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Sheikh Ashirov on Russian Muslims

Sheikh Ashirov on Russian Muslims



IINA – 03  

Moscow, Dhul Quidah 29/Feb 12,2002 (IINA) – Sheikh Nufeiallah Ashirov, head of the Asia Muslim Department of Russia’s Directorate of Religious Affairs, has said that in view of the importance of the mosque as a vehicle for spreading the Message of Allah, steps are being taken to build as many of them as possible, and in various cities and other parts of the country, including the remotest parts of Siberia. These efforts, he said, are being taken by the Muslims themselves, but are being assisted by the Coordination Center of the Directorate of Religious Affairs.

Ashirov said that the Coordination Center is coordinating with Russia’s Ministry of Culture in listing the various Islam landmarks in the country that should be declared historical national cultural monuments, deserving preservation and protection by the state.

The Coordination Center, he said, is also helping poor and deserving Muslims to go for the Haj, and this year over 300 have been chosen for this honor, from 22 regions of the country. All their travel, accommodation and other expenses while they are in the holy land would be paid for by the Department, he added.

Sheikh Ashirov said the Asia Muslim Department of the Directorate of Religious Affairs has established close cooperation with various government ministries, as the ministries of culture, education, justice, defense, interior, and others. It also has close cooperation with the Duma, the Russian Parliament, in which there are 30 sitting Muslim members.

He said his department is involved in several other activities for the advancement of Islam in Russia, such as the publication of its newsletter called "Muslims of Siberia," (which has become quite popular), the preparation and presentation of radio and television programs, defense of the faith against the constant barrage of attacks by anti-Islam elements, by projecting the true image and sublime teachings of Islam.

Ashirov said Islam calls for peaceful co-existence, and has contributed a lot to human civilization, and therefore his Department tries its best to highlight such positive and useful aspects of the faith. He said the Department has managed to induce a number of Russian publications to retract their slur on Islam, and, in fact, some of them have even apologized for publishing false facts about this noble faith.