Muslims in North Caucasus concerned about ‘extremism'
April 23rd, 2013
09:47 AM ET

Muslims in North Caucasus concerned about ‘extremism'

By Dan Merica, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='DanMericaCNN']

Washington (CNN) – A majority of Muslims (57%) in Russia’s North Caucasus – including Chechnya, Dagestan and five other Russian jurisdictions – are either “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about religious extremist groups in their country, according to a Pew Research Center survey.

That number is higher than Russia as a whole, where more than four-in-10 Muslims in the country express the same level of concern.

This region of the world, particularly Chechnya and Dagestan, has been in the news recently because the suspects in last week’s Boston Marathon bombing – Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the younger brother who is still alive, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older brother who died in a shootout last week – had familial ties to the region.

The two brothers were born in Kyrgyzstan, where 62% of Muslims told Pew they were very or somewhat concerned about extremism in the central Asian country.

Monday night, Dzhokhar told investigators that his older brother, Tamerlan, was the mastermind behind the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three and injured more than 260 people. Tamerlan appears to have become increasingly religious in the years leading up to the bombing, and interviews with family in Russia indicate that the older brother was radicalized while in America.

While there is so far no evidence that the brothers were associated to international jihadist groups, in August 2012, soon after returning from a long visit to Russia, Tamerlan created a YouTube channel with links to a number of videos including sermons or interviews with radical preachers.

Though extremist groups from Chechnya have carried out terrorist acts since the early 2000s, most of those attacks have been focused on Russia. An example: the Beslan school hostage crises in September 2004, where more than 300 people were killed.

Though experts say the Caucasus are quieter now, Thomas de Waal, an expert on the region, says there is a constant a low-level Islamist insurgency there.

The Pew data released Tuesday is part of a larger report on the state of Islam conducted from October 2011 to February 2012, with research collected before the Boston bombings.

The survey also found that Muslims in Russia’s North Caucasus – the dominant religion in the region – are more concerned about Islamic extremist groups than Christian groups. Thirty-six percent of Muslims said they were primarily worried about Islamic extremists, while only 2% indicated they were worried about Christian groups.

Russia, as a whole, is primarily Christian, with 73% of its population identifying with the faith, according to Pew’s 2012 Global Religious Landscape report. About 10% of the country’s population is Muslim – most of which live in the Russian Caucasus.

Likewise, in the brothers' birthplace of Kyrgyzstan, 32% of Muslims were concerned about Islamic extremist groups, while 5% were concerned with Christian extremism. According to Pew’s numbers on world religions, Muslims make up 88% of the country’s population, while 11% of Kyrgyz people are Christian.

In light of the bombing, Muslim leaders in Boston and around the United States condemned the attacks. “I don't care who or what these criminals claim to be, but I can never recognize these criminals as part of my city or my faith community," said Yusufi Vali, executive director for the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, the largest mosque in the Boston area.

Imam Talal Eid, the imam at the Boston Islamic Institute, told CNN that he would refuse to give Tamerlan last rites. "A person who is devoted does not kill innocent people," Eid said.

- CNN’s Eric Marrapodi and Jake Tapper contributed to this report.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Islam • Polls • Russia • Terrorism

soundoff (902 Responses)
  1. lionlylamb

    I am a solitary man. A celestial god, created from and by and for the Gods am I.

    Upon the admissions of others, we all are celestial creations wherein our inside; lives our body’s creators and makers and shapers of atomic creativities. Infinitesimally small are our enigmatic Gods; ever to live upon the insides of all things celestially made and bio’logic’ally grown.

    The finite is not infinite and yet the infinite finiteness ebbs and flows onwards onto forever, upon the infinity of nothingness. We being people, are as gods living upon a celestial cosmos. Our atomically made and biologically framed cosmological bodies are as universes and we all are mere buildings wherein the Gods all live and take refuge. All of celestially formed Life is as cellular cosmologies, the miniaturized celestial chasms of living universalisms.

    April 23, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
    • Answer

      I'd like to know who actually reads lionly's sh!t...

      April 23, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      Still going with the useless pseudo-intellectual garbage I see. I wonder when you'll notice that no one takes you seriously in the least.

      April 23, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      I do. All it comes to is a bunch of worthless posturing to say essentially nothing.

