Top 100 Most Influential Muslims in Russia

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
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#1
Very interesting list, from "Business Online", a prominent magazine over there


I won't translate the whole thing, too long, take up several posts, with illustration, and, frankly, pointless, you all wouldn't know who most of these folks are anyhow, and most of them are fairly boring, anyway. Some interesting figures among them for sure, though.

Lets start with the Top 10


It is fascinating that the very first name up there, is Ravil Gainutdin, the Chairman of the Presidium of the Spiritual Directorate of the Muslims of Russia; while his main rival, Talgat Tadjuddin, the Chairman of the Central Spiritual Directorate of Russian Muslims and self-proclaimed Supreme Mufti of Russia, is only #7.

Russian Muslims have had to deal with a split leadership like this for many years already; each of those two men below claims to be the head religious authority of Russian Islam; Tadjuddin is older (70, to Gainutdin's 59 years), he's been a recognised Mufti and head of his Central Spiritual Directorate since 1992 (Gainutdin has been in his position since '96); Tadjuddin has been known, in his time, as a patriotic firebrand, who, among other things, back in 2003, after the US invasion of Iraq, actually called upon Russian Muslims to send money and weapons and anything else they could collect, to their brothers and sisters in Iraq to aid their jihad against the Western invaders (his words, basically, in my translation); but he has never been exactly eloquent in his public speech and today, reportedly, as he ages, allegedly tends even more to rant and ramble on, like many old men do; Gainutdin, by contrast, is a much more articulate and charismatic orator, which is why his sermons at Moscow's Grand Cathedral Mosque are becoming much more popular, nowadays, than Tadjuddin's (at the Central Mosque of Ufa, in Bashkortostan, where he usually bases himself)


Putin, pointedly, deals with both of them equally, thus far, and refuses to pick sides

He just waits, basically, for one or the other to, eventually, emerge on top...

And, meanwhile, now, in some regions, this is causing open conflicts between various Muslim congregations, as well as within congregations too, as pro-Tadjuddin factions are moving against pro-Gainutdin ones, as he grows more paranoid that Gainutdin will indeed push him out in future; and you have hostile take overs of mosques and all kinds of lawlessness going on, with police at times having to step in to separate the various sides and prevent violence:
Inter-Muslim conflict in Perm region of Russia

:rolleyes:

Anyway, moving on, #2 on the list is Mintimer Shaymiev, former head of Tatarstan

Shaymiev is perhaps Russia's longest-lived political figure. He has been head of Tatarstan since June 1991 (before Soviet Union fell apart, in December of that year!!!), until 2010, when he officially retired, but Putin, in a clear gesture of respect, allowed him to handpick and introduce his own successor, Rustam Minnikhanov, current head of Tatarstan, in middle above and also #4 up there in the Top 10. He also remains as so-called State Adviser within the government of Tatarstan, a position creates specially for him, and otherwise retains enormous influence within that republic, within the whole 6 million strong Tatar community around Russia, and, really, among Russian Muslims period, often speaking out in defence of Muslims, against discriminatory federal laws, etc.

Many credit Shaymiev's long and allegedly highly skilled governance and management style (which Minnikhanov has reportedly dutifully continued, still under the old man's watchful eye) with Tatarstan being a thriving and successful republic today, one of Russia's wealthiest regions; I have long read online posts and such from truckers and others from other parts of the country, who routinely drive through that republic, for example, rave about Tatarstan's well maintained highways (supposedly the best in the country) and polite, shocking non-corrupt (lol), and helpful cops, who would drive out to get diesel for a trucker who ran out of fuel, for instance, below

:)

And then, there's Innopolis (literally, "Innovation City"), the high tech, futuristic suburb of Kazan, the Tatar capital, where Yandex, Russia's answer to Google, Amazon, and Uber combined, has been testing driverless taxis, for example

So, apparently, at least in that one case, it seems you don't always need democracy for prosperity and success... You can make it work with a long time dictator, if he is a smart man who also genuinely cares about his people... That is very, very rare, of course, however ;)

Anyhow, further on, #3 is certainly a shocker, Khabib Nurmagomedov, who beat Conor McGregor last year, to become Russia's first own UFC Champion


Some marvel that he made it so far up there, all the way into Top 3, ahead of Chechnya's Ramzan Kadyrov, now less, at #5 (whom I have written already so much about, I don't think I need to talk much about him here, nor, frankly, want to, the guy is Putin's guard dog, a scumbag and butcher, who abducts, tortures, and murders people in Chechnya at will, with the Kremlin's blessing... Nuff said...)

