Muslims in Ukraine. Old History - New Challenges

Thursday, 14.09.2023, 13.00-17.30 Seminar room -201
Old University Basel, Rheinsprung 9, 4051 Basel

Although present-day Ukraine is a mainly Christian country, Islam has deep roots in the area. The Ukrainian lands were once a frontier between the Christian and the Islamic worlds, with Crimea being home to the Crimean Khanate, one of the successor states to the Golden Horde, which ceased to exist only in the late 18th century with the occupation of the peninsula by the Russian Empire. Today, Ukraine’s Muslim communities account for about 1 million people, most of whom are Crimean Tatars, Ukrainians, and people from Muslim countries who came to Ukraine long ago. In 2021, Crimean Tatars, along with Karaites and Krymchaks were recognized as indigenous peoples of Ukraine, with the right to self-rule and representation in the Ukrainian parliament.

This workshop aims to shed light on the undeservedly overlooked Muslim heritage in Ukraine, exploring the long-established historical roots of Islam in the region, as well as highlight the challenges the ongoing Russian war against Ukraine poses towards these communities.

The workshop is co-organized by Olena Palko (University of Basel) and Mykhaylo Yakubovych (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg), and is part of the BASEES Study Group for Minority History program. The workshop is supported by URIS – “Ukrainian Research in Switzerland” initiative


Elmaz Asanova (Kyiv/Cambridge) Martin-Oleksandr Kisly (Kyiv) Elmira Muratova (Simferopol/Aarhus) Olena Sobolieva (Kyiv/Basel) Akif Tahiiev (Kharkiv/Göttingen) Mykhailo Yakubovych (Freiburg)


13:00-13:15: Welcome / Introduction by F. Benjamin Schenk and Olena Palko

13:15-15:00 Panel 1: Islam and Muslims in Ukraine’s History

Mykhaylo Yakubovych (Freiburg), Towards an Intellectual History of Crimean Khanate

Elmaz Asanova (Kyiv/Cambridge), Russification of Crimea and its impact on Indigenous Communities at the Turn of 18-19th centuries

Martin Kisly (Kyiv), Claiming the Homeland. Crimean Tatars’ Deportation and Return
Chair: Olena Palko (Basel)

15:00-15:30: Coffee break

15:30- 17:15 Panel 2: Muslim Communities in Ukraine since 1991

Olena Sobolieva (Kyiv/Basel), Violence, Belonging and Mobility. Crimean Tatar case of repatriation.

Elmira Muratova (Simferopol/Aarhus), Survival Strategies of Crimean Tatars in Occupied Crimea: Memory, Culture, and Religion

Akif Tahiiev (Kharkiv), Impact of Russian-Ukrainian war on perception of marja’ at-taqlid system in Ukrainian Shia communities

Chair: Botakoz Kassymbekova (Basel)

17:15-17:30: Concluding remarks

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Unser Ukrainisch II findet ab September bis Dezember 2023, dienstags von 12.15–14.00 Uhr statt. Jetzt anmelden!