Skip to comments.Mayor of Moscow Against New Places of Worship for Muslims
Posted on 10/17/2012 11:51:56 AM PDT by marshmallow
For Sobyanin, the city does not need new mosques, because "they are frequented by illegal residents ". Opposition and human rights activists warn: this is likely to foster interfaith tension.
Moscow (AsiaNews) - Controversy abounds in Moscow after Mayor Sergei Sobyanin's statement that he is opposed to the construction of new mosques in the capital, raising fears of the opposition and human rights activists that this could spark fresh religious tensions.
Citing a recent study, Sobyanin said that "two-thirds" of Muslims attending the main mosque of the city are not from Moscow, but "come from the surrounding areas and have no residence permit." "If only Muscovites who permanently live here go to the mosque - said the mayor - there would probably be no over crowding".
In August, to celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan, about 90 thousand people gathered in the streets surrounding the mosque near the Olimpiisky stadium, including traffic jams and complaints from the local population.
For some time, the Muslim leaders complained that the city's four mosques are no longer enough for a community that has reached 2 million faithful. The Council of muftis has asked that a place of worship be made available in each of the 12 administrative districts of the capital, but the authorities soon abandoned any project due to protests of the population. As was the case in September, when the council announced its withdrawal of the plan for the construction of a large mosque in Mitino, outside the village, after 2 thousand people took to the streets to express their dissent.
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Just try saying that in the USA!