But, I get it; he is a HUGE figure now, in all of Caucasus, but especially back home in Dagestan
Dude is basically the living representation of the strength and resilience of a people, a minority, who have experienced plenty of mistreatment, discrimination, violence, and general hardship in their history.

Caucasians, my people, have long learned to value combat skill and physical strength (in part, it is the Slav majority who have helped shove my kind into that niche, we've always, after all, been told that we are stupid that, "Look, no inventions or scientific breakthroughs ever came from you", etc, so, these days, just let the Slavs be the nerds, the brains of Russia, so to speak. While her muscle seems to be increasingly coming from the South, from Caucasus :D The Slavs used to defend their physical superiority by claiming Fedor Emelyanenko as Russia's greatest MMA fighter ever; but by winning the UFC belt, Khabib hjas surpassed Fedor. And thus, now, a Muslim from Dagestan is officially Russia's greatest fighter. This is huge. I don't want to exaggerate, but to those like me, back over there, this dude is what Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali represented to black people in America in the 60s...

Anyhow, #6 is Alisher Usmanov, a billionaire (estimated net worth $13 bn) originally from Uzbekistan

he is known for having the biggest private jet among all Russian oligarchs

Reportedly, the actual President of Uzbekistan occasionally borrows that thing from him to fly out for state visits and such lol No, seriously :D

#8 is Suleiman Kerimov, another billionaire ($7.1 bn), richest man from Dagestan, and a senator for that republic in Russia's Federation Council


#9 is Marat Husnullin, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin's deputy in charge of construction and housing (which means that all the construction tycoons in the city pay him bribes and kickbacks, btw, oh, yeah, he is a very, very wealthy man too, I assure you lol)


And Shamil Alyautdinov, #10, is a famous Islamic scholar, based at Moscow's Memorial Mosque (and loyal to Gainutdin and his organisation)


That's Top 10.

Will write more on others on the list when get back. Must run now. Enjoy, for now lol
 
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The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
46,997
34,450
Toronto
#2
Now, on to the full list.

My personal selections.

#26. Marat Kabaev, former professional soccer player (and also champion of Kuresh, Tatar traditional wrestling), later banker and now President of the All-Russia Muslim Business Association


Even more importantly, as they discretely mention - he is the dad of Alina Kabaeva, the Olympic champ in rhythmic gymnastics and Putin's alleged mistress and mom of his out of wedlock son :D

Potentially, many think this kid, allegedly named Dmitry Putin, might inherit the bloody Kremlin one day. That's certainly one hell of an "influence" to wield, grandfather of the crown prince, a bastard though he may be haha

#35. Mahmut Gareev, full General of the Army (Russia's highest military rank today, since there haven't been any Marshals since the Soviet era; Sergey Shoigu, the defense minister, holds same rank), far as I know the only Muslim ethnic minority, Tatar in his case, to reach that level in the military, and head of the Central Military academy in Moscow


#38. Alina Zagitova, also Tatar, figure skater, who took Gold at this year's World Championships in Japan

after also winning Gold at the Olympics last year

She became, thus, the first Russian skater to do so since, I believe, the Soviet era!

She been decorated by Putin at the Kremlin

and now makes it into 38th place, among millions of her fellow Muslims in Russia.

And, btw, she's still just 17 :D

#51. Alsou (nee Safina, now Abramova, by marriage), famous pop star also of Tatar background

You won't find that many non-Tatars on this list, btw. The Tatars are the most integrated, successful, wealthy, and influential of Russia's Muslim minorities; they have lived with the Russians/Slavs for centuries and are now trusted even to hold powerful government offices...

#60. Valeria (Iman) Porokhova

She is a ethnic Russian woman, who converted to Islam back in the 70s, when she fell in love with and married a Syrian diplomat (I believe that's her husband also pictured there) and later went back to Damascus with him.

A linguist by trade, she is known for what is considered one of the best modern Russian translations of the Koran


She also today, living now back in Russia, leads an organization she founded, an association for Slavic people who practice Islam. It is very useful, for many, because their existence can be lonely, as Slavic converts to Islam often become outcasts and pariahs among own people, yet are also often never fully accepted by the various ethnic minority Muslim communities either...

