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Program for Strengthening Ethnoreligious Accord in the Volga Federal District* (For the Staff of the Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federations he Volga Federal District is home to an ethnically and religiously diverse population, people who as a result of long historical interac- tion within a unified state have many cultural characteristics in com- mon and demonstrate a fairly high degree of tolerance and civil accord. In recent years the region has seen manifestations of interethnic tensions as well as a difficult religious situation. Intolerance on those grounds has led to increasing xenophobia among the population toward ethnic and reli- gious minorities, forced migrants, and foreign citizens. Ethnoreligious conflicts represent one obstacle on the road to strengthening democratic traditions in Russia, facilitating socioeconomic transformations, and achieving civil accord and peace. All of this gives rise to the need for special efforts by society and all levels of government aimed at imple- menting the fundamental provisions of the proposed Concept for Creat- ing a Harmonious Ethnoreligious Situation in the Volga Federal District. Which basic spheres should be the focus of activities aimed at promoting ethnoreligious dialogue? · organs of state power and administration · education and training *Draft prepared by V. A. Tishkov for the expert seminar on November 1-2, 2001, in Nizhny Novgorod. Translated from the Russian by Rita S. Guenther. 201
202 APPENDIX C · the media · public organizations and other institutions of civil society · scientific research and applied monitoring General Principles and Guidelines That Should Be Followed in This Effort · Citizens of various nationalities and various religious convictions live in the Volga District, all enjoying the same civil rights and freedoms, including the right to preserve and develop their own cultures and pro- fess various religious faiths. · Interethnic and interfaith harmony and cooperation are the norm and the deep tradition of the population of the region, and this tradition deserves all possible support and promotion. · In the district there are no large or small cultures, as there is no predetermined inequality among representatives of various nationalities and religions. Inequality and discrimination are engendered by social and political conditions, while intolerance and conflicts arise under the influ- ence of improper education, ideological pressure, and political mobiliza- tion. · The people of the district have far more historical-cultural values and sociopolitical features in common than they have differences based on religion or ethnic background. · Tensions and conflicts arise when unfavorable socioeconomic con- ditions are combined with poor governance and when politicians and irresponsible social activists use ethnic and religious factors to pursue their ideological projects and to acquire power or personal gain. · Xenophobia and negative stereotypes may arise among various categories of people and may be of a persistent and mass character, but there are ways and means of blocking or eliminating these phenomena. · Education in the spirit of cultural and religious tolerance repre- sents a fundamental means of affirming a culture of peace and harmony . . In society. · The state and its social structure and politics may create institu- tions and a climate of inequality and discrimination, but the state likewise possesses all of the means to ensure societal accord, and only it has the right to use force to counter outbreaks of discord or violence. · Overall, the sociopolitical structure of the Russian Federation, in- cluding its constitution and other laws as well as the constitutions and legislation of federation subjects, facilitates opportunities for real equality and self-determination of peoples in various forms and for religious free- dom and church activity. · The media, including the regional press and television and profes- sional cultural and literary figures, play an important role in affirming a
APPENDIX C 203 favorable climate of ethnoreligious relations; however, they can also serve as a means of sowing and spreading prejudice and hate as well as rumors and appeals that may lead to conflicts. · Intolerance, discord, and conflicts are not irreversible, and they may be eliminated and resolved relatively quickly by specifically targeted efforts. Guided by these principles, what can various institutions, organizations, and individuals accomplish? Organs of State Power and Administration · Provide strict and consistent support for constitutional rights and laws guaranteeing the equality of citizens of any race or nationality and freedom of religion. · Develop and pass new federal and regional laws and other legal acts on the given matters and ratify and observe international legal norms and special declarations. · On the basis of political agreements and societal control, ensure fair representation of various nationalities at all levels of government and take the interests and rights of peoples and local ethnocultural communi- ties into account in implementing socioeconomic, public information, and education policies. · Provide special training for state employees, including those in law enforcement, for appropriate handling of interethnic relations and methods of combating manifestations of ethnoreligious tension and con- flicts. · Affirm all-Russian civic and historical-cultural values in state ide- ology and symbols (including at the regional and local levels) and dem- onstrate the multicultural nature of the Russian state. · Implement programs to support minority cultures and languages and protect minorities at the district and federation subject levels, along with programs to develop the Russian language and Russian culture throughout the country. · Ensure judicial prosecution for individuals, groups, and organiza- tions that espouse intolerance and violence or commit acts of violence for ethnic or religious reasons. · Create special state-societal organizational systems for monitoring the climate of ethnoreligious relations and establish a Commission of the Plenipotentiary Representative of the President on Combating Sociopoliti- cal Extremism. · Along with clearer resolution of migration issues, provide support for migrants and refugees. Eliminate bureaucratic arbitrariness from pro-
