Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Russian Pilgrims Prepare for the Hajj

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The Russian Hajj Committee has begun accepting applications from Russian Muslims for the annual pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. According to Rushan Abbyasov, First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Muftis of Russia, republics in the North Caucasus such as Dagestan, Chechnya and Ingushetia send the largest number of pilgrims from Russia to Saudi Arabia. Abbyasov pointed up that Tatarstan also sends a significant amount of pilgrims, adding that there are even a few groups from Siberia and the Russian Far East. The Muslim holy sites became more accessible to Russians after Perestroika. Whilst pilgrims from Russia are more aware of the hardships of undertaking the pilgrimage, they still find the trip physically and mentally challenging, according to Rashid al-Rashid, who works at the Russian Hajj mission, accompanying pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for more than 15 years, saying, “The Russians aren’t as well prepared as pilgrims from Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, and Iran. The hot weather and large crowds tend to overwhelm Russian pilgrims. They also take time to adjust to Arabian cuisine”.

This year since, due to the rouble depreciation, the pilgrimage became prohibitively expensive for many Russians. The cost of a package tour doubled; it can be as expensive as 5,000 USD (323,000 Roubles. 32,000 Renminbi. 325,000 INR. 6,520 CAD. 6,850 AUD. 4,500 Euros. 3,200 UK Pounds), which is around half a year’s salary in some regions. Syed Muhammad from the Medina Travel agency said, “A couple of years ago, we had a long list of people willing to go, but this year, we had to run publicity campaigns to attract people”. However, despite the drop in demand, the Hajj mission of Russia requested the Saudi Arabian authorities to increase the Russian quota from 16,400 to 17,000. This increase in quota is to accommodate Crimean Tatars; they used to be Ukrainian citizens, but are now Russian citizens. According to the last census (2010), there are around 14.5 million Muslims in Russia, forming about 10 percent of the population. Immigration from former Soviet republics has pushed up the numbers over the last few years, although there are no updated official statistics available now.

12 August 2015

Russia Behind the Headlines



Friday, 11 May 2012

US Head of Joint Chiefs Condemns Anti-Muslim Course at War College

THIS is what the Church teaches… any questions?


On Friday, in a broadcast on the Russian Service of the BBC, General Martin Dempsey, the Head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, condemned a course on Islam taught at a major US military school, saying that it’s “totally unacceptable”. The course for senior officers taught that there’s no such thing as moderate Islam, and that they should consider it a hostile religion. It approved “total war” against all Muslims in the world and didn’t exclude nuclear strikes against Islamic holy places such as Mecca and Medina, as well as the destruction of innocent civilians. Pentagon sources confirmed that the syllabus and other course materials published on a US Department of Defence official website are authentic. General Dempsey ordered a full investigation to find out what’s taught about Islam in other DoD educational institutions. This optional course on Islam for senior officers was at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk VA. A month ago, the brass shut down the course following a complaint by one of the officers. The DoD banned the Lieutenant Colonel who taught this course from teaching, but so far hasn’t removed from the staff. The Pentagon expects that they’ll know the investigation results by the end of May.

11 May 2012



Editor’s Note:

This shows that we must keep vigilance… if we don’t, the haters run rampant. How much do you wanna bet that the officer involved was a Born Again tied up with the Christian Right? I wouldn’t bet against it…


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