SDMU “Ummah” Mufti Said Ismagilov: Ukrainian Muslims Don’t Live Separately in Ghettos, Russian Aggression Unites Us

28 March 2014, 15:05 | Reports | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

Tetiana Mukhomorova

Саїд ІсмагіловUkrainian Muslims are deeply integrated into society, while our Russian brothers don’t have such freedom. Also there is no talk of a split among the Muslims of Crimea, as Russia alleges, the Mufti of the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of Ukraine "Ummah" Said Ismagilov said at a meeting at the Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy in Kyiv on March 25. Scholars who attended the meeting asked the mufti to share his thoughts on the events in Crimea and interreligious cooperation in Ukraine.

“There is no division in Crimea, now we see that the Crimean Tatars are more united than ever because trouble has come to their doors and it is consolidating them. If the worst case scenario unfolds and external control will be imposed over the Muslims of Crimea, it is possible that believers will not recognize it, and an underground religious community with underground spiritual leaders will emerge, there may even by a mufti appointed by the Russian side. The Muslims in Crimea will not recognize him,” he said.

This was illustrated by the situation around the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars and statements by Roman Silantiev from March 24 about how “in Crimea one should not count on the existing mufti, but the mufti recently created by the Spiritual Center of Muslims of Crimea,” which is officially independent, but spiritual, obviously, subordinated to Ahmed Tamim.

However, the authority of the Mufti of Crimea remains extremely high, but after the intervention of the Russian side it is possible that leverage among Muslim communities in Ukraine will be redistributed.

“At the beginning of the occupation of the peninsula, the Mufti of Tatarstan and his deputy visited the leadership of the Mejlis. According to the head of the Mejlis, the guests came uninvited and proposed cooperation. The Crimean leaders clearly explained that there is an official level of communication and they will be ready only for open cooperation. As a result, the Russian media published a number of unpleasant articles, in which the Muslims of Crimea were not shown in the best light,” said the mufti.

Ismagilov gave an example of the distribution of the influence of the government and Islam in other countries, noting that in Muslim countries in Asia and North Africa politicians control the religious life of Muslims. However, the example of Ukraine demonstrates an excellent model where Islam is actively integrated into society.

“Not in every country are Muslims able to openly condemn the crimes and sins of society. But in Ukraine, we are able to speak out, to give an assessment of events. If we see a sin, then we must say that it is a sin or a crime, and that this cannot be done. Even our imams who have reacted cautiously toward the events in Ukraine were outraged by the situation in Crimea, all raised their hands and supported the statement in which we condemned the aggression of the Russian Federation,” he explained.

The mufti said that “those who are informed would never like to see the same situation occur in Ukraine.” For example, the Russian government adopted a decree banning the very popular translation of the meanings of the Qur'an by Elmir Quliyev, calling his book ‘extremist literature.’ Another situation, in some religious associations Russian imams receive sermons written by the leadership and are obliged to read only that text during the sermon. If they change it in any way or add something of their own, then observers will notify the leadership and the imams may be deprived of office.

According to Ismagilov, Ukrainian Islam differs in its unprecedented liberalism and by the fact that Muslims do not live in separate ghettos, as is the case in Western Europe. He added that even their brothers in faith from other countries in the former Soviet Union could not believe the freedom of speech found in Ukraine.

“Here, even if a mosque is built not entirely officially, nobody will demolish it, as happened with two mosques in Russia in the Stavropol region. Our imams traveled in Tatarstan and Abkhazia. They were very surprised to find not a single mosque in Abkhazia, although the vast majority of residents consider themselves Muslims. Maybe they are there, but no one knows where they are. In every city in the Donbas there is a mosque, our newspapers are not censored, we publish religious literature, no one tells us we have to say to the faithful,” the mufti said.

In the Donbas the Council of Churches and Religious Organizations has been revived, members of the clergy spoke from the local Regional State Administration, condemning certain actions against Ukraine, and stressing that it is necessary to revive the activities of the council in the oblast.

Earlier Said Ismagilov was actively involved in the EuroMaidan in both Donetsk and Kyiv, and explained the protests from an Islamic perspective.

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      Ну-ну... А, загалом, дякую за таку пильну увагу та оперативну реакцію щодо моїх коментів. :)

    • fedirtsiv | 11 December 2019, 08:54

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      А скільки земельки вже духовенство загребло під свої потреби за часи незалежності хто порахує? Саме духовенство в усі часи і у всіх державах прагнуло бути і було латифундистами, а люди століттями

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      Интересы православных христиан Украины представляет Православная Церковь Украины (ПЦУ).

    • | 9 December 2019, 18:49

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