204 APPENDIX C cedures for the legal registration of residence and provide jobs and social welfare support for that segment of the population. · Affirm Russian, regional, and local patriotism through state sym- bols, enhance the prestige of the authorities and the law, and take mea- sures to limit access to weapons by the civilian population, especially young men. Education and Training · Remove ethnocentric versions of history and culture from text- books as well as outdated ethnonational and racist interpretations and perspectives. · Affirm doctrines of multiculturalism in the primary, secondary, and higher education systems instead of outdated and divisive concent.s such as so-called national schools. -r · Introduce courses on nationality studies and the history of religion and teach the history of intercultural interactions and cooperation along with the history of mass repression and discrimination against "aliens" and "heathens." · Institute special accreditation of schoolteachers and instructors in higher-education institutions for their knowledge and convictions on matters of intercultural dialogue and principles of tolerance. · Conduct training and education work with parents and other adult members of the population on principles of behavior on questions of religious tolerance and interethnic accord, including relations with chil- dren and adolescents. · Respond actively to displays of negative stereotypes, interethnic discord, and personal humiliation of representatives of other nationalities and races by children and youths. · Refuse to tolerate actions and symbols of ultranationalist and neofascist groups and organizations in schools and higher-education in- stitutions. · Work individually with persons who have become involved in the activities of such groups or who share such views, first and foremost with young activists of ultranationalist groups. · Develop excursions and field trips for schoolchildren and univer- sity students to expand their knowledge about the region and the cultural makeup of its population. · Develop individual forms of artistic expression based on various cultural traditions and heritages. · Organize local experts and educational agencies to create method- ological recommendations, including specific courses for teachers and parents on how to instill in schoolchildren a negative attitude toward
APPENDIX C 205 weapons and violence without violating the principles of patriotic educa- tion, which include respect for the army and police. The Media · Expand television and radio networks and increase the range of programming offered to provide a more complete and adequate reflec- tion of the cultural mosaic of the district and its component regions and of the problems of interethnic relations and interfaith dialogue. · Create a district television channel and a radio station for broad- casting in the languages of those ethnic groups with the greatest popula- tion (Tatars, Bashkorts, Chuvash, Mordovians, Mari, Udmurts) and pre- senting programs organized by ethnic cultural associations and regional journalists. · Conduct regular expert reviews of printed publications in the aim of uncovering newspapers and other publications that propagate racial, ethnic, and religious animosity and hate and call for violence. · Augment journalism training programs with courses on the cul- ture and traditions of the peoples of Russia and the world and principles for covering ethnic and religious themes. · In cooperation with nationwide Russian journalistic organizations and scholars specializing in the field develop a code of ethics for district -r ------- - ---an --- ---- --___, journalists who cover relevant topics. · Prevent appearances on television or in mass print publications by political leaders and social activists who espouse nationalist and neofascist views and block the broadcasting of their direct utterances and appeals. · Reduce media references to the fundamental significance of ethnocultural differences among Russian citizens, the incompatibility of various civilizations, and the historical injustices supposedly perpetrated by one people against another. · Ensure societal and other censure for journalists and other authors who, on behalf of self-styled ethnic entrepreneurs ("leaders of the people" or "leaders of Islam"), profess ethnographic romanticism and enthusiasm for the destruction of Russia as a "mini-empire" under the slogan of eth- nic or religious self-determination. · Respond more professionally and critically to the foreign media, especially to special programs and publications aimed at the Volga Fed- eral District, which question the legitimacy of the Russian Federation and reject the overall Russian community in favor of ethnic particularism and separatism. · Expand religious broadcasts of a peaceful nature, including those involving simultaneous and regular participation by representatives of different religions.
