February 6th, 2011
This article titled “Russian Government’s enduring terrorism” first appeared in The Japan Times on February 6th about the suicide bombing at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport on January 24th, killing at least 35 people and injuring more than a 168 civilians. In my background research on terrorism in Russia I also found that in the year 2010, 108 Russians were killed by terrorists following which the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called terrorism “the main threat to security of [the Russian] state.” The interesting thing to note here is that the Russian authorities blamed Islamic extremism for these attacks.
This is especially interesting as these attacks are more likely to have been caused by Chechen rebels rather than Islamic extremists. In the past the Russian government used such attacks as a pretext to tighten sanctions on Chechnya- a region that has struggling for independence. Russia has continually imposed harsh policies that radicalize and terrorize innocents, shown favoritism in promoting faction intolerance and led to corruption and impunity towards its security forces. Also despite its passing of laws that take away civil liberties in exchange of ‘promised’ freedom from terrorism, it still has not been able to fix this issue.
In my opinion, now that the worldwide scapegoating of Muslims is occurring, Russians are finding it convenient to blame Muslims for these attacks rather than taking care of their fragmented relations with Chechnya or improving the endemic issues. Yes, in parts of the world Islamic extremism can be blamed for such tragedies but in this case, Russia may be at mistake and using it as a convenient excuse rather than a conclusion founded on facts.