Islamisation in Eastern Europe – A case study of Arraid in Ukraine

Anya Munster

Excerpt: The concept of Wasaṭiyya (from al-wasaṭ, middle, in Arabic) has been increasingly promoted in recent years. Originating from the Muslim Brotherhood (al-Ikhwān al- Muslimūn), it is often referred to as ‘Islamic centrism’ and Yūsuf al-Qaradāwī is featured as its major proponent. The stress is on presenting Islam as a moderate and adaptable religion, with focus on families and social participation. The Wasaṭiyya ideas found a fertile ground in some surprising contexts. An example is Ukraine, a predominantly Orthodox country in Eastern Europe. Arraid, a group purporting these principles of Wasaṭiyya, has been gaining influence there among the local Muslim community as well as among non-Muslims.

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