On Sunday, Muslim Crimean Tatar singer Susana Jamaldinova , known as Jamala, won the contest to represent Ukraine at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, Sweden. She sang song 1944 in the contest written and composed by herself. The song is about the plight of 238,000 Muslim Crimean Tartars expelled from their home in Southern Ukraine by Russian mass-killer Josef Stalin. Nearly 50% of them died during deportation. Today, Crimea is mostly populated by ethnic Russian Christians and Jews.
On February 22, Vadim Dengin, first deputy chairman of the committee of Duma (Russian parliament) urged the jury of Eurovision to ban Jamaldinova from singing the 1944 song, which highlights deportation of her grandmother along with her four sons and one daughter. It’s not a political parody against Russia. The song opens with lyrics; When strangers are coming. They come to your house, they kill you all and say: ‘We are not guilty, not guilty. Listen the song below.
“This song is really about my family. I had to write it. It’s memorial song and it’s difficult for me to sing it. The main message is to remember the tragedy. When we know, we try to prevent it (Never, never again),” she said.
Jamala was born in Kyrgyzstan in 1983 to a Tartar Muslim father and Armenian Christian mother. She claims to be a non-practicing Muslim. You may like to visit Jamala’s Facebook Page.
Ukraine’s top oligarch (worth $12.2 billion) happens to be Rinat Leonidovych Akhmetov, 50, a Tatar Muslim. He is a coal and steel magnate and owner of Shakhtar Dontesk soccer, and Ukraine’ English newspaper Kyiv Post. Rinat is married to Russian singer and actress Liliya Smirnova. However, he has kept himself out of country’s politics that is dominated by Jewish oligarchs.
Historically, Crimea was predominantly Muslim. During the 1850s, Russia began its conquest of this region, leading to the Crimean War. After the 1944 forced deportation the Muslim population has reduced to only 12% (two million).
On May 7, 1934 – The Russian dictator Josef Stalin (a Crypto Jew whose all three wives were Jewish) established first Jewish State in Birobidjan, USSR. Stalin who destroyed hundreds of churches and mosques – never touched a single synagogue (here).
Crimean Muslim Khanate was established during 1400s. It was destroyed by successive Czarist wars and finally annexed with Russia in the 1780s. Back then, Crimea had nearly 1500 mosques. Now, there are less than 80 of them (here).
Crimea is geopolitically very important for it stands on the Silk Road and the coastal cities in its south. Actually, Turkish influence had begun there in 5th century with the migration of tribes when Kipchaks, a Turkic tribe, gained political control of Crimea. Northern Crimea is still defined as Desht-i Kipchak. After them, the Turkic-Mongolian Golden Horde took authority in the region in the 13th century. Shortly afterwards, the Golden Horde accepted Islam as its state religion. Thereon, Crimea had become a part of the Islamic geography which led to the establishment of Turkish-Islamic culture in this part of the Black Sea.