They had no places of worship, nor, though they had sacred wooden figures, is there any reason to consider that they were idolaters in the strict sense of the word.
When they first appeared in Europe they were idolaters or Shamanists, and as such they had naturally no religious fanaticism; but even when they adopted Islam they remained as tolerant as before, and the khan of the Golden Horde (Berkai) who first became a Mussulman allowed the Russians to found a Christian bishopric in his capital.
For Zoroaster they sink to the rank of spurious deities, and in his eyes their priests and votaries are idolaters and heretics.
Possessing no images of Yahweh the Jews were also not exposed to the same risk as were idolaters of having their gods stolen by their foes and used against them.
The new honours received from the caliph gave fresh impulse to Mahmud's zeal on behalf of Islam, and he resolved on an annual expedition against the idolaters of India.