#61. Emirali Ablaev

Mufti of Crimea (today - head of the Spiritual Directorate of Crimean Muslims, under Tadjuddin), spiritual leader of the Crimean Tatars. A controversial figure, considered a traitor by some exiled Crimean Tatar leaders in Ukraine, because he chose to stay and cooperate with the new Russian authorities on the Peninsula in 2014. Others, however, praise him for choosing peace and assuring the safety of his congregation in a challenging time.

#77. Dinara Sadretdinova, also Tatar, television personality, first woman ever to wear a hijab on Russian state TV

She had her own new and entertainment program, on Russia 1, the main Kremlin channel, aimed at the Muslim populace. But it only lasted a couple years, before disappearing. She never herself openly talked about why, but, it is fairly obvious, that show irritated Slavic, Orthodox Christian audience members too much, by its sheer existence. Orthodox nationalists were always raging about it online... Sadretdinova now works on a private Muslim religious channel.

#85. Abdusalam Gusseinov

Scientist from Dagestan, physicist, I believe, holder of the highest Russian title Academic, and member of the Russian Academy of the Sciences. And, basically, a living, breathing contradiction to that cliche I mentioned in OP that Slavs try to claim, that we from Caucasus are only good at wrestling and fighting sports and have no brains in us lol

#94. Marat Basharov, another Tatar, award winning actor, theater, TV, and movie star


Unfortunately also infamous, as a mean drunk who has tended to violently abuse his numerous ex-wives when got wasted, it's the reason many women have left him


As you can imagine, Russian feminists HATE this dude... (and so do I, for that, matter...)
 
Last edited:

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
46,997
34,450
Toronto
#3
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The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
46,997
34,450
Toronto
#6
Seems like most muslims in russia are pretty white - racially speaking. Except central-asians of course.
The Tatars used to be fully Asian and looked Mongoloid, actually, when they first came to the Slavic Russian lands centuries ago, to rule there on behalf of Batu Khan (grandson of Genghis)


There are still some Tatars today, who retain those roots and those appearance traits


But they are a tiny minority; most of them, after 800+ years of blood mixing with the Slavs, now indeed, as you say, look white lol


Their neighbors and close relatives, the Bashkirs in their Bashkortostan, have retained their Asiatic genes much more prominently

Ironically, I think it is because, even when they and the Tatars were one people, long ago, the Tatars always held the dominant status in that relationship; the Bashkirs were poorer, less educated, essentially used, for most part, as farm labor and military cannon fodder, by the Tatar Khans (Kings). Result is, they were always much more insular, as a people; never spread around the whole country, as the Tatars have; and never intermarried and mixed blood with outsiders as much either ;)

Also why even today, plenty of them, I have observed, bristle with resentment, when Tatars talk of historical fraternity with them and such haha

But, yeah, it's why today, when there are movies made in Russia, and TV dramas, about that whole period

The Tatars characters are mostly portrayed by actors from Kazakhstan, and native Siberians and such. Because damn near impossible now to find actual Tatars who resemble at all what their ancestors were, in those days lmao

Those two combined are the biggest indigenous Muslim group, nearly 9 million strong, together, counting also the 250,000 Crimean Tatars.

Caucasians, the other big group (made up of dozens of various ethnicities) indeed ARE naturally white, despite what Slav nationalists would say about that lmao

Though, that too is complicated.

Ossetians/Albanians, for example (today mostly Orthodox Christian, but with a own Muslim minority among them)

are essentially a Persian tribe, who migrated to Caucasus from what is now Iran back when the Persian Empire ruled most of the Middle East. Are Persians "white"? In America - yes, according to a university professor I had, an Iranian who had lived there; but here in Canada, they are considered a "visible minority", i.e. non-white lol

Yeah, Russia is very complex, that way... Fascinating place, truly.
 
Dec 2013
3,448
2,396
Switzerland
#9
Very interesting list, from "Business Online", a prominent magazine over there


I won't translate the whole thing, too long, take up several posts, with illustration, and, frankly, pointless, you all wouldn't know who most of these folks are anyhow, and most of them are fairly boring, anyway. Some interesting figures among them for sure, though.

Lets start with the Top 10


It is fascinating that the very first name up there, is Ravil Gainutdin, the Chairman of the Presidium of the Spiritual Directorate of the Muslims of Russia; while his main rival, Talgat Tadjuddin, the Chairman of the Central Spiritual Directorate of Russian Muslims and self-proclaimed Supreme Mufti of Russia, is only #7.

