III-4. The Islamist Movement in the Afro-Asiatic Zone of Instability (in Geopolitical and Geocivilizational Measurements)

Convener: Anatoly D. Savateev (Institute for African Studies, Moscow, Russia); e-mail: asavat@mail.ru

Revolution in the Arab world that began in 2011 under the democratic slogans of the struggle for the overthrow of the dictatorial, corrupt regimes and the establishment of forms of government of the Western type, the rule of law and equality of citizens before the law, very soon found a new focus, was replaced by a different content: the forebearers of the traditional movements, representatives of fundamentalist currents in Islam came for. They have identified a new face of revolutions in the Arab world, and it was the face of radical Islam, demanding compliance with all the Quranic norms not only in the domestic and cultural life, but also in political life – the transition from the idea of the Caliphate (al-Qaida, banned in Russia) to its practical implementation (the Islamic State – an organization banned in Russia). Driving forces for implementation of this idea, along with extremist groups, which aimed to establish a worldwide Caliphate through military Jihad, in the epicenters of the Islamic world (Iraq, Syria) were former officials of the banned Baath party and dismissed officers of the Iraqi army, which ensured the success of the army of IS in 2014-2015. What are the main features of the current Islamist movements? First, a strong desire to realize the idea of a worldwide Caliphate. Second, the collapse of national States, the political type with the replacement of consolidation of the foundations of the religious-political. Thirdly, an unprecedented expansion of their influence in the Muslim world and the minds of Muslims. Fourth, the transformation of the religious factor being the factor of geopolitics, supported by moral, political, economic, spiritual and religious support of the Ummah in almost all countries, even with minimal presence of Muslims. Fifthly, the difference of this stage lies in the fierce desire to not only give back, but to defeat the collective West and other States, including Russia, in the struggle for the right to exist. So, the effect of the clash of civilizations takes place. Sixthly, extremist movement has created a real threat to the internal integrity of Islamic civilization. However, the important question is – what are the social composition, attitudes and expectations of participants of the movements, which can be hardly reduced to simple "terroristic". Especially difficult to analyze is the wide range of issues concerning religious, socio-cultural, geopolitical and geo-economic situation in the countries of the greater Middle East, North and sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia in light of the global spread of Islamist ideas and movements. However, the list of named regions of the Islamist movement is not limited – the same ideas can develop themselves in Europe and Southeast Asia, not to mention Russia, where Islamism has its roots. The main questions (which do not necessarily cover all problems) are:
- The nature, background and causes of Islamist movements becoming global, their features and qualitative contrast to previous Islamist groups.
- Civilizational content of a global Islamist projects of our day in social, cultural, religious, political and economic dimensions; the general and the particular in these projects.
- IS and al-Qaeda as evidence of geopolitical and geocivilizational shift in afroasiatic space. Do they have a future?
- The fate of Islamic civilization in the light of the global expansion of jihadist movements and the deterioration of relations Sunni and Shiite branches of the Ummah. Trends and prospects of escalating religious conflicts in Africa as an expression of inter-civilizational contradictions.
- The aggravation of contradictions on the world stage as a result of geopolitical and geocivilizational shifts under the influence of Islamist movements. Risks and threats the emergence of a global military-political crisis and world war.
- Quranic humanism, religious education, and other ideological and civilizational, political and cultural-philosophical trends and ways of combating extremism in Islam.
- Russia in the face of global halftime: its interests, and proposed solutions to the Islamist problem inside the country and internationally, scenarios and forecasts their implementation in Africa and other regions of the Muslim world.