The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, will commence in early February. Instead of the usual pleasurable anticipation, the Russian authorities are rightly concerned as to what plans Islamic terrorists have in store. Terrorists from Dagestan in the Caucasus, where Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev intended to join the insurgency, are within striking distance of Sochi to launch an attack, as Rachel Molschky writes here.
Islamists see sport as ‘un-Islamic’ and therefore fair game to push their religious and political agenda by attacking spectators and participants alike. The brutal double Volgograd suicide bombings on consecutive days in late December by Muslims, and then the recent discovery of six men who had been fatally shot and left in cars booby-trapped with bombs in southern Russia, have sent a chilling reminder of the threat that Caucasus Emirate leader, Doku Umarov, made to Moscow last summer concerning the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics: “Call off the Games or hundreds of people die.”
There is a ready supply of female suicide bombers, and (as of August 2013), “in the last 12 years, 46 women have turned themselves into suicide bombs in Russia, committing 26 terrorist attacks (some attacks involved multiple women). Most of the bombers were from Chechnya and Dagestan.”Anna Nemtsova explains further that these women, known as ‘Black Widows’, typically have life trauma that pushes them into a radical mindset. Some will marry an Islamist who gets killed and becomes a martyr for the cause, but the widows left behind become marginalised by society and their peer group, so begin their own journey to martyrdom.
Sport is seen as a way of bringing different countries, religions and cultures together, and gives pleasure to billions of people. Indeed many Muslims enjoy sport, especially cricket and football, but unsurprisingly, the fundamentalists find conflict because only sports mentioned during Prophet Muhammad’s lifetime by Hadith, (for example, archery, swimming, polo, etc.) are ‘permissible’. Only where Islam exists can such a potent mix occur and then pose a danger to sport.
Read more at Cherson and Molschky