206 Public Organizations and Other Institutions of Civil Society APPENDIX C · Political parties and movements at the district and regional levels should have in their programs formulated principles and positions on matters of interethnic relations and on the question of relations to reli- gion. The character of these positions should be among the fundamental criteria for determining the constitutionality and social significance of these groups. · Participants in the program should support and take part in the activities of the parties and movements that do not hold nationalistic positions and that are governed by principles of consensus, respect for the cultural diversity of the population, and religious tolerance. · Within the framework of the program or independently, nongov- ernmental organizations and associations should be created to engage in specific peacemaking activities, perform voluntary civic work toward en- couraging peace and harmony, create "zones of peace," and establish dialogue. · Religious societies and organizations, including the Russian Or- thodox Church and Muslims, can and should expand their activities among all categories of the population (not just among believers) aimed at preventing violence and conflicts in society and working among those experiencing discrimination as well as those who are subject to being influenced by xenophobia and ultraradical ideologies. · Unlike state institutions, public organizations can work more ef- fectively on the level of small projects and programs that directly reach people, including those on opposing sides in conflict situations. · Representatives of public organizations often have stronger feel- ings of devotion to the cause of peace and accord and may devote time and effort to an extent that is impossible for officials because of the restric- tions inherent in their positions. · By means of public explanations and direct contacts, organizations and individual activists are in a position to help people understand com- plex situations and find peaceful ways and means of resolving them. · Public organizations and coalitions are capable of exerting demo- cratic control over leaders and activists and influencing those who de- stroy peace and harmony and provoke conflicts. · Local peace committees (or commissions) can and should be cre- ated to take on the work of reducing prejudice and stereotypes among segments of the population, especially with regard to representatives of ethnic and religious minorities. · Commissions or committees should be created at the school, com- munity, regional, and city levels to monitor the quality of the environ-
APPENDIX C 207 ment for interethnic relations and serve as a means to provide early warn- ing of unfavorable situations and quick reaction to such cases. · Ethnic community leaders and authoritative citizens should be- come engaged in processes aimed at ending conflict situations. This would include becoming involved in negotiations as representatives of second- level diplomacy as well as serving as guarantors of the observation and implementation of any agreements reached. · In conducting peacemaking activities, nongovernmental organiza- tions may create broad coalitions and establish linkages with analogous organizations in other regions of Russia with the aim of applying positive experience and attracting resources. Scientific Research and Applied Monitoring · As part of the program, it is necessary to organize training for specialists and conduct scientific research on problems of peace and toler- ance and violence and conflicts, including within the scope of such disci- plines as social psychology, cultural anthropology, sociology, political science, and history. · There is a need for centers and interdisciplinary research groups as well as the publication of special journals, serials, and methodological literature on problems of peace and harmony, geared toward both spe- cialists and a wider audience. · Only scholars can convincingly demonstrate the bankruptcy, soci- etal harm, and criminal nature of ideologies, programs, and activities that involve hate and hostility toward people of other races, nationalities, and faiths, and their taking of an active position on this question is a matter of professional ethics. · Only expert scholars can ascertain the deeper causes and nature of intolerance and conflicts and determine the most effective means for their prevention and resolution. · Within the scientific community itself, there must be an atmosphere of condemnation and rejection of those colleagues who through their writings and other actions help to provide justification for racist and na- tionalistic views among the population, as well as those who sympathize with radical activists and violators of the social order and the constitu- tional-legal foundations of the state. · Scholars can create informal networks and organizational struc- tures to monitor the state of public opinion, interethnic relations, and the activities of political, social, and religious organizations for the purpose of identifying crisis situations and developing applied recommendations.
