Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Envying Solidarity

It took me 20 minutes to figure out why the Russian blogosphere has erupted in such insane anti-Muslim hatred today. Finally, I discovered that what caused all the hate was something really beautiful. Muslims in Moscow defied the prohibition on unauthorized gatherings and came out to the Myanmar embassy to stand in solidarity with the Rohingya who are being exterminated for being Muslim. 

Here are the brave protesters:

And the Russians are so angry not only for the customary hateful reasons but also because they are envious. They envy the Muslims the courage to come out in protest. (It’s illegal in Russia to appear in public even in a very small group unless you have a written permit.)

I feel deeply for the Rohingya and I’m glad somebody else is willing to stand up for them, even at a great risk. 


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6 thoughts on “Envying Solidarity

  1. Was the protest just men? (I know, baby steps, but still…)

    Isn’t a similar idea behind a lot of Ukrainian hatred in Russia now? It’s like Ukraine has crossed an invisible barrier (back in 2004) that Russia never has. Russians don’t understand the feeling that people can actually affect and change governments they don’t like. Ukrainians got a taste and while there is still a long way to go they’re on the path to civil society while Russia doesn’t even realize there is a path.


    • Yes, absolutely. They are resentful that Ukrainians could and they can’t.

      The women are probably not around at all. I don’t think many of these men are from Moscow. If they identify as Muslims, they are probably guest workers from Chechnya, Dagestan, etc. Women are back home.


      • “They are resentful that Ukrainians could and they can’t.”

        I think it’s more basic than that. They don’t understand what the Ukrainians did because it* doesn’t fit in their conceptual scheme of the universe. It’s almost like an atheist trying to understand a mystical spiritual experience.

        *effective collective action by the citizenry to make a governmental change for the better


        • Very true. I remember back in 2012 when they came out on a 50,000-person protest (which is nothing in a city with Moscow’s enormous population), people were seriously saying, “OK, we have as good as won. Let’s discuss who will be in the post-Putin cabinet.” They honestly thought a tiny 2-hour protest would be enough to topple Putin. They are still that clueless.


      • Anonymous on said:

        I read an interesting article on Muslims in Moscow about how the main language of the community is switching from Chechen, Tatar, Tajik, etc. to Russian as a new generation native to Moscow is coming to the fore and the Muslim community transcends its traditional ethnic character(s)


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