Staunton, Oct. 6 – Huseyn Malsagov, an ethnic Ingush who serves as the imam of Magadan’s only mosque, says 1500 of the faithful attend Friday prayers every week and that 5,000 attend services during Ramadan. He adds that the community has opened medressahs for boys and girls and hopes to add minarets to the mosque this year.
Magadan’s Muslims did not have their own mosque until recently, he continues, when it was able to purchase a building that had been used as a casino. The group is very active and its former imam is now mufti for all of eastern Siberia, Malsagov says (milliard.tatar/news/na-pyatnicnye-molitvy-prixodit-primerno-poltory-tysyaci-celovek-vsya-mecet-bitkom-nabita-4232).
The imam says his community is entirely self-sufficient and does not receive any funds from local officials. (He acknowledges, however, that some relatives of Tatars and Bashkirs in the city living elsewhere have sent subventions.) The city authorities have not gotten in the way of the community and have even allowed it a portion of the cemetery.
What makes this article posted on the Milliard.Tatar portal noteworthy, is that the spread of Muslim institutions in areas where there were none officially permitted in Soviet times seldom gets much attention unless there are clashes. Where the community and the authorities cooperate, the media seldom reports what is taking place.