Religious information service of Ukraine)
- http://gazeta.arraid.org (Ukrainean Muslims Newspaper ARRAID)
- http://www.islam.in.ua (News & publicistic site about Islam & Muslim in Ukraine)
- http://www.islamyat.org Clerical Board of Ukraine's Muslims website
- Crimean Tatar Internet Resources
- Crimean Tatars Short History
- Ukrainian translations of the Meanings of the Glorious Qur'an: Problems and Prospects. An article by Mykhaylo Yakubovych
- Yakubovych, Mykhaylo 'Islam and Muslims in Contemporary Ukraine: Common Backgrounds, Different Images', Religion, State and Society, September 2010, 38:3, 291 - 304
|This article needs additional or more specific categories. (September 2013)|