Staunton, March 9 – Moscow Mufti Albir Krganov says that Sergey Sobyanin, his city’s mayor, is wrong to dismiss Muslim appeals for the construction of more mosques because so many of those attending the existing six are “not citizens or residents of Moscow” or even “citizens of Russia.”
Of course, the mufti says, mosques should only be built in places where the majority of residents do not oppose them, but he reminded the mayor that like many other faiths, Islamic parishes are based on the residents of a particular territory rather than on the citizenship of those attending (nazaccent.ru/content/7055-glava-moskovskogo-muftiyata-mechetej-v-gorode.html
Although both the construction company involved and officials at the local Muslim Spiritual Directorate said that the building was never intended to be a mosque, city officials nonetheless stopped construction, creating an “absurd” and “unjust” situation in the words of the Moscow Oblast MSD leader.
Rushan Abbyasov said that such a situation could only arise because of lack of clarity in the positions of regional and city officials regarding the construction of mosques. “Every day in the newspapers and on television, everyone sees Islam distorted to the point of being unrecognizable,” with these outlets showing militants who act under the cover of the faith.
That has created a sad “paradox,” he continued. “People who for centuries have not been afraid to live next to Muslims” now are experiencing not on the basis of any personal experiences but rather because of this media coverage “fear and panic when anyone starts talking about the construction of a mosque.”