Voices from Russia

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Putin Met with Muftis of Russia’s Muslim Spiritual Administrations

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During a trip to Ufa, President V V Putin met with muftis from the Muslim spiritual administrations. Meeting participants discussed current problems relating to cooperation between the government and Muslim religious organisations. Putin said:

I think that it’s important that we meet regularly and discuss issues that interest Russian Muslims, holders of other faiths, and all the citizens of our country in general. Today, in Ufa, we celebrate the 225th anniversary of the foundation of the Muslim Spiritual Assembly established by imperial decree. At that time, at the end of the 18th century, Islam won official recognition as a traditional Russian religion. Naturally, this helped Muslims become true Russian patriots. Islam became a significant factor in our social and political life and made an invaluable contribution to our society’s spiritual and cultural development. Once again, I congratulate you on this historic date.

I’d like to thank you for your work and talk to you about current global trends, including in religious life. Today, an active, and not always positive, process of politicising religion is underway at the global level. This occurs in different directions and in different religions, including Islam. In these circumstances, government authorities and the Russian Muslim community have new problems and challenges. Of course, we can only resolve them together; we’ve talked about this together many times now. Some political parties use Islam, or rather its radical tendencies (which, incidentally, are historically foreign to Russian Muslims), in order to weaken our state, to create zones of so-called externally-driven conflicts in Russian territory, to encourage friction between different ethnic groups and within the Muslim community, and to fan separatist sympathies in the regions. I’m convinced that we must counter such attempts to create divisions using Russian Muslims’ faith in their historical traditions and partnerships with other religions, particularly the Russian Orthodox Church.

Of course, hierarchical command structures are alien to Islam (as, to be frank, they are to many other world religions), which has a variety of different schools and movements. However, Russian Muslims have always been united in their service to society and the state, and against external enemies and all forms of extremism. I am sure that we can maintain and strengthen this unity, even today. We should see Islam’s new “socialisation” as developing traditional Muslim lifestyles, thinking, and views in accordance with current social realities, as opposed to the ideology of radicals, bringing believers back to the Middle Ages. New forms of work… through Muslim cultural centres, Islamic science and education centres, and youth and women’s clubs… are important here. I believe that you can make an important contribution to the social adaptation of people who come to live and work in Russia. Many of them share your religion. They need to hear your voice and feel your presence; otherwise, they become victims of propaganda from various fundamentalist sects.

I also believe that the voice of Russian Muslim leaders should resonate louder in the international arena, amongst the global Islamic community. Today, tensions between the West and the Islamic world are on the rise. Some people try to mess around with this issue and throw fuel on the fire. I want to tell you straight away… we aren’t interested in this. However, at the same time, today, Russia’s presence is in increased demand in the Middle East and the Islamic world as a whole. Moreover, we need to be more proactive, debunking harmful attempts to manipulate humanity using countries and peoples, information and public consciousness. Russia isn’t interested in splitting up or redrawing the Islamic world; on the contrary, it maintains a consistent steady position in favour of strengthening its unity.

In order to meet the challenges of our time successfully, it’s necessary, firstly, to ensure the high credibility of Russia’s Muslim clergy and its Islamic theological schools. Today, there are 82 centralised registered Islamic religious organisations in Russia. Muslims are well aware of the first sura of the Quran, according to which there is no other prophet except Muhammad. However, at the same time we all understand that we mustn’t forget the spiritual leaders themselves… firstly, they’re people with moral authority that they must use for beneficial purposes. The clergy should be educated and enlightened people who can give a clear and impeccable canonical assessment of the most severe challenges and threats we face today. This initiative should be yours; we can’t pass it on to informal leaders who’re actively involved with the faithful. There are individuals who tend to support theological schools and extremist ideas alien to our country, seek to undermine traditional Islam’s position here, the unity of Russian society, and ultimately desire our country’s collapse.

Based on centuries of national experience in religious education and its rich theological heritage, Russian Islam has everything necessary to have its say in development. Therefore, one of our most important tasks is to reconstruct our own Islamic theological schools, which would ensure the sovereignty of Russia’s spiritual space. Most importantly, the majority of international Muslim scholars would recognise such a move. Such schools must respond to the most recent developments in Russia and the world, and evaluate them in ways that are both understandable and credible for believers. I’m sure that if we can achieve this, it’d help you to provide a clear moral assessment of both good and criminal acts.

27 January 2018

RMC Russian Mufti Council

https://muslim.ru/en/articles/127/4804/

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Saturday, 25 November 2017

HH’s Condolences on the Recent Terrorist Attack on a Mosque in Egypt

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On 24 November 2017, terrorists attacked a Sufi mosque in Bir al-Abed (North Sinai Governorate) in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt during Friday prayers. The extremists arrived at the mosque in cars, detonated an explosive device inside the building, and then shot people running out onto the street from the mosque. After ambulances appeared on the scene, they began to shoot at the doctors. As of 25 November, at least 300 people are dead and more than 100 injured, including many children. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias sent his condolences to the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt and to the Head Mufti of Egypt.

His Excellency Abdul-Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil al-Sisi

President of the Arab Republic of Egypt

My Right Honourable President!

Accept my condolences in connection with the tragedy that occurred in the mosque near El Arish that claimed many human lives. This mayhem towards believers during prayers testifies that these extremists (who call themselves “Muslims”) had no real faith in the Most High. This fact exposes as myth the idea that terrorists protect Islam and fight for its purity. They use the most insidious and cruel means to intimidate people, to force them to fulfil their vicious will, to destroy the principles of good-neighbourliness and tolerance, which are important in creating a dignified and prosperous life in our modern society. In such circumstances, as never before, it’s important for believers in traditional religions to show solidarity and cohesion to uphold the ideals of goodness and justice in the modern world. I hope that the perpetrators of this attack won’t escape justice. In these sorrowful days, I wish the wounded a speedy recovery and that the relatives and friends of the dead will bravely overcome the grief that has saddened them. I wish strength and resolution to those who are working today to overcome the consequences of this event and I hope that all of the people of Egypt would show solidarity and determination in the fight against extremism.

With sincere sympathy,

+ KIRILL

Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias

24 November 2017

Patriarchia.ru

MP official website      

http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/5068979.html

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Sheikh Shauki Ibrahim Abd al-Karim Alam

The Supreme Mufti of the Arab Republic of Egypt  

Honoured Mufti!

With deep sorrow, I received the news of the terrorist attack on the Sinai Peninsula that killed and injured hundreds of innocent people. Please, accept my sincere condolences. The terrorists committed this terrible crime during Friday prayers in a mosque to try to disrupt peaceful life in your country and to spread panic and fear amongst the people. Clearly, this in itself shows that for extremists there’s nothing sacred, and their beliefs have nothing in common with the values and norms of Islam. My conviction is that such actions won’t achieve their goals and that criminals won’t intimidate peaceful people who want to build the life of their society on the solid foundation of good-neighbourliness and mutual understanding with people confessing other traditional religions. I ask you to convey my words of consolation and support to the relatives and friends of the dead and injured. I wish to you, and to all the people of Egypt, courage and strength in confronting evil and violence.

With condolences,

+ KIRILL

Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias

25 November 2017

Patriarchia.ru      

MP official website

http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/5069520.html

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Ike on the Dedication of the Islamic Centre in DC… It’s NOT Trump the Chump… Mutual Respect, Not “Multiculturalism”, That’s the Ticket

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It’s a privilege to take part in this ceremony of dedication. Meeting with you now, in front of one of the newest and most beautiful buildings in Washington, it’s fitting that we re-dedicate ourselves to the peaceful progress of all men under one God. I’d like to assure you that under the American Constitution, under American tradition, and in American hearts, this Centre, this place of worship, is just as welcome as could be a similar edifice of any other religion. Indeed, America would fight with her whole strength for your right to have here your own church and worship according to your own conscience. This concept is, indeed, a part of America, and without that concept, we’d be something else than what we are.

The countries that sponsored and built this Islamic Centre have for centuries contributed to the building of civilisation. With their traditions of learning and rich culture, the countries of Islam have added much to mankind’s advancement. Inspired by a sense of brotherhood, common to our innermost beliefs, we can here together reaffirm our determination to secure the foundation of a just and lasting peace. Our country has long enjoyed a strong bond of friendship with the Islamic nations; like all healthy relationships, this relationship must be mutually beneficial. Civilisation owes to the Islamic world some of its most important tools and achievements. From fundamental discoveries in medicine to the highest planes of astronomy, the Muslim genius has added much to the culture of all peoples. That genius has been a wellspring of science, commerce and the arts, and has provided for all of us many lessons in courage and in hospitality.

This fruitful relationship between peoples, going far back into history, becomes more important each year. Today, thousands of Americans, both private individuals and governmental officials, live and work… and grow in understanding… amongst the peoples of Islam. At the same time, in our country, many from the Muslim lands… students, businessmen, and representatives of states… enjoy the benefits of experience amongst the people of this country. From these many personal contacts, here and abroad, I firmly believe that there will be a broader understanding and a deeper respect for the worth of all men, and a stronger resolution to work together for the good of mankind.

As I stand beneath these graceful arches, surrounded on every side by friends from far and near, I’m convinced that our common goals are both right and promising. Faithful to the demands of justice and of brotherhood, each working according to the lights of his own conscience, our world must advance along the paths of peace. Guided by this hope, I consider it a great personal and official honour to open the Islamic Centre, and I offer my congratulations to its sponsors and my best wishes to all who enter into its use.

Dwight D Eisenhower

President of the USA

1953-61

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Hizbullah Condemned the ISIS Massacre of Egyptian Christians

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Hizbullah urged Muslims to unite in order to protect Christians from violence. Hizbullah, which the USA considers a terrorist organisation, released a statement condemning yesterday’s terrorist atrocities in Egypt that slaughtered scores of Christians on Palm Sunday. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks. The statement read (and here):

The continuous and escalating killing carried out by criminal gangs in the name of religion is one of the greatest catastrophes our Ummah (global Islamic world community) has seen. This crime is part of a large scheme to displace Christians from the Sinai Peninsula and other areas across Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon, paving the way for sectarian and ethnic federalisation in favour of the Zionist entity.

Hizbullah forms part of the so-called 4+1 coalition fighting Salafi/Wahhabi terrorism. Other members of the coalition include Russia, Iran, Syria, and Iraq. It remains a source of shock for many that the USA condemns Hizbullah in spite of its role in the fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda as well as their support of Christians throughout the wider Arab and Islamic world.

10 April 2017

Adam Garrie

The Duran

http://theduran.com/hezbollah-condemns-the-isis-massacre-of-egyptian-christians/

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