In the city of Kazan, on the upper reaches of the Volga River, I met Nukh, whose name, in Arabic, denotes the Old Testament prophet who survived the Flood. The name has a deeper significance when one reflects that Nukh, in his early twenties, was born in the old Soviet Union in a Siberian city called Chelyabinsk, in a place and time that offered little room for his religion. Islam proved defiant, and now Nukh is free to attend mosque, to live a Muslim life, even to study in a newly opened medraseh, a religious college, in this city 1500 miles from his hometown.

We met during Ramadan. I sat in the back of the mosque as Nukh and his fellow students knelt toward Mecca for sunset prayers; afterward we went down to the basement for a hearty meal to break the day’s fast. Then we walked a few blocks back to the medraseh, a run-down building beleaguered by snowdrifts; the gilded domes of an Orthodox church across the...

 

A Message from the Editors

As a reader of our efforts, you have stood with us on the front lines in the battle for culture. Learn how your support contributes to our continued defense of truth.

Popular Right Now