Originally Posted by snakelegs
Pretty much what I was thinking... I would thought "muslim rights" were far more threatened in Russia than in the "Western World". Surely nobody can be that gullible. How exactly would these threatened rights be "safeguarded" by Putin, anyway? What rights, exactly, ARE threatened?
Note the word 'Federation', by the way. One the major Russian policy priorities is preserving the integrity of their remaining post Cold War territory and influence. Most of those muslims either live in or came from areas that were forceably annexed at some point. Many don't even want to be "Russians", of which the Chechnyans are the best example. It's a political game, Putin is cosying up to any element that is seen as 'anti' US in an attempt to secure his own influence and get Russia back to 'superpower' status. Others will play he game if they think it suits them, like Iran... which is perfectly happy to ignore the Chechen situation if that's in their best interest.