On Tuesday Fjordman wrote about Russia’s dire situation with respect to Islam, both inside and outside of its own borders. Later that day a native of Russia named Dimitri wrote me with his own take on the subject:
I don’t have an account to post at Gates of Vienna, but the subject is so interesting to me that I dare to send my comment directly to you, answering your email which you sent long ago. If you think it is worth publishing, please attach my comment to the blog.
So this is what I think about Russia.
I am originally from Russia and I have been always asking such questions of myself: what is the reason for the alienation of Russia from the West? This alienation is seen clearly on both sides. For example, the traditional criticism of the Russian Empire as a despotic regime is based on left-wing liberal opinions, originating from the French revolution, which Russia opposed.
On the other hand, a strong anti-Western sentiment in Russia started after the Russian socialist revolution in 1917. Thus, the first explanation is that socialists always hate each other. At the same time they are ready to embrace Muslims, if they think they can gain from it. Already Lenin, in one of his latest papers, suggested an alliance with Muslims against Europe, after he was disappointed with Europe’s failure to support revolution.
However, there is a much older anti-Western element in Russia, and it comes from eastern Christianity. Orthodox Christianity has always considered itself as the only true Christianity, never ever admitted its own mistakes, and blamed it all on the West (sounds familiar, eh?). It was always associated with the Empire rather than with Biblical tradition. For example, the Russian church does not recommend reading the Bible, because too much in it is about the Jews. Russians rather call themselves “orthodoxes” than Christians, which shows that they actually consider themselves to be a kind of special religion. Thus they miss another common issue with the West.