MOSCOW - Seeking to promote a true image of Islam, an umbrella Muslim group is planning a series of animated films and educational programs to present the Islamic teachings in Russia.
"In the field of Public Education, we are planning to create a series of Muslim animated films, programs for radio and television, as well as a variety of applications for use in smartphones," Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin, chairman of the Russian Council of Muftis, said, Itar-Tass news agency reported.
He said the umbrella group will also build bridges with media outlets to help draw a true image of the Islamic faith.
Regular informal meetings with representatives of the federal media are planned in order to "develop contacts with the media to create an objective image of Islam and Muslims in the Russian information space," Gainutdin said.
The Council of Muftis has also boosted its presence on social media networks in order to help present the true teachings of Islam.
"Today, on the social network "V Kontakte" alone, there are more than 35 thousand people in the groups which we moderate," Gainutdin said.
In this regard, the Council of Muftis has also launched a new renovated version of its website.
Over 10 thematic websites, including on the Islamic economy, on the social and charity activity and on international relations, are placed on the Internet, he said.
Last week, the first public TV channel for Russian Muslims was launched to raise awareness and understanding of Islamic religious traditions and Muslim culture.
The umbrella group has also produced a memo for the media to avoid insulting religious sensitivities of Russian Muslims.
"This is the first time such a document has been developed in our country, deputy chairman Rushan Abbyasov said.
It will help the media to distinguish between true and false concepts of Islam.
The document includes explanations of Islamic terms as well as information about the Muslim code of dress as hijab and niqab.
It also provides information about differences between Muslim sects and trends as Sunnis, Shiites, Sufis and Wahhabis.
This is just a draft. It will be considered by the government, particularly by the Presidential Council on International Relations," Abbyasov said.
The Russian Federation is home to some 23 million Muslims in the north of the Caucasus and southern republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan.Islam is Russia's second-largest religion representing roughly 15 percent of its 145 million predominantly Orthodox population.