Salafism in Georgia and World: Theological and Political Aspects

On May 16, sal4the public discussion on topic “Salafism in Georgia and World: Theological and Political Aspects” was held in Caucasian House.

Meeting incorporated several topics, including Muslim community in Georgia and Islam, in particular, one of its movements called Salafi. This topic is not new for Caucasian House, as the organization has worked on this issue from different standpoints. This year Caucasian House has conducted a research on Islamic community and state policy toward its integration, which will be published soon.

During the discussion, reporters spoke about the history of Salafi movement, the aspects of its consistent formation, religious, social and political activism of Salafi movement in Caucasus and current condition in Pankisi gorge.

Giorgi Sanikidze, the professor at Ilia State University, made opening remarks on topic: the history of Salafi movemensalt and the aspects of its consistent formation. Giorgi Sanikidze also talked about main Islamic schools and branches, distinctive theological signs of Salafi school and reasons of its transformation into the political movement.

Gela Khmaladze, the invited researcher at Caucasian House delivered a speech about Salafi movement in North Caucasus, the reasons of the popularization of Salafi movement, Islam’s reaction to pressure from the Russian government and social and political activism.

The Imam of Salafi Mosque in Pankisi, Vakhtang Pareulidze talked about the current condition in Pankisi gorge and state policy towards the Salafi population of the gorge. Imam also referred to distinctive theological aspects of Salafi movement and underlined the basic differences between Salafi and Wahhabi movements. Vakhtang Pareulidze also emphasized the Islam’s role in the stabilization process at Pankisi gorge.

Representatives of state agencies, local and international non-governmental organizations, universities, embassies and experts expressed their views during the discussion

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Videoconference on Georgian-Russian Relations

On April 15, on the initiative of Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) alongside Caucasian House organized a conference on the Georgian-Russian relations.

During the conference, Georgian and Russian analysts discussed current tendencies and possible scenarios of development of Georgian-Russian relations.

From Georgian side the first report was delivered by Giorgi Gobronidze, the invited lecturer at Georgian-American University. The report covered the topic on Challenges of International Terrorism in Georgia. The speaker described in detail the overall situation in the country and based on examples of other countries’ experience explained why Georgia does not represent the foreground target for international terrorism.

Maia Urushadze, the project manager at Caucasian House, presented a detailed report “State Policy of Georgia toward Muslim Community on the example of Pankisi Gorge”, which was based on the results of the research, conducted by the staff of Caucasian House. The speaker focused on the problems of Pankisi gorge and analyzed the state policy implemented in this direction. Moreover during the discussions, the author underlined the negative role of media coverage of events as well as the attempts of international actors to have a negative impact on the region.

The last speaker from Georgia was Mariam Gachechiladze, the researcher at Caucasian House, who covered the topic “Georgian Diaspora in Russia and Georgian-Russian Relations”. The reporter analyzed the activities of Georgian diasporic organizations from 2004 until 2012, based on main tendencies and on the results of research.

The following Russian counterparts took part in the discussion: director of the Department for Problems of Ethnic Relations at the Institute for Political and Military Analysis Sergey Markedonov with a report “Russia-Georgia: The Limits of Normalization or Normalization without Passing “Red Lines” and Nikolai Silaev, Senior Research Advisor at Center for the Regional Security and Caucasus Studies at MGIMO University, presented a report on scenarios of the development of Georgian political system after parliamentary elections 2016. The last two speakers from Russian side were: Andrei Diogtiov, the graduate student of MGIMO University in Comparative Politics with a report on Georgia’s Economy in the Space Regional Powers’ Contradictions and a member of the Georgian club of MGIMO University Zurab Shavlidze, who during his speech covered the topic on “Formats of Interaction between Russia and Georgia in the Absence of Diplomatic Relations.”

After the presentations, students of MGIMO and invited representatives of Georgian diaspora had an opportunity to ask questions and express their opinion.

The videoconference was organized by the Students’ Scientific Club of MGIMO University, supported by Aleksey Tokarev, analyst of the Global Problems Study Center at MGIMO University.

 

 

Islam in Georgia: State Policy and Vision from Regions

On April 5, Caucasian House held a conference on Islam in Georgia: State Policy and Vision from Regions”. The opening remarks included the discussion on religious and political aspects and the significance of secularism in a contemporary state building process. The head of Asian direction at Caucasian House Giorgi Lobzhanidze, the professor at Ilia State University Giorgi Sanikidze alongside the philosopher Zaza Shatirishvili presented reports on aforementioned topics.

The second session was dedicated toward State policy on religion. The Chairman of State Agency for Religious Issues Zaza Vashakmadze analysed the state policy toward dominant confessions presented in Georgia, especially focusing on Muslim community. During the third session, Ramin Igidov, the Sheikh of all Georgia and Iasin Aliev, Mufti of all Georgia talked about the priorities of Muslim Division and emphasized the importance of the establishment of the Muslim education institution in Georgia.

Moreover, the researchers of Caucasian house Archil Sikharulidze and Gela Khmaladze presented the results of the qualitative social research regarding the integration process of Muslim community in Georgia and elaborated on main findings.

Representatives of state agencies, local and international non-governmental organizations, embassies and experts took part in the conference.

The conference was held with the financial support of British Embassy in Georgia.

Conference: Islam in Georgia- State Policy and Vision from Regions

 

On April 5 a conference – “Islam in Georgia– State Policy and Vision from Regions’’  will by held by the Centre for Cultural Relations – Caucasian House

The Conference covers such issues as theological and political aspects of Islam, also Georgian state policy toward Muslim minority. One session will be dedicated to the representatives of Muslim community from the regions. During the conference, the results and main findings of the qualitative social research on integration process of Georgia’s Muslim community conducted by Caucasian House will also be presented.

For further inquries please contact  Rauph Chichinadze (+995 592 810 810 E-mail:rauphi.chichinadze@caucasianhouse.ge )

 

The conference is held by Caucasian House with the financial support of British Embassy Tbilisi.