The Holy See’s Permanent Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) made observations on freedom of religion or belief in the member nations during a conference on freedom of religion or belief, held in Vienna, November 9-10.
On November 9-10, 2020, an online meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was held on the observance of freedom of conscience and religion. Mufti, Chairman of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of St. Petersburg and the North-Western Region of Russia, Sheikh Ravil khazrat Pancheev spoke at the meeting.
In his speech to representatives from the countries of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as to other honorary participants of the conference, Mufti Sheikh Ravil khazrat Pancheev conveyed greetings from the Muslims of St. Petersburg and the North-West region of Russia, the Muslims of the Russian Federation and noted a special the contribution of religious organizations to the harmonization and strengthening of interfaith and interethnic relations in Russia.
Mufti Sheikh Ravil khazrat Pancheev stressed that the Russian model of multiculturalism plays an important and positive role in preserving national interests. “One of the elements of multiculturalism is tolerance, the goal of which is the peaceful coexistence of cultures,” said Mufti khazrat.
RIYADH: The Union of News Agencies (UNA) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) participated in a virtual conference organized by the Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia (SAMR) and the Russian news agency TASS.
“Religion in a Changing World: The Role of Education in Raising the Youth” was attended by Sheikh Albir Karganov, mufti of Moscow, head of SAMR, and member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation. In a speech on behalf of Acting UNA Director-General Ahmed bin Abdullah Al-Qarni, UNA Production Director Abdul Qader Al-Zahrani said that the conference was of great importance because it “promotes coexistence, tolerance, and convergence among all of humanity.”
On September 24, an international scientific and practical conference on "Religion in a changing world" was held in a video conference at the TASS Press center in Moscow. The role of education in youth education". This event was a major and important international event that brought together representatives of more than 20 countries at the same time on its online platform.
The event included a plenary session, as well as 3 sections on the following topics: "The world of the future: religion, science, youth"; "education in the context of a pandemic: effective responses to the challenges and threats of our time"; "Youth and religion: new perspectives".
The Main organizer of the forum was the Spiritual assembly of muslims of Russia, headed by the head of the Spiritual assembly of muslims of Russia, member of The public chamber of the Russian Federation Albir Krganov. The forum was held with the support of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society, MSLU and the Foundation for support of Islamic culture, science and education. The conference was also co-organized by the Commission of The public chamber of the Russian Federation on the harmonization of interethnic and interreligious relations.
The organizers and participants of the forum received greetings from his Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia, Deputy Chairman of the security Council of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, Chairman of The Imperial Orthodox Palestinian society Sergey Stepashin, and other prominent public and political figures. Speaking at the opening of the international forum, ISESCO Secretary General Salem bin Mohammad al-Maliki conveyed the greetings of His Highness King Mohammed IV of Morocco to the organizers and participants of the conference
More than 80 leading experts in the field of education and spiritual culture of the regions of the Russian Federation, CIS, Middle East, Europe, Asia, Africa and America discussed the impact of religious factors and religious education in international relations, assessed the inter-religious dialogue and peace as the greatest social and religious values, researched the tradition, ways of and experience strengthening regional stability, harmonization of interethnic and interreligious relations in the world community.
The forum participants noted the relevance of these topics, stressed the need to combine efforts to rally the world community and strengthen cooperation between countries.In the context of the continuing devaluation of moral values, the participants noted that special attention should be paid to the organization of systematic work with young people, the creation of platforms for discussing acute modern problems. The patriotic education of young people must be brought to the fore in religious and secular education.
One of the key topics of the discussion was the ethics of scientists. Numerous studies confirm that this issue is of concern to the world community, as high-tech developments increasingly intersect with people's private lives, which creates grounds for accusations of the scientific community of "violation of human rights".
The participants agreed that in the face of common threats, an aggressive policy towards each other is unacceptable. On the contrary, it is necessary to carry out joint humanitarian and educational work, establish contacts in the area of social and religious diplomacy, and try to remove artificial restrictions.
Many speakers drew attention to the fact that Russia has always opposed and continues to oppose aggression, extremism and violence on ethnic and religious grounds, as well as all kinds of "concepts of exclusivity." Today, as never before, the search for ways of peaceful coexistence of states, peoples, religions and cultures, the practice of preventing conflicts is important.
The participants of the Conference emphasized that the preservation of peace and stability is possible only by combining the efforts of representatives of all religions, nations, governments, international and public institutions, and overcoming modern challenges and threats is directly related to the strengthening of cultural, civilizational and interreligious dialogue.
