Staunton, April 17 – Mufti Ayder Rustemov, the Ukrainian mufti for Russian-occupied Crimea, has called on Muslim leaders in Russia to denounce Putin’s war in Ukraine and called on Muslims of the North Caucasus and the Middle Volga to refuse to serve in the Kremlin leader’s invading force.
In a YouTube clip which is now circulating in Russia, Rustemov reminds both groups that in the past, just as Russian forces killed “freedom-loving” Muslims in the Caucasus, so too they are now killing freedom-loving Ukrainians of various faiths, including Islam (youtube.com/watch?v=u_pmt7BVa_Y and doshdu.com/muftij-kryma-prizval-imamov-kavkaza-i-rossii-osudit-specoperaciju-v-ukraine/).
The Ukrainian Muslim leader calls on muftis and imams in Russia to condemn Putin’s “wild fratricidal special operation,” pointing out that “a word of justice directed at a tyrant is the best means of fighting for the values of the All-High. If you can’t do this, then you should publicly resign from your posts.”
At the same time, he called on Russia’s Muslims to ignore draft calls and Muslim soldiers now in the Russian army in Ukraine to surrender. Muslims living within the current borders of the Russian Federation need to remember, Rustemov says, that if freedom triumphs in Ukraine as it must, Rustemov concludes, then it will triumph in the Caucasus and the Middle Volga as well.