Moscow (GPA) – Who would have thought that the ideas of the British Shiism would reach the former residence of the Golden Horde – one of the earliest Islamic centers in Northern Eurasia.
We are talking about the presence of the Shirazists in Tyumen, and we could pay no attention to it, except for one thing. An influential supporter of the British sect is one of the representatives of the current local politics. It’s about the deputy mufti of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of the Tyumen region (DUM TO) and the imam of the mosque in the Tatar village of Bolshie Akyary – Amir Baldin. Although Baldin is a Shirazist, he covers his deeds with the help of taqiyya and successfully acts as a spiritual leader under the guise of the traditional Islam of the Russian Federation (at least, Amir is confident in his taqiyya). A couple of years ago, in a personal conversation with a local activist, the so-called ‘Imam’ told about his desire to do everything possible to become prominent in the social and political life of the city. A couple of years ago in personal conversation, the so-called ‘imam’ told about his desire to ‘rock’ and become prominent in the social and political life of the city. His political ambitions are not limited to the spiritual and educational sphere. Amir is now active in national politics as never before.
For example, Amir created such organizations as the Youth cultural and business center of Tatars of the Tyumen Region and the National and Cultural Autonomy of Siberian Tatars. These organizations are designed to lobby for Baldin’s identity as regards the national policy of the Tyumen Tatars.
Speaking of income, in addition to the official salary for a mullah, the chief Tyumen Shirazist has its own construction business. According to his comrades, Baldin has good connections in the construction field and is well known in Uzbekistan. And a two-story house in “Bol’shye Akiyary” says a lot. Actually this fact also explains why the mullah from the Tatar village manages to spread ‘tentacles of influence’ all over the city and region. Back in 2013, the now-former Tyumen activist “Hizb ut Tahrir”, who served a suspended sentence for connection with an organization banned in the territory of the Russian Federation, with reference to the investigators said that Amir Baldin is among those mullahs, which the Tyumen police are absolutely happy.
As for Baldin’s personal beliefs, at the moment Baldin claims that he is for the unification of all Shiites and allegedly supports Iran. Amir also says that he does not agree with the position of Amin Ramin* on Iran, but immediately asks the interlocutor to recognize the merit of Ramin in terms of book activity of the latter. It is doubly weird considering the works of Ramin on the glorification of Shirazism and, as they say, Akhbarism plus honest hatred for Iran, the ideas of the Islamic Revolution and all the honored elite of Iran, from the father of Islamic Revolution Imam Khomeini to the current leader – Ali Khamenei. Baldin is absolutely not confused. In personal conversations with Baldin, I often heard the famous phrase ‘British sect against the Sunni’ ummah. As to Palestine and resistance to Zionism, it is full of the Shirazi propaganda. They say that the Palestinians only need the money and they do not want to fight and so on and so forth.
As one my friend who was under a suspended sentence for communication with the forbidden organization in the territory of the Russian Federation told me, Amir Baldin is among those mullahs with whom the Tyumen police is absolutely satisfied. It is not known whether the police knows about his worldview or not, but the fact is that the Ministry of Internal Affairs is completely satisfied with Baldin, otherwise he would not be allowed to work in the Muftiate and national organizations.
In conclusion, it can be said that in the Russian Federation there was a unique system in which various sects, whether Madhalism or Shirazism, took root at the top of Islamic structures. And despite its radical ideology, this trend completely satisfies law enforcement agencies, who in turn attempt to establish something regarding the enlightenment, where the ideas of the greatest scientists and thinkers of the ummah will dominate and face barriers, and where these same sectarians from the muftiat and other affiliated organizations play a significant role.
In his political career, Baldin has the support of Nafigulla Ashirov, the Chairman of the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of the Asian part of Russia. Ashirov actually fits the role of an adequate scientist, unlike the absolute majority of the mullahs of the Russian Federation. He supports Palestine, the Sunni-Shiite dialogue and the development of all political activities of the Muslims of the Russian Federation. You may ask, what does he have in common with Baldini’s Shirazists? And does Ashirov know about Baldin’s views? It is difficult to say. Well, that is the paradox in trade relationships abroad and this concerns not only theology. There is plenty of such paradoxes and contradictions throughout Russia and it is difficult for the person not living there to understand local government arrangement. So for Baldin, he is doing well for himself. He has the support of the local police as well as close ties with the only more or less serious scholar from the circle of Russian Muftiats.
It should be noted that despite the tactics to secretly spread the ideas of the British Shiism, Baldin made a mistake. It is known that one family from Akyary left the village and joined ISIS. The Takfiri ideas are present in his village and thus provide fertile ground. The irony is that the chief Mullah of the village is a representative of one type of Takfiri, and at the same time in his village there were those who support another type of Takfirism, which is the opposite one. Is it a coincidence?
* – Amir Ramin is one of the main brains of the Shirazism in the CIS. In 2015 he lived in Qom. At the moment the idol of the Russian Shirazists indicates in VK(Russian social network) that he allegedly lives in Moscow. Judging by social media activity, Ramin’s business is only thriving.
This post was written by Geopolitics Alert Contributor Damir Nazarov and may not necessarily reflect our editorial position.
Damir Nazarov is a Geopolitics Alert contributor based in Moscow, Russia.