Representatives of different faiths intend to build an interfaith center in Kommunarka district in Moscow. The Head of the Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia (SAMR), Mufti Albir-khazrat Krganov, spoke about this at the international scientific-practical conference "Religion in a changing world. The role of education in youth education" in TASS on Thursday. "Our traditional religions - the Jewish community, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists - we proposed a very interesting project several years ago, it was supported by the Moscow mayor's office, on the construction of an interreligious center in Kommunarka district. We assume that this will be a modern social center, where there will be not only conditions for public activists, but also for the disabled, the elderly and people with disabilities. It is planned to open a school for the blind, as well as conduct various trainings, master classes from leading experts in their fields, arrange all kinds of museum compositions " , - he said. This project had been agreed with the Moscow mayor's office, but for 8 years it could not obtain a building permit. In addition, it was not possible to achieve the allocation and assignment of a land plot .
In Volzhsky, the second largest city in the Volgograd region, an acute situation has developed with a massive influx of citizens of Uzbekistan. Labor migrants and their families expect to return to Tashkent on two special trains, which are scheduled to depart on September 29 and October 1. Dozens of people have to wait for these trains in extremely difficult conditions. If not the help of Volgograd Muslims, men, women and children could be on the streets.
Mufti of the Volgograd region Abdulla Haji said that the citizens of Uzbekistan began to stay in Volzhsky from the southern regions of Russia a few days ago. “Since an agreement was reached to open a railway corridor to Tashkent from Volzhsky, migrant workers with family members began to come to the city en masse,” said Mufti Abdulla Khadzhi. “However, the infrastructure was not ready for such a massive influx of people, as a result of which an extremely difficult situation has arisen today. The arrivals found themselves face to face with the natural elements of the autumn weather. Passengers of future trains to Tashkent, for example, spent the night in the station square in the cold. "
The Volzhsky administration, on whose territory the citizens of Uzbekistan began to accumulate, turned for support to the Central Spiritual Administration of Muslims of the Volgograd Region, which has an Islamic spiritual center under construction in the Volzhsky.
On the territory of the Islamic center, representatives of the muftiate organized accommodation of people, food, and psychological assistance. “At the same time, people continue to stay, ten people arrived at night, and the same number tonight. Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow there will be even more,”says Mufti Abdullah Haji. - The work is carried out jointly with the administration of the city of Volzhsky, the structures of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Ministry of Internal Affairs are involved, coordination with citizens of a foreign state is fully ensured.
On October 20, at the invitation of the Chairman of the Office of Religious Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, Dr. Ali Erbash, the head of the SAMR, Mufti Albir khazrat Krganov, took part in The Consultation Meeting of Ministers of Religious Affairs and Chief Muftis of Member States of Organization of Islamic Cooperation which is organized by the Presidency of Religious Affairs was executed through video-conference system.
The forum was also attended by distinguished muftis: Chairman of the Central Muslim Board of Muslims of Russia Talgat Khazrat Tadzhuddin, Mufti of Stavropol Mukhammad Khazrat Rakhimov and Deputy Chairman of the Russian Muslim Spiritual Board Rushan Khazrat Abbyasov.
The main topics of the meeting were related to strengthening the fight against Islamophobia.In particular, it was noted that the OIC played a large role in solving a number of serious problems caused by the sad phenomenon of Islamophobia (among them - an attack on a mosque in New Zealand, destruction of copies of the Holy Quran, reprint of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).In his address, Albir Khazrat also touched upon the tragic incident that happened recently in France.Albir Khazrat also noted that the current foreign policy of the Russian Federation is aimed at expanding cooperation with the countries of the Islamic world and developing partnership with it in many areas.
In addition, the head of the SAMR noted the role of Diyanet, who “conducts active information activities in strengthening the foundations of Ahlu Sunnah wal Jamaat, protecting the rights of believers in the world, publishing and missionary activities are built at a high level. Saudi Arabia recently opened the International Center for Countering the Ideology of Extremism. Russian Muslims are interested in their experience in monitoring the activity of terrorist groups in cyberspace, spreading the ideology of extremism, recruiting new activists, experience in correcting the vision of Islam distorted by radicals and strengthening the foundations of traditional and moderate religious teachings, ” the mufti concluded.
On November 6, the Mufti of Tomsk and the Tomsk region, Nurulla-haji Tursunbayev visited the Mufti of Dagestan Sheikh Ahmad Afandi.
During a warm friendly meeting, Nurulla-haji expressed gratitude from the muslims of Tomsk and the Tomsk region to Sheikh Ahmad Afandi for the opportunity to personally see the holy relics of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in 2019 during the month of Rabiul-Avval.Muslim leaders of both regions also discussed issues of interaction in the field of spiritual and moral development of society and the implementation of joint ideas in various areas.Sheikh Ahmad Afandi, in turn, emphasized the importance of cooperation with the muftiats of the regions of Russia for the benefit of the inhabitants of our country.