Russian Muslims have had to deal with a split leadership like this for many years already; each of those two men below claims to be the head religious authority of Russian Islam; Tadjuddin is older (70, to Gainutdin's 59 years), he's been a recognised Mufti and head of his Central Spiritual Directorate since 1992 (Gainutdin has been in his position since '96); Tadjuddin has been known, in his time, as a patriotic firebrand, who, among other things, back in 2003, after the US invasion of Iraq, actually called upon Russian Muslims to send money and weapons and anything else they could collect, to their brothers and sisters in Iraq to aid their jihad against the Western invaders (his words, basically, in my translation); but he has never been exactly eloquent in his public speech and today, reportedly, as he ages, allegedly tends even more to rant and ramble on, like many old men do; Gainutdin, by contrast, is a much more articulate and charismatic orator, which is why his sermons at Moscow's Grand Cathedral Mosque are becoming much more popular, nowadays, than Tadjuddin's (at the Central Mosque of Ufa, in Bashkortostan, where he usually bases himself)


Putin, pointedly, deals with both of them equally, thus far, and refuses to pick sides

He just waits, basically, for one or the other to, eventually, emerge on top...

And, meanwhile, now, in some regions, this is causing open conflicts between various Muslim congregations, as well as within congregations too, as pro-Tadjuddin factions are moving against pro-Gainutdin ones, as he grows more paranoid that Gainutdin will indeed push him out in future; and you have hostile take overs of mosques and all kinds of lawlessness going on, with police at times having to step in to separate the various sides and prevent violence:
Inter-Muslim conflict in Perm region of Russia

:rolleyes:

Anyway, moving on, #2 on the list is Mintimer Shaymiev, former head of Tatarstan

Shaymiev is perhaps Russia's longest-lived political figure. He has been head of Tatarstan since June 1991 (before Soviet Union fell apart, in December of that year!!!), until 2010, when he officially retired, but Putin, in a clear gesture of respect, allowed him to handpick and introduce his own successor, Rustam Minnikhanov, current head of Tatarstan, in middle above and also #4 up there in the Top 10. He also remains as so-called State Adviser within the government of Tatarstan, a position creates specially for him, and otherwise retains enormous influence within that republic, within the whole 6 million strong Tatar community around Russia, and, really, among Russian Muslims period, often speaking out in defence of Muslims, against discriminatory federal laws, etc.

Many credit Shaymiev's long and allegedly highly skilled governance and management style (which Minnikhanov has reportedly dutifully continued, still under the old man's watchful eye) with Tatarstan being a thriving and successful republic today, one of Russia's wealthiest regions; I have long read online posts and such from truckers and others from other parts of the country, who routinely drive through that republic, for example, rave about Tatarstan's well maintained highways (supposedly the best in the country) and polite, shocking non-corrupt (lol), and helpful cops, who would drive out to get diesel for a trucker who ran out of fuel, for instance, below

:)

And then, there's Innopolis (literally, "Innovation City"), the high tech, futuristic suburb of Kazan, the Tatar capital, where Yandex, Russia's answer to Google, Amazon, and Uber combined, has been testing driverless taxis, for example

So, apparently, at least in that one case, it seems you don't always need democracy for prosperity and success... You can make it work with a long time dictator, if he is a smart man who also genuinely cares about his people... That is very, very rare, of course, however ;)

Anyhow, further on, #3 is certainly a shocker, Khabib Nurmagomedov, who beat Conor McGregor last year, to become Russia's first own UFC Champion


Some marvel that he made it so far up there, all the way into Top 3, ahead of Chechnya's Ramzan Kadyrov, now less, at #5 (whom I have written already so much about, I don't think I need to talk much about him here, nor, frankly, want to, the guy is Putin's guard dog, a scumbag and butcher, who abducts, tortures, and murders people in Chechnya at will, with the Kremlin's blessing... Nuff said...)

But, I get it; he is a HUGE figure now, in all of Caucasus, but especially back home in Dagestan
Dude is basically the living representation of the strength and resilience of a people, a minority, who have experienced plenty of mistreatment, discrimination, violence, and general hardship in their history.

