«Muslim matter» in the mirror of public discussion (XIX - beginning of XX century)
The relevance of the studied problem is determined by the socio-political processes that have embraced the modern Islamic world, connected with the substantial politicization of the Muslim community, religious revival movements and the spread of radical currents. The paper is aimed at studying the public debate in Russia (XIX-early XX century) regarding the future of domestic Muslims. The leading approach to the study of this problem is the concept that modernization attempts in Russia had compensatory nature and were aimed at strengthening the imperial system. Based on the study of the works by the experts of the "Muslim matter”, the authors came to the conclusion that the public discussion arrived at a view that it is necessary to strengthen the spiritual and cultural assimilation of foreigners on the ways of activating both administrative and cultural methods. Reliability of the results of the study is determined by the authors' appeal to a representative sample and analysis of the works by Russian scientists and publicists, who most clearly reflected the position of their socio-political group regarding the future of the Muslim community in Russia. Along with the opinions of academic orientalists and Islamologists, the views of representatives of the scientific missionary circles, Muslim modernists, revolutionary democrats, etc. are presented. The materials of the paper can be useful for further development of scientific problems on the history of Islam and Muslim peoples, as well as the history of culture and public thought of the peoples of Russia.
Keywords: history, social studies, Islamic studies, Russian empire, "Muslim matter", public