      April 23, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Hello Mr. Lamb, you crazy old fuck. How are you today?

      April 23, 2013 at 8:05 pm |

      Spirit is not a matter but a program, a soft ware created by creator of all, truth absolute GOD, nothing can form without a spirit, nor a body can form, life is an opportunity for human to be gods of their life in truth absolute, but luck had it, hindu secular s, ignorant self centered have lost their way, and act by hindu secular ism, criminal self center ism, and follow their hindu soul filthy desire like a hindu hungry dog, and deny truth of spirit, th create hinduism mayhem among humanity in following of their hindu god lucifer, criminal secular of all. Not worth to be among human, but of their own kind, hindu animals, ignorant secular s by nature in a zoo.

      April 23, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • lionlylamb


      A lot maybe? A few quite possibly.


      The 'serious' need not reply.

      April 23, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      Congratulations on another irrelevant and useless comment. You have maintained a very steady level of stupidity during your time here, and perhaps that should be commended.

      April 23, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
    • Akira

      "The ‘serious’ need not reply."

      Good to know one's expectations; one will not be disappointed with the replies that way.

      April 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm |

    we do head down ass up five times a day, but still people think we're not normal, how ridiculous !

    April 23, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
    • collectivedementia

      Ah,yes...but soon, very soon you will be able to get married in the good ol' USA.....
      Bite that pillow just a bit harder, Ahab.......

      April 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
  3. BB Jones

    The Truth About Muslims
    Muslims were beaten as children and taught to hate
    Muslims hit their heads constantly when praying causing brain damage
    Muslims are mentally retarded
    Muslims smell bad because they have not learned proper hygiene
    Muslims are embarrassed by their tiny deformed penis
    Muslims hate everyone because they are not allowed to go to school
    Muslims hate everyone because no one will kiss their nasty slop covered mouths
    It is all true, look it up
    Muslims can’t look it up because they can’t read
    Muslims hate everyone because they can’t read

    April 23, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • BM Chitlen

      Muslims hate everyone because dust is not food
      Muslims hate women because their mother laughs at their deformed 1" penis
      Muslims hate everone because it is easier than alegebra
      Muslims hate women because women don't like their rotten teeth and stinky beards
      Muslims everyone becuase Muslims are at the very bottom of the human heirarchy
      Muslims are ignornant and can only reach to other by blowing things up

      April 23, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • BB Jones

      Muslims like bombs because it reminds them of their childhood
      Muslims hate childhood because their parents made them test bombs in public
      Muslims believe in fairy tales because they are so stupid they will believe anything you tell them
      Muslims hate women because they Muslims are not allowed to be queens
      Muslims hate women because women have a bigger penis and nicer mustache
      Muslims hate themselves because they know the hidious appendage attached to their neck is really their head

      April 23, 2013 at 7:32 pm |

      hinduism absurdity of a hindu secular, ignorant self centered by faith, spewing his hinduism, ignorance out of hindu atheism, criminal self center ism to hind propagate hinduism, lies about Muslims and Islam. Way of hindus deniers of truth absolute in life to hide their hinduism, ignorance.

      April 23, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • BM Chitlen

      Muslims fear everyone in the world because we all know "magic"
      Muslims believe in magic
      Muslims are really, really, super stupid

      April 23, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • BB Jones

      Islamabot is fascinated with "hind" because the same smells eminate from his mouth that come out of his ass
      Islamabot is the stupidest person to every spam the Belief Blog
      Islamabot hates everyone because we can spell
      Islamabot is too chicken to blow himself up which is too bad

      April 23, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • Target 36

      Muslims smell bad because then can't master plumbing
      Muslims can't master plumbing because they are very stupid
      Muslims are very stupid from generations of in-breeding
      Muslims can't alway reproduce because of their tine and misshapen 1" penis

      April 23, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • Cancel the Tuna

      Islam is sad because their brains of quite functioning due to dirty water
      Islam has dirty water because they bathe in it
      Muslims use their bath water to cook because the still life in the iron age
      Muslims reward stupidity and punish intelligence
      Muslims love soaking and eating their own filth

      April 23, 2013 at 7:42 pm |

    Hell for being female in land of hindu secular ism, criminal self center ism, by faith india, justified by hinduism criminality of of hindus, racist by faith. Millions denied right to life, for being a female.


