MOSCOW - As Muslims prepare their Udhiyah for sacrifice during `Eid Al-Adha, a Russian department for national and religious policy has warned Muslims against sacrificing their animals at home, urging them to be committed to dedicated sites outside the city limits.
The participants of the working meeting again confirmed the unacceptability of performing the rites of sacrifice in the city, reads the statement posted on the website of the Council of Russian Muftis -an official body coordinating the affairs between the state and those who follow the Islam cited by Russia Today on Monday, September 30.
All city mosques are accepting orders for the meat from animals that would be slaughtered at specially agreed and equipped sites in the Moscow suburbs.
According to the Moscow Department for National and Religious Policy, the regulations ban the sacrifice of animals during `Eid Al-Adha at home.
The official warning was issued after a meeting between the head of the department, Yuri Artyukh, with representatives of the Muslim communities dedicated to discussing the celebrations of the Muslim feast next October 15.
The issue of the Udhiyah came to surface recently after the influx of migrant workers from Central Asian states.
According to Moscow police, about 150,000 Muslims took part in festivities dedicated to `Eid Al-Fitr holiday in August this year.
The objections to the Muslim rituals appeared when some of the city Muslim population started to slaughter sheep for the holiday close to their apartment blocks or at home.
In 2010, the city authorities replied to the complaints filed in by activists and banned the sacrifice within the city limits.
The new regulations offered Muslims either to order meat from animals that would be sacrificed outside the city in accordance with Muslim rules, or performing the rituals themselves, also at the out-of-city site.
Fresh debated erupted last January when the Russian Ministry of Justice proposed a set of amendments to the Freedom of Conscience Law that would make illegal any unsanctioned prayer services and rites held outside religious sites or cemeteries.
Currently, worshipers are allowed to hold religious ceremonies in public places if they inform the local administration in advance about the planned gathering.
The Duma is expected to consider this bill in October this year.
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.
Udhiyah or animal sacrifice, a ritual that reminds of the great act of sacrifice Prophet Ibrahim and his son Isma`eel were willing to make for the sake of God.
A financially-able Muslim sacrifices a single sheep or goat or shares six others in sacrificing a camel or cow as an act of worship during the four-day `Eid Al-Adha.
The Udhiyah meat should be divided in three equal parts, one each for one's own family, friends and the poor.It is permissible that someone in another country could perform the sacrifice on one's behalf.