Muslim world to celebrate birthday of Prophet Muhammad today
Muslims all over the world are marking the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad – Mawlid al-Nabi. The head of the Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia, Mufti Albir Krganov congratulated believers on the holiday.
"I congratulate all my fellow believers and fellow citizens on the Prophet Muhammad's birthday - the greatest personality," Krganov said, noting that on this day Muslims will come to mosques and read salavats - praise to the prophet. "At home, they usually prepare food, invite relatives and friends, and also read praise," RIA Novosti cited him as saying.
The Mufti wished the believers "not to forget their roots" and do more good deeds.
"Be merciful and sensitive to each other, pay attention to those who most need our support - children, orphans, widows and the elderly. I wish everyone happiness, and may the Almighty take care of us," he said.
Mawlid marks the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad and is celebrated during the month of Rabiulawal, the third month of the Muslim calendar. This year it starts on sundown of October 28 ending at sundown on October 29.
Turkish president joins hundreds of worshippers after iconic Istanbul landmark's controversial reconversion into mosque, Al Jazeera writes in the article Muslim prayers in Hagia Sophia for first time in 86 years. Muslim prayers have been held in the iconic Hagia Sophia for the first time in 86 years after the reconversion of the Istanbul landmark into a mosque earlier this month. The Friday prayers took place two weeks after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan controversially declared the nearly 1,500-year-old monument open to Muslim worship after a top court ruled the building's conversion to a museum by modern Turkey's founding statesman in the mid-1930s was illegal.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site was built as a cathedral during the reign of Byzantine emperor Justinian I in 537 but converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453. It was designated a museum in a key reform of the post-Ottoman authorities under the modern republic's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
Erdogan said last year it had been a "very big mistake" to convert it into a museum. Critics however accuse Erdogan, who has been in power for 17 years, of playing to his nationalistic base, with support eroding amid a global economic downtown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Towering over Istanbul's skyline, its breathtaking domes seemingly afloat, it is also one of Turkey's most popular tourist attractions, with 3.7 million visitors in 2019.
Al Jazeera's Sinem Koseoglu, reporting from Istanbul, said Friday was "a very big day" in the city of some 18 million. "The heart of the city, the historical peninsula, is under total lockdown since last night," she said. In the sprawling square outside Hagia Sophia, authorities set up separate areas for men and women to worship on Friday, while more than 700 health personnel, 101 ambulances and a helicopter ambulance were available.
Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya asked that people to bring four items - "masks, prayer mats, patience and understanding".
Turkey pledged to keep Hagia Sophia, whose floor has been covered with a turqoise carpet, open to tourists and welcome those of all faiths. Entry will now be free, while intricate mosaics of the Virgin Mary, baby Jesus and other Christian symbols will be veiled by curtains at prayer time. Recitation of the holy Quran will go on for the next 24 hours and the revered landmark will stay open overnight, according to state media reports. All five prayers will henceforth also be held daily at the mosque.
"We are ending our 86 years of longing today," said one man, Sait Colak, referring to the nearly nine decades since Hagia Sophia was declared a museum and ceased to be a place of worship. "Thanks to our president and the court decision, today we are going to have our Friday prayers in Hagia Sophia."
Aynur Saatci, another worshipper, said she was on holidays in the eastern city of Erzurum but decided to cut her holiday short in order to attend the service. "I immediately cut my holidays short and returned to Istanbul as soon as I knew we could pray in Hagia Sophia," Saatci said. "I'm deeply moved."
The United States, the European Union, Russia and various church leaders expressed concern at the change in status, while neighbouring Greece branded the move an "open provocation to the civilised world". The UN's cultural agency, UNESCO, said it deeply regretted Turkey's decision, which was "taken without prior dialogue".
Erdogan insisted, however, it was Turkey's "historical and sovereign right".
Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy condemned the reaction of the Greek authorities to the first prayer in Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia and the rally in Thessaloniki, the participants of which burned the Turkish flag. "Greece has reiterated its hostility towards Islam and Turkey under the pretext of a reaction to the opening of the Hagia Sophia mosque for prayer. We strongly condemn that the Greek government and parliament are provoking the public and publicly allowing our glorious flag to be burned in Thessaloniki," Aksoy stated.
The chairman of the Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia, Mufti Albir Krganov, expressed the hope that the resumption of prayers by Muslims in the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia will be accepted with understanding by other religions. He told TASS that for many believers Hagia Sofia "did not actually stop being a mosque." "Near the main temple there are minarets with crescents, a crescent is on the dome, all the necessary decorations are inside. Here we can say that prayers inside were suspended for 86 years, but the building remained a mosque."