    April 23, 2013 at 7:18 pm |

      first cousine, my future wife wannabe, filthy secular, woman, totaly Americanized, filth

      April 23, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
  5. Box

    Fish, and plankton. And sea greens, and protein from the sea. It's all here, ready. Fresh as harvest day. Fish and sea greens, plankton and protein from the sea. And then it stopped coming. And they came instead. So I store them here. I'm ready. And you're ready. It's my job. To freeze you. Protein, plankton...

    April 23, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • Prehistoric shark captured on film

      Chomp Chomp...................sea greens good .............Box !


      April 23, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
  6. Suq Madiq

    According to a National Foundation for Credit Counseling survey, only 58% of those in “Generation Y” pay their monthly bills on time.

    30% of people refuse to sit on a public toilet seat.

    Only 80% of women wash their hands when they leave the restroom.

    People photocopying their ass are the cause of 23% of all worldwide photocopier faults worldwide.

    70% of dust in the home is from human skin.

    100 people a year choke to death on ball-point pens

    40% of women have hurled footwear at a man

    One in three snake bite victims is drunk. One in five has a tattoo

    Half of all people killed by bombs are those trying to make or set the bombs.

    The bottom 40% of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1% of the nation’s wealth.

    In 1950, the ratio of the average executive’s paycheck to the average worker’s paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.

    U.S. law enforcement authorities claim that there are now over 1 million members of criminal gangs inside the country. These 1 million gang members are responsible for up to 80% of the crimes committed in the United States each year.

    More than 24% of all homes with mortgages in the United States were underwater as of the end of 2009.

    Statistics Smamishtics...

    April 23, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
    • Answer

      To be able to take a detail analysis of a population in a democratic society is a beautiful thing.

      Now where are the abilities to do this in the areas of the downtrodden Arab countries? That's right – they're so fvcked up that they can't.

      April 23, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
    • Science

      DNA works better no ghod(s) needed or required................also catches crooks !

      Ancient DNA Reveals Europe's Dynamic Genetic History

      Apr. 23, 2013 — Ancient DNA recovered from a series of skeletons in central Germany up to 7,500 years old has been used to reconstruct the first detailed genetic history of modern Europe.


      April 23, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • Science

      Oops dang thumb................ god(s)......................fairy in the sky !

      April 23, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • Saraswati

      If you don't understand the importance and significance of statistics you probably want to reconsider the quality of your education.

      April 23, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
  7. SoCal Dude

    Muslims hate bitchin' music, righteous waves, killer bud and hot babes. Bogus dude.

    April 23, 2013 at 7:02 pm |

    t is a crime to be a female baby, murdered in mothers womb by hindu atheist . criminal self centred, believers of hinduism racism by faith.


    April 23, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • .

      Jefé, you are one sick fuck letting your wife be videotaped getting an abortion.

      April 23, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • Dippy

      What, pray tell, is a hindu atheist?

      April 23, 2013 at 7:31 pm |

      S exy dance, way of life of muslim secular women, ignorant self centered

      April 23, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
  9. SoCal Dude

    Muslims don’t surf and they cover up their babes. Gnarly man.

    April 23, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
  10. reasonablebe

    1) they should be concerned, as should everyone else; 2) only 57%? that's scary.

    April 23, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • Demigod Vadik, CA

      57% VERY concerned...

      ...when you go to concerned, the number is in the 80's...

      April 23, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • retphxfire

      Considering the ignorance and prejudices of so many Americans and their hateful, violent rhetoric, Muslims should be concerned.

      April 23, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • Akira

      I think it cuts both ways, retphxfire.

      April 23, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
  11. lionlylamb

    The finite is not infinite and yet the infinite finiteness ebbs and flows forever upon the infinity of nothingness. Our people are as gods living upon a celestial cosmos. Our atomically made and biologically framed cosmological bodies are as universes and we all are mere buildings wherein the Gods all live and take refuge. All of celestially formed Life is as cellular cosmologies, the miniaturized celestial chasms of living universalisms.

    April 23, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • .

      LL is the belief blog pseudo intellect just laugh at their posts and move on.

