The delegation of the Higher School of Economics visited the Republic of Tatarstan to study the regional experience in Islamic education development.
Leonid Issaev, Alisa Shishkina, Yevgeny Ivanov, and Yegor Fain, scholars of the Laboratory for Monitoring the Risks of Socio-Political Destabilization (HSE University) stayed in Tatarstan from 10 to 14 July 2022 to investigate the approach to Islamic education in the Republic.
The Laboratory previously organized several expeditions in the Republics of the North Caucasus (2019-2022). These field research made it possible to find out how the Islamic education system in Russia has emerged and developed. It also allowed to highlight vulnerabilities which require to be analyzed particularly. Finally, the Laboratory is aimed to propose recommendations to counteract possible challenges associated with the very issue. For instance, one of the most important tasks is to create mechanisms to integrate Islamic education into the general educational domain. On the one hand, proposed measures are to meet the demand for Islamic education at the ‘input’ level. On the other hand, they are to achieve practical results at the ‘output’ level.
In this regard, the experience of Islamic education development in the Volga Federal district and in the Republic of Tatarstan seems to be especially relevant. Today, Tatarstan is a reference region where the Islamic education system is well-institutionalized. The region is eager to be a driving force in this field. Therefore, it can be helpful to learn more about these processes in Tatarstan.
During the trip, the delegation studied the courses syllabuses of Kazan madrasahs (Muhammadiya and the 1000th Anniversary of the Adoption of Islam) and Islamic universities (Russian Islamic Institute, Kazan Islamic University, Bulgarian Islamic Academy). Meetings were held with the high-ranked managers and teachers of Islamic educational institutions. They talked about how madrasahs and universities in the region work, and how they see the future of the Islamic education system in Russia. It was emphasized that over the past 30 years Tatarstan has managed to do a lot to create a full-cycle Islamic education system.
In addition, the delegation of the Higher School of Economics held meetings in the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan, the Ministry of Education and Science, as well as in the Office of the President of the Republic of Tatarstan. During the meetings the following issues were discussed — aspects of legal regulation of Islamic education, formats of interaction between religious organizations and state authorities, and others. All participants noted the importance and usefulness of maintaining a discussion between figures from the field of Islamic education, representatives of state authorities and the expert community.