Voices from Russia

Friday, 22 February 2008

A Muslim hotel and restaurant complex shall be built in Kazan

Filed under: Islam,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

tataria-mosque-3.jpg

The Islamic Development Bank intends to finance the building in Kazan of a restaurant and hotel complex that shall be operated on the principles of Islamic religious law. “The building of this complex is a charitable project of our bank, and we believe that it shall become an important part of the Muslim infrastructure in Kazan. The profits from both the restaurant, which shall serve dishes prepared according to the rules of halal, and the hotel shall be used for charitable purposes”, according to Akhmad Khalikov, the press secretary of the Islamic Development Bank. At present, the site of the proposed complex is occupied by a derelict and run-down building.

Mr Khalikov noted that this was not the first time that the Islamic Development Bank had rendered financial assistance to the Muslim spiritual leadership in Tatarstan. He observed that the bank had helped to restore the campus of the Russian Islamic University in Kazan and it had helped the school to acquire a new dormitory for female students. After the complex is completed, it is intended to finance a number of charitable projects in conjunction with it, said Bashir Omar Mokhammad Fadlalla, advisor to the Vice President of the Islamic Development Bank, during a meeting with Mufti Gusman Iskhakov, the chief mufti of Tartarstan. Various Muslim countries created the Islamic Development Bank in October 1975 as an intergovernmental credit agency.

22 February 2008

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=23014

Editor’s note:

Muslims in Russia are not persecuted, nor do they suffer any civil penalties. The Minister of the Interior (the head of the police and internal security forces) is a Muslim general from Tartarstan. Likewise, for the commander of forces in Chechnya during the recent conflict there. In addition, Mufti Ravil Gainutdin, the Chief Mufti of Russia, is an able and trusted advisor to President Putin. In short, Muslims can live in peace and prosper in a state that is majority-Orthodox Christian. This undercuts all arguments for Kosovo “independence”. Kosovo UDI now stands before the world for what it is, a naked act of aggression by the godless Bush neocons against an Orthodox Christian state. Kosovo Muslims have nothing to fear from their Orthodox neighbours… I wish that I could say that the opposite was true as well!

BMD

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Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov says that Russia should learn how to be an Empire from America


Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov, superior of the Sretensky Monastery in Moscow and author of the screenplay to the recent film Vizantisky Urok (The Byzantine Lesson), believes that Russia can exist “only as an empire”, and that it should take its example in this from the USA. “We were troubled or frightened at what was valued in other countries. If you go to Washington, everywhere one sees imperial symbols. There is no doubt that you are in the centre of a great imperial capital. Look at the Capitol buildings, the omnipresent imperial eagles, and the Senate”, he said in an interview published Friday in the newspaper Izvestiya.

Fr Tikhon believes that Americans “are not ashamed to call things by their proper names, and they are aware of what they are. This awareness forms both the people and the country. 17-year-old boys drive tractors on American farms, they are keen on it, and they do not give a hang what goes on in New York. These boys know where their home is, and they shall live there until the day they die. Their grandchildren, why, they shall do the same! Americans are autonomous. They are an imperial people. We should learn from them”.

Speaking about his screenplay to Vizantisky Urok, a film which has found a wide response in Russia, Fr Tikhon remarked that the analogies to the contemporary situation in Russia “were not hidden, they are obvious”. He went on to say, “I chose such examples deliberately, because it is important that events that occurred in the past in medieval Byzantium (sic) are now occurring in modern Russia. We must choose the path that our country shall take. In what direction shall we go? What position in the present world crisis shall we select?”

“Let us imagine that today that a strong ruler such as Basil II came to us. However, luck does not save a state, as the entire history of Byzantium (sic) shows. It is necessary to devise a government that would exclude weak rulers, and what is more, the government itself would aid the advancement of talented, competent, and selfless people in its service”, Fr Tikhon concluded.

22 February 2008

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=23020

The Leadership of the World Council of Churches Stands Together with the Serbian People

Filed under: church in society,inter-Christian relations,Serbia — 01varvara @ 00.00

Bishop Irinej Dobrijevic of Australia and New Zealand (1955- )

The Central Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) directed Rev Samuel Kobia, the Secretary General of the WCC, to “send a letter of support” to the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Serbia in connection with the events surrounding the unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo. At the session of the Central Committee of the WCC that took place in Geneva from 13 to 20 February, Bishop Irinej Dobrijevic of Australia and New Zealand of the Patriarchate of Serbia asked his colleagues at the meeting to support the statement concerning the Kosovo UDI approved at the special session of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Serbia on 19 February.

