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Islam au Caucase

Sufism and fundamentalism in Dagestan and Chechenya



This paper is based on personal field researches in the area. It tells about particular features of sufism in Chechnya and Dagestan. Regional Muslim intellectual centre of North Caucasus is Dagestan which is described as the land of sheikhs per excellence. The author gives a detailed description of Muslim organizations in Dagestan. The rising of radical Islam (“Wahhabism”) is shown as an important phenomenon for all North Caucasus. Between two wars in 1997-1999 “Wahhabism” started to disseminate quickly in Chechnya. The author tells the story of Jihad in Dagestan mountains in August-September 1999. The defeat of the radical Muslims led to repression, punitive operations and reactions and opened the way to the Second Chechen war.

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Electronic reference

Mikhail ROSHCHIN, “Sufism and fundamentalism in Dagestan and Chechenya”Cahiers d’études sur la Méditerranée orientale et le monde turco-iranien [Online], 38 | 2006, Online since 05 May 2006, connection on 20 August 2022. URL:; DOI:

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