December 10th

On December 10th, 2020, the Commission for the Harmonisation of Interethnic and Interreligious Relations of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation in conjunction with the Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia organised the online conference “Modeling interethnic and interreligious relations in a secular state” attended by representatives of the scientific and expert community, members of the Public chamber of the Russian Federation, religious and public figures from Russia, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Czech Republic, Europe, and Asia.

The mufti Albir R. Krganov, chairman of the Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia, deputy head of the Commission on Harmonisation of Interethnic and Interreligious Relations of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation and head of the Working Group on Counteraction to Pseudoreligious Extremism of the Counterterrorism Coordination Council, chaired the conference attended by:

• Alexander Yakovlevich Shkolnik, Deputy Secretary of the Public chamber of the Russian Federation, Director of The Central Museum of the great Patriotic war of 1941-1945;
• Vladimir Yuryevich Zorin, Chairman Of the Commission on harmonization of interethnic and interreligious relations, addressed the conference participants with greetings;
• Thomas Wipf, President of the European Council of religious leaders – Religions for Peace;
• Mohamed Abbas Almutazim, President of the Union of Muslims of the Czech Republic;
• Dr Mohammed Al-Bishari, Secretary-General of the World Council of Muslim Communities (WCC);
• Imam Mohammad Bashar Arafat, President of the Council for Islamic Affairs, Maryland (USA), Founder of the Foundation for the Exchange of Civilizations and Cooperation;
• Giuliano Bifolchi, director of ASRIE Analytica, OSINT analyst, and academic researcher on Islam, security, and counter-terrorism
• Ahmad (Arthur) Wagner, Chairman of the IDEL Analytical centre in Berlin;
• Vladimir Romanovich Legoida, Chairman of the Synodal Department of the Russian Orthodox Church for relations between the Church and society and the media;
• Elena Aleksandrovna Agapova, Deputy Chairman of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian society;
• Jonathan Feldman, Head of religious programs of the Federation of Jewish communities of Russia;
• Sergey Kirishov, Member of the Public chamber of the Republic of Kalmykia, Vice-President of the Kalmyk Buddhist Association;
• Oleg Goncharov, First Deputy Chairman of the Euro-Asian division of the General conference of the Adventist Christian Church;
• Anton Ignatenko, Director Of the Institute of religion and politics;
• Sergey Ryakhovsky, Chairman of the Pentecostal Russian United Union of Evangelical Christians, member of The Commission on harmonization of interethnic and interreligious relations;
• Abdul-Kuddus Asharin, Chairman of the Spiritual administration of Muslims of the Sverdlovsk region.

The conference was devoted to the problems of growing inter-ethnic and inter-religious tensions in the world in the light of recent terrorist attacks in European countries, studying international experience in coordinating the interaction of the state with religious and ethnic organizations, civil society institutions in order to counter the spread of terrorism and extremism.

The participants stressed their interests and experience in moderating interreligious and interethnic relations in their countries and they agreed that in the contemporary era is difficult to ensure a balance of interests of representatives of different peoples and religions, but this is a necessary condition for the prosperity of modern secular states. In fact, many countries today are facing the problem of religious extremism on national and religious grounds.

In conclusion, mufti Albir R. Krganov pointed out that the international community and all the people in general must not respond to these terrible provocations and all together we should find the strength to stop it. "Emotional and politicized decisions can lead to huge mistakes and more serious problems, which, perhaps, the organizers of these terrorist attacks expect”, said Albir Hazrat Krganov.

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