Wednesday, 26 January 2022
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Articles > Islam and Muslims > Meeting with American Delegation

Meeting with American Delegation Deputy Chairman of Russia Muftis Council Rushan hazrat Abbyasov met with the members of U. S. Commission for International Religious Freedom.

The meeting was attended by USCIRF senior policy analyst Katherine Kosman and the first secretary of the Political department of American embassy, Mr Patrick Horn.

The meeting was devoted to the discussion of vital questions pertaining to the situation in the world and in Russia, as well as the relevant issues for Russian Muslims.

Rushan hazrat thanked his discussion partners for their interest in the life of Russia's Muslims, stressing the importance of "studying the situation from all angles when preparing an annual report on religious freedoms".

Answering the guests' questions, Rushan hazrat told of the activities of Russia Muftis Council, in particular regarding construction of mosques and opening new madrasas in various regions of Russia, about active education and charitable work and such big projects as Moscow International Qur'an Reciting Competition, Moscow Halal Expo, Mawlid an-Nabi and All-Russia Children’s Holiday Camp “Muslim”.

The guests got particularly interested in good and constructive relations between Russia Muftis Council and the country's top leadership as well as regional leaders, and the actively developing interfaith dialogue.

During the discussion of world problems and situation in Muslim world as a whole, Rushan hazrat Abbyasov mentioned the persistent problem of mass media wrongly using certain expressions—like radicalism or extremism—in conjunction with the name of the religion of Islam. By doing that, they not only influence public opinion in a negative way, but also insult adherents of Islam, giving bad name to their religion.

"It is because of this policy that people both in Russia and in the West start fearing construction of new mosques, and it may even lead to misunderstanding from local authorities. Such a policy of mass media also affects public opinion on hijab, the recent ban of which in [Russian] schools is clearly a politically charged issue," assured RMC deputy chairman.

The ban of the translation of the Holy Qur'an into Russian language by Elmir Kuliev was also discussed in the meeting.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon that certain destructive forces, represented by "experts on Islam" (who in reality have neither education nor knowledge of this religion), being salaried employees of Russian Orthodox Church, covering their actions with Orthodox religion, oppose positive dialogue, use hate speech to provoke Muslims in various parts of our country, try to isolate them from society and the state, and incite distrust and negativism towards Islam as a world religion. Regrettably, both local and regional leadership sometimes fall for this dangerous rhetoric, being unaware of the danger of the situation.

One of such actions was a purposeful campaign against the most popular translation of meanings of the Holy Qur'an into Russian language by secular philosopher professor Dr Elmir Kuliev, aimed at banning the book and labelling it as "extremist". This campaign and the way it was carried out show complete lack of respect not only to Russia's Muslims, but to all religious people, including adherents of other Monotheist faiths.

Rushan hazrat Abbyasov told that the lawyers are working towards settling this issue and they will do whatever possible to defend the Holy Scripture.

In the end of the meeting, Rushan hazrat Abbyasov once again thanked the American delegates for their visit and expressed his hope that this discussion will help them to write a complete and unbiased report.

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