Monday, 20 May 2019
"In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Gracious!" بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمـَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
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Articles > Conferences > "History must be single" - Ravil Gaynutdin

Dear participants of the session!

Nowadays theRussian Federation entered the period of major reforms, all of which are aimed at giving a strong impulse to the progressive development of the state in economic and political spheres as well as in social life and culture. In order to receive answers to the existing today actual questions we are to address Russias history.

There can be disagreement among the society on numerous aspects, but the main issues of securing everybodys civil rights and freedoms, safety and unity of the state should have unanimous approach. This unanimous approach can be reached first of all through restoration of historical truth. And the history should be single. Resurrection of historical memory, with regard to our past as a single process will enable to reach mutual understanding on most important nationwide problems of today and tomorrow.

The realties of our historical activity are the key to understanding discussed on this meeting multifold problem, which includes the bases of interreligious and international relations. As many nations Russia has received, the same amount she has saved, said about our multinational motherland distinguished Russian philosopher and public figure of XIX century I. Ilyin. From about 160 nationalities living on the territory of the Russian Federation, 38 ethnically and spiritually belong to Islamic civilization, Islamic culture. On the one hand, these nations are historically connected to the Arab-Muslim world by visible and invisible ties, and on the other hand, they remain an integral part of Russian-wide cultural and historical heritage.

I want to recite verses of great Tatar poet Gabdulla Tukay. His 120th anniversary was broadly celebrated last year. This poem On the Russian land was written in 1913:

Not will fade our trace on the Russian land

Reflect do we Russia as mirror-like glass

For ages with Russians we cheered and lived

Speech, habits and manners be witness to this

Weve long have with Russians relative become

Will never the ages such ties dismiss

Despite all the struggles we have been at one

Through history strongly together been mixed

As tigers in hardships of war we are brave

As horses are hardworking in peaceful days

For mercy and peace in this country beloved

With all living nations we share the right

G. Tukay, 1913

For many centuries Muslims and Christians have lived as kind neighbours, sharing hardships and joys of their Motherland in half. Often the temples of our great religious traditions were neighbouring. As it was in Moscow, where the cathedral Mosque, built in 1904, is within short walking distance from the Philip Temple. In the modern Russia the symbol of tolerance and at the same time multinationality and multiconfessionality of our state is the Kazan Kremlin where two majestic temples are situated the Mosque Kul Sharif and Blagoveshenskiy Cathedral.

But it should be noted that far not everywhere the situation is cloudless. For more than 10 years we are striving for returning of a Muslim mosque to the Muslims of the Stavropol region, for building a mosque in Sochi . The problem around building a mosque in Kostroma is still unsolved. Today words sounded that Muslims in the Caucuses help to build churches, and this issue concerns 18 new Orthodox temples in the region. It would be just if our brothers at the same time helped Muslims.

These days, when politicians proclaim the importance of formulating common for all Russian peoples national idea, I can say that in case there is peace and consent between Muslims and Christians there will be no necessity in such an idea. Only nation consolidated from inside is capable for solving considerable state tasks: whether it is social sphere or economy, the questions of education or health care. It is important to note here that the main law of a state starts with a very important declaration: We, multinational people of Russia This means Russians, Tatars, Chechens, Jews, and hereon we can enumerate all the nationalities and nations living within the territory of the Russian Federation.

Nowadays Russia comes across a very important period that some regard as transitional to some new formation, others define as cultural and spiritual emancipation, thirds regard as reforming democratic public institutions and civil society.

In the modern Russia the authorities should check in the bud attempts to play off Muslims and Christians, Muslims and Jews. The forces that pull forward a slogan Russia is for Russian shatter the basis of our state and threaten the future of the country. If the authorities turn the blind eye on such facts, it is possible that tomorrow appear hotheads from among Muslims who will proclaim: Volga region, Astrakhan region and Siberia for Tatars or Chechnya for Chechens. Do we and our people need such scenes? Im sure we do not! We, Russia Mufties Council and our Religious boards, on our part, do a lot in order to develop dialogue and cooperation between religions as well as to prevent extremism on religious and national basis. These are both conferences with Christians and Jews (2005 2006) and World Summit of Religious Leaders (July 2006) and cooperation within Interreligious Council. Among questions discussed on the last session of the Council for cooperation with religious unities by the President of the Russian Federation were the question of participation of religious organizations in social programs and charity. All these are directed to support peace and consent among different layers of society, different nationalities and religions.

Today many words are said about a threat to Russia s sovereignty, implying international terrorism that allegedly threatens integrity of the state. Perhaps there is element of truth in it. But we, Muslims, do feel the approach of another danger the main challenges to the countrys sovereignty are inside the country: dont we notice the rise of xenophobic and chauvinistic mood in the society, dont we witness the crisis of trust among different layers of society, between rich and poor, hasnt corruption become an infectious disease among top civil servants, a part of ruling class. Politicians themselves and mass media speak about these problems.

On the modern stage of countrys development we also cannot remain indifferent to the attempts to attach new accents to Russian history, connected to exaltation of one nation and detraction of others role. As violation of the Constitution of our state already 74 regions of the Russian Federation have introduced into school educational program subject Bases of Orthodox culture, in some regions Orthodox culture of regions (or district). And the statement that each citizen of our country should know Orthodox culture and Orthodox history of Russia is imposing on the whole society the ideas of superiority of one culture and one nation over the rest. Teaching in schools only the subject Bases of Orthodox culture puts Muslims, Jews and Buddhists to inferior position of younger brothers. Official ideology should feed on the fruits of real life. It is the discrepancy between the ideology and real life that has always resulted in great misfortunes in Russia: crush of czarist regime, the collapse of the USSR etc.

I have always considered and consider now that a special department should deal in nationalities matters. Thats why it is of inner importance to consider the question of foundation once again the ministry for nationalities affairs. This question was raised on All-Russia session Russia multinational (December 20, 2006) and was supported by us.

In conclusion: we are sure that the recipe for prosperity of Russia is in unity and solidarity of nations. The fact that we are different shouldnt be an obstacle to the service for the benefit of the motherland. The love for Motherland should unite people, not separate.

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