      April 23, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • Dippy

      I don't even laugh.

      April 23, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • Dippy

      I just move on.

      April 23, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
  12. The real Tom

    I am a real internet detective. It's important. VERY important. CNN belief blog is VERY important business. So I have dedicated years to coming here to convert believers and keep a watchful eye on people I feel are not in line with my specific ideal lifestyle. It's very important that people only agree with ME.

    April 23, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Nice try.

      April 23, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • sam

      Boring troll...

      April 23, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
  13. CS

    Islmabot figured out how to post video. This is almost as bad as when LionlyLamb figured it out.

    April 23, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • Akira

      No shit. We're doomed.

      April 23, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • Athy

      I thought we were finally rid of Lionly, but, alas, it appears he's back.

      April 23, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • Akira

      But, no videos. That's a plus.

      April 23, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
  14. jonat

    The muslims you see cheering around the world when America is attacked don't seem worried

    April 23, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • BigdaddyUSA

      They won't be cheering in ten years when we turn the Middle East into a plate of glass.

      April 23, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
  15. kevobx

    Worldly people say who are you to judge me? They love their things more than truth. *Psalm 108:8 Judah is my lawgiver; *Jeremiah 11:20 But O Lord of hosts, that judgest righteously, that triest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I revealed my cause. *John 7:25 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. *Psalm 85:11 Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

    April 23, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
  16. more2bits

    Mankind would do well to locate a gene responsible for violence and eliminate it.

    April 23, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • Deez

      ... and the following of all religions.

      April 23, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
  17. Corkpuller

    Extremism worries EVERYBODY!

    April 23, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • lol??

      How long ya been hooked on collectivism?

      April 23, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Just another day on the lol?? compound...

      April 23, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
  18. Lycidas

    I'd like to see a survey about what this country feels about atheists and their demonic religion.

    April 23, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • In Santa we trust


      April 23, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • Rembrant

      I'd like to see a survey about how this country feels about widespread ignorance and overall lack of education.

      April 23, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Don't need me no stickin ejumacation ... Jeesis is gonna come swingin down from on hi and take me to live with them angil guys!!

      And yoo do git nun!- so thar!

      April 23, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I'd like to take a survey about how stupid you are to attempt to impersonate Lycidas.

      April 23, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • Gordon

      Atheists don't have a demonic religion because there are no gods that we believe in. As much as you christians (I assume you're one given the tone of your post) want to make "secular humanism" into a religion, it's not one. If you don't believe that some higher power is in charge, the only other choice is that we humans are in charge of our own destiny.

      April 23, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • DolphT

      Man created "god" in his own image - probably during a thunderstorm. Then he right away commences charging the ignorant money for interceding with this invented creature and sending the even dumber off to kill in "his" name. How does it feel to be the victim of a long con, Lycidas?

      April 23, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • WASP

      @ly: lucifer means "The irony for those who believe that "Lucifer" refers to Satan is that the same ti.tle ('morning star' or 'light-bearer') is used to refer to Jesus, in 2 Peter 1:19, where the Greek text has exactly the same term: 'phos-phoros' 'light-bearer.' This is also the term used for Jesus in Revelation 22:16."

      so if lucifer meant light bearer then why is he so feared by christians?
      ANSWER: you were all taught to fear education, knowledge, enlightenment because the cure for control is knowledge. atheists aren't evil or any different from the religious, we are only more knowledge driven.

      April 23, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
  19. It's a dilemma

    People misuse religion, fight over it, it causes problems and there is no proof for any of it but at the same time most people need "something" to deal with the hardships of life and worst..their mortality. I have no answers but my sympathies are with all of mankind, truly.

    April 23, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • Saraswati

      It is. But there are more and less adaptive systems just as there are more and less adaptive people. There's no guarantee that they will win out, but there's hope. There is also a high likelihood that with our rapidly changing world there are changes coming that we can't yet imagine, for good or for bad.

      April 23, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
  20. JT28

    I would like to see such survey on Muslims in India and Pakistan. As long as Muslims keep religion over country they will keep radicalizing the next generation. Because they lack nationalism- no matter which country they live in- no one can trust them. They keep blaming others but need to really look within.

    April 23, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.