News24

80 000 Muslims pray on Moscow street

2011-11-06 22:54

Moscow - Tens of thousands of Muslim men knelt shoulder-to-shoulder in prayer on the freezing streets of Moscow on Sunday to celebrate the religious holiday of Eid al-Adha.

Estimates of the number of Muslims living or working in the Russian capital run from 2 million to as high as 5 million, but the city only has a few mosques.

Police said 170 000 people celebrated the holiday in Moscow, including 80 000 who gathered on the street outside what was once the main mosque. The 100-year-old pastel green Cathedral Mosque was torn down in September and a new mosque being built next to it is still under construction.

Many of those who braved temperatures of -8°C to pray on Sunday morning were migrant workers from countries in Central Asia that were once part of the Soviet Union.

"Of course new mosques are needed," said Maruv, a shop worker from Tajikistan who gave only his first name. "Look at how many people are in the street and it's cold. They have been standing here waiting for the beginning of prayers since 06:00 and there are no facilities."

Police cordoned off the area and set up metal detectors to screen worshippers. The mosque is located next to the Olympic Stadium, where this weekend women tennis players from Russia and the Czech Republic played the Fed Cup final.

Muslim prayers also were held at three other mosques and in three city parks.

Ritual slaughter

Eid al-Adha, a feast celebrated by Muslims worldwide, is known as Kurban-Bairam in Russia.

Russia's Council of Muftis said that for the first time this year the ritual slaughter of sheep was performed at 10 slaughterhouses on the outskirts of Moscow. In past years, Muscovites have complained angrily about the killing of sheep in the courtyards of apartment buildings in the city centre.

Muslim and government leaders apparently made a special effort this year to address the rising ethnic tensions that have accompanied the influx of Muslim migrants, including many from the Caucasus republics in southern Russia.

"We, Russian Muslims, are proud of our fatherland, Russia, and we are trying to make Russia proud of us, our culture and our contribution to the modernization and development of our state," the head of the Council of Muftis, Ravil Gainutdin, was quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency as saying during the prayer service.

President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin both sent holiday messages to Muslims in which they stressed the importance of instilling the young with moral values and promoting religious and ethnic accord.

Comments
  • Eric - 2011-11-07 00:31

    Malaysia: The only way to implement the Islamic hudud law is by implementing it "by force", said Malaysian National Defence University lecturer Ridhuan Tee Abdullah said today. "To implement Islamic law and to educate non-Muslims (on Islam) can only be done by force," the associate professor told a forum entitled 'Hudud: Its dilemma and implementation' organised by Malay-language daily Sinar Harian in Shah Alam. Qualifying his assertion, Ridhuan said this is because the "negative attitude" of non-Muslims towards Islamic law makes it unlikely that they will voluntarily accept its implementation.

  • Eric - 2011-11-07 00:41

    Washington DC: Muslim students at the renowned Catholic University have complained their human rights have been violated by the college. They have accused education chiefs of banning them from forming a Muslim student group and failing to provide prayer rooms without Christian symbols. He claimed some Muslim students were particularly offended because they had to meditate overlooked by the cathedral that looms over the entire campus – the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. He told Fox News: “It shouldn’t be too difficult to set aside a small room where Muslims can pray without having to stare up and be looked down upon by a cross of Jesus. “They do have to pray five times a day and to be sitting there trying to do Muslim prayers with a big cross looking down or a picture of Jesus or a picture of the Pope is not very conductive to their religion.'

      Elaine - 2011-11-07 08:14

      Hey. This is a Catholic University for goodness sake! What a cheek.Imagine going to a muslim university and demanding your rights. Like the story you quoted above, where a Christian boy was killed because he wore a cross...! Total madness. They really do want to force the world to become muslim

  • Eric - 2011-11-07 01:29

    England: Blind passengers are being ordered off buses or refused taxi rides because Muslim drivers or passengers object to their 'unclean' guide dogs. One pensioner, a cancer sufferer, told how had twice been confronted by drivers and asked to get off the bus because of his guide dog, and had also faced hostility at a hospital and in a supermarket over the animal. The problem to carry guide dogs on religious grounds has become so widespread that the matter was raised in the House of Lords last week, prompting transport minister Norman Baker to warn that a religious objection was not a reason to eject a passenger with a well-behaved guide dog. Yesterday both the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and the National Federation of the Blind confirmed the problem was common, and, according to the latter organisation was 'getting worse'. The tension stems from a strand of Islamic teaching which warns against contact with dogs because the animal's saliva was considered to be impure, the Muslim Council of Britain said.

  • Mthuthuzeli - 2011-11-07 01:32

    There are +-50 million Muslims in Europe. There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe – without swords, without guns, without conquests. The _+-50 million Muslims of Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.