208 APPENDIX C · Scholars can and should make greater use of the press, radio, and television to present current scientific positions on the role and signifi- cance of cultural traditions and ethnoreligious cooperation. A Few Simple Truths for the Establishment of Ethnoreligious Dialogue Tolerance is not when the residents of a city or village react peacefully to the building of a mosque or synagogue near a Russian Orthodox cathe- dral, but rather it is when they work together to help representatives of another faith build a new house of worship. Individuals may be tolerant toward friends or persons close to them who are of a different faith or nationality, but they may be xenophobes and racists in a broader social environment (at work, in politics, or in creative works). Tolerance and respect for other cultures are expressed not in refrain- ing from taking a negative attitude toward them, but rather in striving to understand them and adopting valuable and useful elements from them. Relying on dialogue and consensus is more difficult than engaging in rejection and hostility, for the latter requires no special efforts on personal development and is connected with a limited outlook and ignorance. Xenophobia and intolerance are characteristic not only of limited and poorly educated people; even the most enlightened people may also have these qualities, only they may accompany their views and actions with more refined arguments. The most diverse forms of intolerance may exist and be manifested in democratic societies, and the task of the state and society is to prevent their extreme (including violent) forms, which threaten the foundations of social order and statehood. It is necessary to combat opponents of peace and supporters of vio- lence not only with public condemnation campaigns but also with other effective methods: public rejection, judicial prosecution, education, and their inclusion in the systems of institutions of power and civil society. Intolerance toward intolerance may give rise to new intolerance and create new supporters. It is more important to see the person inside the misanthrope and try to influence his or her views and behaviors. Efforts to establish ethnoreligious harmony and prevent conflicts de- mand sacrifice and the best human qualities, but they may produce re- sults only if carried out jointly and with the support of the state. Strong government and prosperous living conditions do not guaran- tee peace and harmony, and conflicts among representatives of the elite are more frequent and stronger than those among the common people. However, order and prosperity provide increased opportunities to avoid intolerance, violence, and conflicts.
Officials and Specialists Concerned with the Volga Federal District Consulted in Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod October 28-November 3, 2001 PARTICIPANTS IN MOSCOW Aleksandra Burataeva, Deputy Chair, International Affairs Committee, Russian State Duma Leakadia Drobizheva, Director, Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences Marina Kalashnikova, Journalist, Nezovisimaya Gazeta Aleksey Malashenko, Senior Researcher, Carnegie Moscow Center Valentin I. Nikitin, Chair, Committee for Nationalities, Russian State Duma Emil Pain, Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences Svetlana Selvina, Deputy's Assistant, Russian State Duma Nodari A. Simonia, Director, Institute for World Economics and International Relations Irina Zviagelskaya, Vice President, International Center for Strategic and Political Studies PARTICIPANTS IN NIZHNY NOVGOROD Aleksandr Khokhlov, Rector, University of Nizhny Novgorod Sergey V. Kirienko, Plenipotentiary of the President of the Russian Federation in the Volga Federal District Vladimir Petrovich Kirienko, Vice Governor of Nizhny Novgorod Region, Volga Federal District 209
