No More Mosques in Moscow; By Order of the Mayor


Brandon Walker

The mayor in Moscow, Russia, has made another controversial move not a couple of months  on the heels of Russia banning the Qur’an. Despite the overcrowding in the city’s four mosques, they have decided that they will not build one more mosque in the city.

In an interview with Komsomolskya Pravda, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin stated that there are about 2 million non-resident workers in Moscow. The workers who are dominantly Muslim from South Central Asia, are central to the economy of Moscow. He stated that they  ”could not manage without them”.

No More Mosques in Moscow; By Order of the Mayor

Despite this fact, he stated that the majority of the city’s non-resident workers come from outside the city of Moscow. As such, to build mosques to cater to people who were not residents of Moscow was not warranted. The people are not citizens therefore do not have the right to be catered to, according to Mr. Sobyanin.

Muslim believers who come on religious holidays come from other regions. Between 60 and 70 percent of them are outsiders. We cannot provide for all comers. I think it’s not necessary,” Sobyanin said.~Christian Science Monitor

There is one more mosque being built within the city of Moscow. After that he said he will build no more despite any protests.

“No new building permits will be issued. I think that’s enough mosques for Moscow.”

He devoted a good portion of his interview warning that outsiders caused a big problem with the Slavic Majority in the city in the past. He slammed any and all illegal immigration into Moscow.

He continued his platform from earlier this year. In a February interview with a radio station called Ekho Moskvi, he warned of problems that would come from a large influx of outsiders trying to move to Russia as they have in parts of Europe and Australia.

Muscovites are becoming irritated by people who speak a different language, have different customs, and display aggressive behavior. This is not a purely ethnic issue, but it is connected with some ethnic characteristics,” he said.

His warning became reality last month, when thousands rioted in the Moscow suburb of Biryulyovo over the stabbing of a Russian man by a Muslim from Azerbaijan. Authorities reacted by rounding up over a thousand illegal immigrants and promising to do more to curb the influx.~Christian Science Monitor

Critics are saying basically the same thing the Senate is saying with trying to force the Amnesty Bill. They state that Moscow is in desperate need of cheap unskilled labor. They also say it is corruption of the law enforcement, businesses, and officials that brings them to Moscow illegally. Sounds like our administration in the States not allowing ICE to do their jobs.

There are not enough mosques in the city” to serve the Muslim population, says Rushan Abbyasov, chief of staff of Russia’s Council of Muftis, the official Muslim clerical body. “There should be at least eight of them.”

Experts say Sobyanin is catering to nationalists, who fear that more mosques will only attract more Muslims to Moscow.

“Sobyanin’s position is, why should we build mosques for them if they’re here illegally?” says Alexei Malashenko, an expert with the Carnegie Center in Moscow.

“But authorities should have thought about this problem long ago and moved to build at least four more mosques in different parts of the city. It’s necessary. We are a multinational state. So why do we always act so surprised when 100,000 or more people gather to pray outside one of the few existing mosques on Muslim holidays?”~Christian Science Monitor

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