      Werner - 2011-11-07 11:14

      Except for the almost daily terrorist acts performed by this "peacefull" (what a joke) people

  • Eric - 2011-11-07 01:39

    Paris: Islamic supremacists have firebombed and caused extensive damage to the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine in Paris, after it ran an issue featuring Islam's prophet Muhammad as the guest editor. Some Muslims didn't get the joke. Recently the magazine's website was hacked; the hackers left this message: "You keep abusing Islam's almighty Prophet with disgusting and disgraceful cartoons using excuses of freedom of speech. Be Allah's curse upon you!" The firebombing followed shortly thereafter. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the OIC's secretary general, has explained that Islam is under attack and must be defended. That Islam would not be "under attack" were not so many Muslims committing acts of violence and hatred in its name does not faze him for one second. The OIC is dedicated to getting the United Nations to approve a "legal instrument" that would criminalize "Islamophobia," which "cannot be dealt with," Ihsanoglu declared, except through "a robust political engagement" -- that is, restrictions on the freedom of speech. Abdoulaye Wade, the President of Senegal and chairman of the OIC, made this point explicit several years ago: "I don't think freedom of expression should mean freedom from blasphemy. There can be no freedom without limits."

  • Fred - 2011-11-07 04:31

    Good postings Eric. Let the truth be known about the religion of peace.

  • Jaba - 2011-11-07 10:35

    Many comments are disappearing - reported as abusive by those who can’t handle the truth.

  • zahir.anter - 2011-11-07 12:30

    Eric, do you deliberately look for articles that are representative of a small group of individuals. Why judge a religion based on the actions of what amounts to a minority of people within that religion? Are all Christians pedophiles because of the actions of a few misguided priests? I think not. Perhaps you could extend the same courtesy to my religion? As outrageous as this may seem, have you ever considered befriending a muslim? We are not all terrorists. Elaine, believe it or not, we do not want to FORCE the world to become muslim. Fred, you mockingly refer to the religion of peace - do you honestly believe all muslims are war-loving fanatics? I respect your religion, not because the media demands that i do - but because my religion demands it. The Qur'an states clearly that freedom of religion is a God-given right. Everyone's God-given human dignity must be respected, regardless of their religion, race, ethnic origin, gender, or social status (Quran 17:70 - Eric maybe you could look up this as opposed to the slanderous articles you seem to have a preference for). Of course, everyone is entitles to their own opinion. No doubt. Maybe next time Eric, Elaine, Werner, Fred and Jaber - make yours an informed one?

      Dayaan - 2011-11-07 13:03

      Zahir most of these people making disparaging comments are bigots and are not prepared to sit down and take some time to get to know anything about Islam. Catholics and Protestants have been fighting each other for centuries and within these groups you have extremists but these bigots tend to forget these things. Jaba is a Zionist who himself cannot handle the fact that atrocities are also committed by Zionists in the name of Israel when you condemn Zionists agression you are labelled a anti-semitic. None of them are prepared to get to know what Islam is all about they prefer the hogwash dished up by western media. If they knew Islam and the Quran they would know that extremism is haraam(unlawful for those that do not know the meaning)and that these extremist will have to answer for their deeds one day. Extremists are found in every religion be it Christianity Judaism Hinduism or Islam, but they will overlook all these other religions and disparage Islam since they are hypocrites.

  • Madluphuthu - 2011-11-07 19:57

    When I think about Islam all I can imagine are the protests against danish cartoons, the murder of the journalist in Netherlands, the killing of people in Mumbai,the veiling of women in pakistan, Saudi and else where,9/11,the phraise 'Israel is a tumour in the arab land',sharia law, london terror attacks and the list is endless. So now you should know why non muslims are afraid.

      zahir.anter - 2011-11-08 15:17

      Madluphunthu; if you assume the aforementioned acts are representative of an entire religion - then you are sadly misinformed. To make such blanket statements and then apply them indiscriminately is foolish. Let me use the following example. Beginning after the Civil War, members of the Protestant-led, Ku Klux Klan organization began engaging in arson, beatings, cross burning, destruction of property, lynching, murder, rape, tar-and-feathering, and whipping against African Americans, Jews, Catholics, and other social or ethnic minorities. They were explicitly Christian terrorist in ideology, basing their beliefs on a "religious foundation" in Christianity. The goals of the KKK included, from an early time on, an intent to, "reestablish Protestant Christian values in America by any means possible," and believe that "Jesus was the first Klansman." Their cross-burnings were conducted not only to intimidate targets, but to demonstrate their respect and reverence for Jesus Christ, and the lighting ritual was steeped in Christian symbolism, including the saying of prayers and singing of Christian hymns. Is this representative of an entire religion, or a select few extremists? I think you know the answer.

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