Attempts to Circumvent Circassians’ Identity and Culture
By: Adel Bashqawi
16 October 2021
Multiple parties have been making statements and have launched frenzied campaigns against all the elements that represent the past and present of the Circassian nation, to try to influence the prospects for the future, whether in the Diaspora or in the motherland, in an attempt to circumvent the Circassian national identity.
In the light of conducting the “All-Russian population census from October 15 to November 14, 2021”, many, including the President of the International Circassian Association (ICA), have given their opinion several times, where Hauti Sokhrokov has given his opinion twice in the past few days.
He has spewed some of his poisonous stock against the Circassian nation, as he did before when he was appointed as a member of the working group formed by President Vladimir Putin to conduct the referendum held in Russia on April 22, 2020, to draft the constitutional amendments in the Russian Federation relating to the national languages and cultures. The head of the Circassian Association has disregarded the foundations of preserving the Adyghe language and the peculiarity of the Circassian nation, and declared his personal support, blessing and approval of the proposed amendments, without making any reservations.
When he has given the press interview by video, the ICA president was sitting next to the Circassian flag, while he is presiding an organization described as an International Circassian Association, thus an indication of the contradiction and the lack of clarity of vision.
Knowing that Valery Khatazhukov, “the Head of the Kabardino-Balkaria Regional Center for Human Rights, had said: Neither Sokhrokov nor his organization speak on behalf of the Circassians. Rather, they both reflect the views of the Russian Federal Security Services (FSB) that took control of this group two decades ago (http://www.natpressru.info/index.php?newsid=11933).”
Recently, an expanded meeting of the Public Chamber of the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria was held, which had on its agenda to discuss and consider the appeal of eight public organizations in the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria to Kabardian citizens, where public figures are urged to define their national belonging as “Circassians” in the context of the “All-Russian Population Census.”
The meeting was attended by the President of the International Circassian Association (ICA) Hauti Sokhrokov, the Director of the Institute of Humanitarian Research (КБИГИ), Kasbolat Dzamikhov, the President of the Adyge Khase Organization in the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria Mohammad Hafitse, the Head of the Local Administration of the Tersk Municipal District Muaed Dadov, the People’s Artist of the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria Gabriel Haupa, and the Minister of Interaction with Civil Society Institutions and Nationalities Affairs of the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria Anzor Kurashinov. However, in short, this concludes that those Circassians who work according to the official policy of the Russian state refuse to do anything that contradicts the Russian orientations towards the Circassians.
All of this reflects the mechanisms of keeping this nation fragmented (and this will certainly continue until the time is right) in its homeland, which will eventually lead, God forbid, to a complete Circassian national and cultural fusion in the Russian multinational and multicultural melting pot.