The article deals with the question about the place of Islam in the space of the Altai Mountains. Muslims visited this territory with the caravans coming from Central Asia or the Volga region. But Altai tribes were not interested in their religion, since archaic beliefs were strong. Besides, there were Manichean cloisters, representing powerful religious direction. The entry of this territory into the “zone of Islam” is connected both with political changes of a continental nature – the disappearance of the Dzungar Khanate, the confrontation between China and Russia, and the fate of the nomads – Altai and Kazakhs. The latter (who, having migrated to these lands, began to consider it “Ata Zhurt”) were precisely the bearers of Islam, but with a “tinge” of the old archaic worldview. In addition, some Kazakhs converted to Orthodoxy, preserving their native language and culture. The author believes, that centuries later these features turned out to be a powerful anti-radical potential.
Keywords: Altai and Gorny Islam, nomadic Kazakhs, state politicians
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