May 16, 2022

Mufti of Moscow, head of The Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia, member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation Albir Hazrat Krganov took part in a press conference on the topic: "The rights of believers in the modern world: tendencies and challenges", which was held at the international multimedia press center of The International News Agency "Russia Today". Sergey Melnikov, Deputy Director for Scientific Work of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Chairman of the Russian Association for the Protection of Religious Freedom, also participated in the press conference; Priest Dimitri Safonov, Executive Secretary of the Interreligious Council of Russia, Secretary for Interreligious Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations; member of the Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights Alexander Brod.

There were discussed the issues of discriminatory decisions of the Ukrainian authorities against the communities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the problems of aggravation of Russophobic tendencies in Western countries and vandalism against Russian cultural and religious monuments and buildings, the report of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom was considered.

The annual report of the Russian Association for the Protection of Religious Liberty "Freedom of Conscience and Religious Intolerance in the modern world" was also presented, in which the most significant events and trends in the sphere of relations between state authorities, society and religious organizations were analyzed and recommendations were made to reduce the risks of escalation of the situation in interreligious relations and to prevent extremism and discrimination.

The head of The Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia, Albir Hazrat Krganov, mentioned in his speech that the members of the expert council The Russian Association of Religious Freedom had done a huge analytical work, collecting voluminous information on the observance of the rights of believers in the world. Attention to this document is huge, because in many countries of the Islamic world this document has become a complementary alternative to the report that is being prepared by the US State Department.

Albir Hazrat also drew attention to the fact that a lot of provocative events took place in the month of Ramadan in relation to Islamic shrines. In Sweden, there were public acts of burning the Koran with the connivance of law enforcement agencies. For many years there has been a conflict of Israeli policemen in the third most important Muslim shrines – the Al–Aqsa Mosque. These facts are able provoke more serious clashes on inter-religious grounds. This is a great question for European democracy, for the protection of the rights of believers.

The Mufti narrated about the visit of the delegation of The Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia to the Luhansk People's Republic, where an international conference was held on the topic: "Religions of Donbass against extremism and neo-Nazism." The opinions of representatives of traditional religions of Donbass on the situation in Ukraine were listened to. At the meeting with the muftis, parishioners spoke about the shelling of religious sites by the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the persecution of leaders of religious organizations. The Muslims of the Republic of China have made a decision to canonically join the Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia, and the Muslims of Donetsk decided to join the State Duma of the Russian Federation under the leadership of Mufti Ravil Gainutdinov.

"Today we provide assistance and support to the Muslim organizations of the LPR and the DPR - this is both humanitarian aid and the provision of spiritual religious literature," Albir Hazrat mentioned.

The head of The Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia underlined that a lot of work is being done in our country to strengthen good relations between religions. Big celebrations will be held in Kazan this week on the occasion of the celebration of the 1100th anniversary of the adoption of Islam by Volga Bulgaria. The events are held at the federal level with the support of Russian President Vladimir Putin. As part of the celebration, new mosques will be built in many regions, educational institutions will be opened, books will be published, conferences will be held, which has a positive impact on the development of Islam in Russia - the leaders of Muslim organizations are very grateful for this attention to the country's leadership.

Albir Hazrat Krganov also suggested that, in the future, during the preparation of the report on the rights of believers, use the experience and capabilities of Muslim organizations from other countries, with which The Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia productively cooperates - the expert group of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which includes 67 countries, and the World Islamic League (WIL). They, like The Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia, also prepare similar reports - therefore it is advisable to combine common efforts on this topic.

"The Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia presents a report on the observance of the rights of believers every year, according to a good tradition. Our new Report is already prepared and will be presented to the broad public in the near future. In particular, it raises the problems of the shortage of prayer houses and the issuance of permits for the construction of mosques," the mufti said in conclusion.

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