210 APPENDIX C Ivan Konovalov, Deputy for International Connections, Volga Federal District Stanislav Kuritsin, Deputy for Connections with Social and Religious Organizations, Volga Federal District Aleksandr Lubavsky, Deputy Director, International Office, University of Nizhny Novgorod George A. Maximov, Vice Rector, University of Nizhny Novgorod Galina I. Muravskaya, Director, International Office, University of Nizhny Novgorod Guly Peplyakova, Deputy for Social Connections, Volga Federal District Aleksandr Petrov, Social Sciences Faculty, University of Nizhny Novgorod Roman Strongin, Vice Rector and Head of Software Department, University of Nizhny Novgorod Vladimir Yurevich Zorin, Deputy to the President's Representative to the Volga Federal District on Questions of Nationalities and Religion PARTICIPANTS OF THE ETHNOLOGICAL MONITORING AND CONFLICT EARLY WARNING NETWORK ROUNDTABLE, NOVEMBER 1-2, 2001 Rafik Faizievich Abdrakhmanov, Senior Scientific Researcher Department of the History of Scientific Thought and Islamic Studies, Institute of the Academy of Sciences, Republic of Tatarstan Venaly Vladimirovich Amelin, Chair, Committee on Internationality Relations, Orenburg Oblast Administration Ivan Ivanovich Boiko, Lead Scientific Researcher, Institute of Humanities Research, Chuvash State Institute of Humanities Lilia Anatolevna Chudaeva, Supervisor, Department of National Policy and Cooperation with Religious Groups, Saratov Oblast Government Branch of Societal Relations Vasily Rudolfavich Filippov, Conductor, Section of Regional Research of Russia, Center of Civilizations and Regional Research, Russian Academy of Sciences Yelena Ivanovna Filippova, Research Director, Network of Ethnic Monitoring and Early Warning of Conflicts Ildar Makhmutovich Gabdrafikov, Manager, Ethnosociological and Ethnopolitical Sections, Center for Ethnographic Research, Ufimskii Scientific Center, Russian Academy of Sciences Oleg Igorevich Genisaretsky, Expert, Center of Strategic Research, Volga Federal District
APPENDIX C 211 Sergey Nikolaevich Gradirovsky, Expert, Center of Strategic Research, Volga Federal District Aleksandr Surenovich Kaltakhchian, Docent, Russian Academy of State Service Aleksandr Pavlovich Kapustin, Leader, Territorial Authority of the Ministry for Federal, National and Migration Policies, Volga Federal District Valentina Georgievna Kochkina, Dean, Department of State and Municipal Administration, Volga-Vyatsky Academy of State Service Simon Gadlevich Kordonsky, Head of the Administration's Analytical Department Anatoly Alekseevich Nikitin, Member, Committee for Nationalities, Russian State Duma Nadezhda Petrovna Osipova, Lead Specialist, Department for Cooperation with Social Organizations, Issues of Nationalities and Religious Denominations, Samara Oblast Administration Aleksandr Victorovich Plotnikov, Dean, Department of Social Work, Kirov State Medical Academy Elizaveta Petrovna Savrotskaya, Nizhny Novgorod State Linguistic University Yury Valerianovich Semenov, Deputy Representative, Republic of Udmurtia State Council on Science, Secondary, Higher and Professional Education Sergey Borisovich Seniulkin, Docent, Department of History of Foreign Countries, Nizhny Novgorod State University Stalina Vasilievna Sergeeva, Consultant, Nationalities Questions and Politics, Department of Societal Connections, Perm Oblast Administration Lev Yevgenevich Shaposhnikov, Prorector, Nizhny Novgorod Pedagogical University Vladimir Dmitrievich Sharov, Deputy Supervisor, Informational Analytical Department, Mary-E1 Republic Federal Assembly Aleksandr Vladimirovich Shcherbakov, Employee, Office of the Plenipotentiary of the Volga Federal District Nikolay Vladimirovich Shilov, Docent, Department of History, Political Science and Law, Mordova State Pedagogical University Aleksandr Pavlovich Shinkin, Deputy Editor, Department of Regional Policy, Rossiiskaya Gazeta Svetlana Konstantinovna Smirnova, Deputy Chair, Committee on Nationalities, State Duma of the Russian Federation Valery Vladimirovich Stepanov, Head Scientific Worker, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences
212 APPENDIX C Tamara Tikhonovna Tarasova, Docent, Saratov Social-Economic University Sergei Fedorovich Terentev, Deputy Director of the Territorial Authority, Ministry on Issues of Federation, Nationality and Migratory Policy of the Russian Federation, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast Valery Aleksandrovich Tishkov, Director, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences Vitaly Vasilevich Trushin, Director of Scientific Work, Volgo-Vyatsky Academy of State Service Aleksandr Vladislavovich Tuzov, Director, Center of Applied Sciences, Penza