Bishop Irinej noted that when a resolution was considered by the Central Committee of the WCC asking the Australian government to ask forgiveness of the aboriginal population for the sufferings it endured in the course of Australian history, he supported it. However, in his view, the fact that Australia was one of the first countries to recognise the UDI of Kosovo was bewildering, since “the discussion deals with the inevitable sufferings of another group, the Serbs in Kosovo”.

22 February 2008

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=23024

Things get curiouser and curiouser…

Filed under: Russian,Serbia — 01varvara @ 00.00

This is a tightly-focused picture of a crowd of only about 500 people… it’s how CNN and the rest of the corporate media lie to you

Some of the news coming from US government sources is surreal. To back my following remarks, here is a URL to a Fox News post that substantiates them:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,331951,00.html

I chose to use an American post so that I would not be accused of “repeating Russian propaganda”, as one person put it (and incorrectly, I might add).

US Ambassador Cameron Munter ordered all non-essential personnel and the dependents of all American employees to leave Serbia. That is a gross overreaction to last night’s events. What happened is that a group of less than a thousand people, a very tiny minority of the crowd assembled for a rally protesting Kosovo independence, attacked the US Embassy, which was protected by Serbian police. The fact that a third of the injuries were suffered by the police is an indication that the police had orders to use as little force as possible, yet, they also had strict orders to protect the embassy grounds, which they did in large measure.

What happened yesterday was that the Serbian equivalent of football yobs got drunk and went on a violent spree. Indeed, some were carrying the colours of their favourite sporting clubs! Note well that American media outlets did not stress the fact that these elements were less than 1 percent of the crowd assembled for the rally. Most of the crowd PEACEFULLY went to a CHURCH SERVICE after the event. The Russian media reported such, so, why was there silence on the part of the Western press? None dare call it bias…

Here is a quote from the post:

At the same time, third-ranking U.S. diplomat Nicholas Burns called on Serbia’s main ally Russia to repudiate a suggestion by one of its officials that it may need to use military force to earn respect after the US and other countries recognised the independence of Kosovo, which is mainly ethnic Albanian, over strong Serb and Russian protests.

“We strongly advise Russia to be more responsible in its public comments toward Kosovo”, Burns said, responding to questions in an online written discussion. “Russia is isolated this week — very few countries are supporting its position”.

What arrogance and hubris on the part of Mr Burns! Russia is isolated! Indeed! Let’s see, China supports the Russian position, and I note that both Russia and China have a veto on the UN Security Council. This means that George W. Bush’s attempts to legalise the illegal and unconscionable unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo shall go nowhere in the international body. Therefore, the first thing that one gleans from the remarks of Mr Burns is that it is a fit of pique and a tantrum concerning this obvious reality.

Secondly, many American allies are leaning towards the Russian position, but cannot say such openly, for the fear that “democracy” may be exported to them in the manner of Afghanistan and Iraq. It is known that Spain, Greece, Cyprus, and Romania oppose the US position, for the American meddling in Kosovo creates a dangerous precedent for restive ethnic separatists in their countries. The leaders of these states are probably wondering, “what if?” “What if my minority declares independence and calls on the US to recognise their unilateral declaration of independence?”

In addition, the US action has placed Canada in a quandary. Parti Québécois activists have indicated that if the Kosovo UDI is acceptable, then, a UDI by Québec is equally acceptable. By the action of recognising the UDI of Kosovo, the Bush administration indicates that it spits upon international law and order, and that other countries exist only at the sufferance of the nabobs in Washington. It also opens possibilities for conflicts throughout the world encouraged by the support of the US for the UCK thugs in Kosovo.

By the way… where was the American outrage over the incursion into northern Iraq of some 10,000 Turkish troops supported by air strikes on Thursday to attack Kurdish nationalists? Not a peep! Is it… could it be… yes! Washington has a double standard that is hypocritical to the bone! Serbia is to be punished by the actions of a small group of drunken football yobs who were repulsed by the police. Russia is to be punished for daring to oppose America meddling in a situation that was not its own. Turkey receives a “get out of jail free” card for attacking a neighbour with its standing forces.

It does put a different face on the noise coming from Washington, does it not? It makes one wish to vote for Barack Obama in November just to remove the neocon warmongers from Foggy Bottom. God preserve us from such amoral monsters.

Oh, yes… do say hello to the rabbit and the Jabberwocky for me, please.

Vara Drezhlo

Friday 22 February 2008

Albany NY

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