[Marxism] WaPo: How Russia’s labor migration policy is fueling the Islamic State

Shalva Eliava shalva.eliava at outlook.com
Mon Jul 13 20:05:00 MDT 2015

...[L]ocal migrants and religious advocates say that if the Islamic State is recruiting from Tajikistan, it is driven more by economics than ideology.

Since the start of the year, a new Russian migration law has required foreign workers from countries outside the Eurasian Economic Union customs bloc to pass Russian language and history tests, acquire expensive permits and pay steep monthly fees to keep the jobs they have been doing for years. The law has had a particularly severe effect on Tajikistan, where remittances account for almost half the national income. The World Bank expects them to drop by 23 percent this year.

Meanwhile, Islamic State recruiters are at the ready, offering large sums of cash to desperate, unemployed workers to go fight in Syria. And many — given the lack of options in the poorest of the former Soviet republics — are answering the call.

“If our citizens who are without work, who are young, who don’t have a salary, who don’t have a life, are offered a golden city and told ‘you can earn more money, you can improve your conditions’ — naturally he would feel that he would be much better off going to fight in Syria,” Mavjuda Azizova, of the International Organization for Migration’s Tajikistan office, said in an interview recently. “More than 400 of our citizens are in Syria, officially, and it could be even more. Those are just the ones we know by name.”



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