Caucasians, my people, have long learned to value combat skill and physical strength (in part, it is the Slav majority who have helped shove my kind into that niche, we've always, after all, been told that we are stupid that, "Look, no inventions or scientific breakthroughs ever came from you", etc, so, these days, just let the Slavs be the nerds, the brains of Russia, so to speak. While her muscle seems to be increasingly coming from the South, from Caucasus :D The Slavs used to defend their physical superiority by claiming Fedor Emelyanenko as Russia's greatest MMA fighter ever; but by winning the UFC belt, Khabib hjas surpassed Fedor. And thus, now, a Muslim from Dagestan is officially Russia's greatest fighter. This is huge. I don't want to exaggerate, but to those like me, back over there, this dude is what Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali represented to black people in America in the 60s...

Anyhow, #6 is Alisher Usmanov, a billionaire (estimated net worth $13 bn) originally from Uzbekistan

he is known for having the biggest private jet among all Russian oligarchs

Reportedly, the actual President of Uzbekistan occasionally borrows that thing from him to fly out for state visits and such lol No, seriously :D

#8 is Suleiman Kerimov, another billionaire ($7.1 bn), richest man from Dagestan, and a senator for that republic in Russia's Federation Council


#9 is Marat Husnullin, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin's deputy in charge of construction and housing (which means that all the construction tycoons in the city pay him bribes and kickbacks, btw, oh, yeah, he is a very, very wealthy man too, I assure you lol)


And Shamil Alyautdinov, #10, is a famous Islamic scholar, based at Moscow's Memorial Mosque (and loyal to Gainutdin and his organisation)


That's Top 10.

Will write more on others on the list when get back. Must run now. Enjoy, for now lol
thank you for all this information, it seems that we need a eye ready to catch comp,exity when it comes to Russia.
 
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The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
46,997
34,450
Toronto
#10
I never knew there was a connection between them and Ahmad Ibn Fadlan.
Yes, that one traveled extensively around that whole area:

Ibn Fadlan: An Arab Among the Vikings of Russia | Encyclopedia.com

There was a movie in 1999 about him, Antonion Banderas played him there:

Fun fact: Russians themselves could have been converted to Islam 1000 years ago and nearly were.

At that time, Tsar Vladimir I wanted to abolish the ancient paganism/polytheism there, and was shopping for a new religion for all the Rus; among the various representatives who came to him with lucrative offers, were also Muslim envoys from the Middle East

But, in the end, Vladimir, as you see by his hand there, balked on Islam, after they told him he would have to ban the Russians from alcohol. Even back then, already, any Russian ruler knew trying to ban his people from booze would be insane and simply unrealistic, it would likely start a civil war lmao

Plus, of course, also, the Byzantine Greeks were smarter, while the others, the Muslims, and the Catholics from Rome, prattled on about profitable trade links and formidable military alliances (which simply bored Vladimir half to death, as he was, btw, still a young fellow in his early 20s, even if already a Tsar), they offered him what they knew any hot blooded man his age would never refuse: a beautiful princess for marriage, within the whole package


And that is why Vladimir ended up accepting Orthodox Christianity from the Greeks himself and then converting his people to it too


She was reportedly quite a woman, Princess Anna

Bloody well would have had to be, considering that, along with polytheism, Vladimir had to also abandon polygamy for her and for Orthodoxy, including his own alleged three palaces full of nubile young females just for his own pleasure, no joke lmao

Well, polygamy went away OFFICIALLY, anyway; unofficially, there is research that, in fact, Vladimir sure as hell himself did NOT actually get rid of all his concubines, nor did most other elite men back then; and it had continued long after that too:

Late 16th Century, Ivan the Terrible at his palace with a bunch of his concubines
The girl in red looks Tatar to me lol Ivan conquered the Tatars' Volga/Kazan, Ural and Astrakhan Khanates. It had been written (though, of course, such details one would NOT learn in regular Russian school history textbooks today haha that Ivan personally chose for himself the hottest women from all three Khans' harems, while the others were distributed to his generals and aristocrats, as part of their rewards for a well fought campaign :D

Even today, there is a guy named Ivan Sukhov, for example, from the city of Vladimir, who has two unofficial wive sin addition to his official one (and two dozen kids between them all)

and promotes the idea that polygamy is perfectly natural for Russian men haha He has his supporters too, plenty of them lol

I love Russian history... Better than Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones... You couldn't actually make up some of the shit that has gone on over there... ;) :D
 

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