At a conference “On the design of religious buildings” in Kazan, Kamil Hazrat, pro-Kremlin Mufti, suddenly told extremist ideas that all Tatars would like, “When designing the Cathedral Mosque, it is necessary to take into account the features of Tatar culture: national ornaments and architectural solutions that will show guests of Kazan what a Tatar mosque is like, and they will not confuse it with either the NCC or the library.
We should preserve our national identity. If we are similar, then we will not be interesting to each other. When we have different languages, cultures, clothes, traditions, it is interesting for us to travel around the countries and explore. Therefore, the Cathedral Mosque of Kazan should certainly reflect the Tatar identity.”
Talking is good, but doing is another matter. Why the Mufti is discussing with churchmen how to build the Cathedral Mosque in Tatarstan is a rhetorical question. Churchmen do not really consult with Muslims on how to build churches. Otherwise, the churches of Tatarstan would also reflect the Tatar identity, even the identity of the baptized Tatars. So far, the opposite is true: in all of Tatarstan there are only 2 mosques left that were designed by Muslims – in Bolgar and Bilyar.
The most important question is that when the time for Friday namaz came and all the Muslim participants of the conference went to prayer, the conference continued and ended without them. It just continued. No one even thought to pause. In Tatarstan. Where, although there is no state religion, Islam is the most widespread religion, and this should be respected. Nobody considers it necessary to wait. And the Muslim participants of the conference do not consider it necessary to be outraged about this, because their pro-Kremlin views force them into submission and consent with any disrespect for themselves and for Islam.
Courage in defending the faith is to come to bow to non-believers and, looking into their eyes, tell them that Muslims will decide themselves what their mosque should be like, “Am I saying right, Your Eminence? You will not be offended, will you? Can we also discuss among our own people in the mosque the style of beard that you will allow us to wear? You will not mind, will you?”