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Articles > Islam in mass media > The initiative of the agreement, prepared by the Russian Muftis Council, can serve as an example for the post-Soviet Central Asia region

"The Afghan drug trafficking will not be allowed intoRussia by Muslims. An agreement on cooperation was signed between the Russian Muftis Council and the Afghan Council of Ulemas" - "Nezavisimaya Gazeta"

Russian Muslims will help to fight Afghan drug trafficking. Yesterday in Moscow the Russian Muftis Council and the Ulema Council of Afghanistan signed an agreement on cooperation.

Experts consider as a necessary measure to use the potential of Muslim communities in the regions of Russia to counter drug threat. Yesterday in Moscow the first in the history of the Muslim community of Russia and Afghanistan the agreement on cooperation between the Russian Council of Muftis and the Afghan Ulema Council was signed. The Document was signed by Chairman of the Russian Muftis Council Ravil Gaynutdin and Deputy Minister for Hajj in the government of Afghanistan, Abdul Hakim Monib.

The signing ceremony was held at the residence of the Muftis Council on

Mir Avenue
and was attended by Afghan diplomats, representatives of public organizations. According to Abdul Hakim Monib, the signed on September 27 agreement "could be the basis for the development of Russian-Afghan bilateral relations in general."

The Head of Centre for Study of Modern Afghanistan (CMAS) Omar Nessar, who participated in drafting the agreement, said that it was essential that the agreement was signed by one of the leaders of the Ministry of Hajj: "The Ministry and Council of Ulemas are probably the most influential political institutions in Afghanistan, they have considerable lobbying opportunities in the state authorities and have a very strong impact on Afghan public opinion". Ravil Gaynutdin said that he expected to the support of the Russian-Afghan religious cooperation from senior leadership of two countries.

It is known that in the preparation of agreements an active role was played by the Russian ambassador in Kabul, Andrey Avetisyan, and a number of the closest advisers of the President Hamid Karzai. "Next week I will meet with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and two weeks later with the President Dmitry Medvedev. I will inform them of the nature and prospects of our agreement," – Gaynutdin said. According to Nessar, the main purpose of the agreement signed in Moscow is to  "make interaction of Islamic communities in Afghanistan and Russia on the permanent basis", including such important areas as combating drug threat: "The agreement provides a basis for regular meetings between Russian and Afghan Islamic leaders, as well as the creation of a special joint standing committee that will coordinate Islamic communities of the two countries and their efforts with state agencies of the Russian Federation and Afghanistan". One of the main directions of the Russian-Afghan cooperation should become an Islamic struggle against the drug threat. The parties of the agreement have agreed that the Afghan ulemas will more actively promote  the anti-drug propaganda, in particular, they will begin regular preaching in mosques in the country  the religious positions of condemning the distribution and consumption of drugs.

According to Omar Nessar, "it may become one of the most serious blows to the drug industry in Afghanistan”. The Anti-drug initiative of the Russian and Afghan Muslim leaders was positively perceived by the Afghan diaspora in Russia. "We fully support the beginning of cooperation between Islamic religious leaders in Russia and Afghanistan and we are ready to actively cooperate with the religious authorities in the Russian regions," - "NG" head of the Volgograd city public organization "The Afghan community" Nezamuddin Bahavi said.

According to political analyst Andrei Mironov, "the potential of Islamic religious authorities can be an effective tool in the fight against drug trafficking, and not only in Afghanistan," "the initiative set by the agreement on September 27, is an example for the post-Soviet states of Central Asia, where the influence of religious Islamic leaders is only increasing".

In the coming days, the members of the Afghan delegation that took part in the signing of the agreement on September 27, will visit Kazan, which is one of the largest centers of Islam in Russia.Andrei Serenko

“Nezavisimaya gazeta”, September 28, 2011




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