Voices of Tolerance: Murat Shogenov In Focus
Murat Shogenov is one of the “Promoting Tolerance” 2015 fellows from Russia. He is a Research Fellow in the North Caucasian Graduate School of Conflict Studies and an Associate Professor at the Department of Theory and Technology of Social Work at Kabardino‐Balkariat State University. The main focus of research is centered on issues related to the role of prestige and identity in social conflicts. Murat has completed a DAAD Fellowship Program “Immanuel Kant II”, namely a Research Internship at the Collaborative Research Center SFB 700 ‐ Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood at the Free University of Berlin. Academically, he holds a MA and BA degrees in Social Work and he is a candidate of Sciences diploma in Social Psychology.
Watch a video with him here, where he addresses the following questions: “Why is respect for human rights and tolerance towards minorities so important for him and Russia?” and “Which is the major characteristic of anti-Semitism in Russia?”
Murat explains his interest in tolerance in the following way: „Being closely involved in research of sources of social instability on the Northern Caucasus I often face with tolerance related issues which are highly relevant to the region. Today, for instance, the discourse on religion, religious identity and religious extremism is one of the most prevalent in regional society and media“. He shares that the Programme gives him a: „unique possibility to learn about the existing experience of tolerance promoting in other countries, to share with other experts and scholars my views on strategies to promote tolerance, and the main thing, to discuss possible ways of practical approaches to promote tolerance.“
Murat concludes that: „one of the possible approaches to overcoming of the group-focused intolerance and for further promotion of the intergroup tolerance and social cohesion would be a comprehensive analysis of social prestige systems of those social groups in the context of particular social and political conditions.“
In his essay “Major Instances of Anti-Semitism in my Country and their Underlying Reasons Behind” Murat explores the tendencies and roots of anti-Semitism by sharing that: „The Russian cultural tradition of applying double standards to Jews still remains. Jews are pictured as a powerful and cunning people, responsible for all important political and economic events. Those views have lately tended to increase due to the state media’s anti-West propaganda and the general level of xenophobia. Even the famous opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, recently murdered, is now described by patriotic bloggers in social networks as having been a pro-American Zionist who betrayed his nation.”
He concludes his essay with „the words of a famous Russian writer and playwright, Jew and WWII soldier, Vasily Grossman: "Anti-Semitism is a mirror of the shortcomings of individuals, the social order and public systems. Tell me what you accuse the Jews of and I'll tell you what you are to blame".
Find the whole essay here.
For more information for “Promoting Tolerance” Programme: here.
Photos from the seminar in Belgrade can be found here: