MOSCOW – A leading Russian Muslim leader has denounced remarks made by Moscow mayor that the Russian capital has enough mosques, asserting a sharp need for new worshipping house for the increasing Muslim minority.
The Russian capital held “an alarming last place among the world’s major capitals where the proportion of Muslim residents reaches statistically significant figures,” Rushan Abbyasov, deputy head of the Council of Russian Muftis, said in a statement cited by RIA Novosti news agency on Friday, November 22
The lack of mosques is “one of the most important problems that the Russian capital’s Muslim community has to face,” he added.
Moscow Mayor Bans New Mosques
Mosque Phobia Moves to Moscow
Muslim Muscovites Pray in Snow
Moscow Muslims Need Mosques
Abbyasov comments followed the words by Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin’s that the Russian capital has enough mosques.
In an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily published earlier this week, Sobyanin dismissed reports that more and more mosques are being built in Moscow.
“I don’t know anything about new mosques. We’ve issued no construction permits,” he said on Wednesday.
“Moscow has enough mosques, I believe.”
According to Abbyasov, there are currently four mosques in Moscow with a total capacity of 5,000 people serving the needs of an estimated 1.5 million Muslim residents.
He said at least one should be built in each of the Russian capital’s 12 administrative districts.
“In any case, it is completely obvious that the urgent task of building a mosque in every district of Moscow should be completed in the shortest time possible,” Abbyasov said.
Opposition to the building of mosques is not new in Moscow.
Last December, government plans to build six new mosques in the Russian capital sparked a controversy in the country with opponents calling for a public referendum on the building of mosques in Moscow.
In 2012, hundreds of residents of Moscow’s neighborhood of Mitino staged a protest against the building of an Islamic cultural center in their far-flung district.
Three years ago, similar news in the Tekstilshchiki area in the city’s eastern part saw residents up in arms against building a mosque on a park.
There are some 23 million Muslims in the Russian Federation concentrated in the north of the Caucasus, representing roughly 15 percent of its 145 million population.
Islam is the country's second-largest religion, behind the Russian Orthodoxy.
According to Russia Today, experts say that, by 2050, Muslims will make up about half of Russia's population, making it one of the world’s largest countries.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
We are not responsible for the content of external internet sites