Staunton, Sept. 19 – In a move likely to be copied in other Muslim regions of the Russian Federation but raise eyebrows in Moscow, the authorities in the Ingush city of Malgobek have decided that all children if their parents approve should be released on Fridays to attend weekly prayers in mosques.
Muslim parents have long sought such an arrangement but officials in the non-Russian republics fearful of Moscow’s reaction have refused to budge. That an Ingush city has done so is significant because it will mean that children there will more likely to retain or develop their Islamic identities (interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=79761).
Under Muslim law, participation in Friday prayers is an obligation for the faithful. That officials have recognized that in this way will boost local support for those who have done so and spark demands that others follow their lead, in which is one of the rare expansions of religious rights for non-Orthodox during Putin’s time in office.