In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful. With this statement, we wish to draw the attention of the Turkish world and the entire Muslim Ummah to the real, not televised, situation of Muslims under the rule of the Russian Federation.
Russia is a multi-ethnic country inhabited by hundreds of peoples, particularly those who embraced Islam long before the Russians conquered their lands. The Tatars, who historically inhabited not only occupied Tatarstan, but also many regions of the Russian Federation, are one of such peoples. Recently, the thousandth anniversary of the adoption of Islam by Volga Bulgaria, which was at the origin of Tatar statehood, was celebrated. According to the Russian Constitution, the Tatars, Bashkir, Kumik, Balkan, Chechen, Ingush, Avars, Darghins and many other Islamic peoples are as full citizens of the Russian Federation as the Russians themselves. In practice, however, Russia is pursuing a consistent and purposeful policy of eradicating Islam, persecuting Muslims and assimilating Muslim peoples.
All religious life in Tatarstan is under strict control: all muftis and imams are appointed in agreement with the Russian special services, and with their consent video surveillance cameras are centrally installed in mosques to monitor believers. The mosques themselves have been turned by the authorities into agitation centres, where aid is collected for the Russian army fighting in Ukraine. The Muslim clergy had forgotten their responsibilities to religion. With zeal and persistence, the Minbars are campaigning in support of the war and the Russian army. Instead of exalting the word of Allah, the muftis appointed by the secret services elevate the power of secular rulers. All persecution and repression are justified by the muftis.
In the capital of Russia, Moscow, according to unofficial data, lives about 20 million people. At least a third of them are Muslims, particularly Tatars. Moscow’s multi-million Muslim community has been in dire need of building new mosques for many years, which are catastrophically lacking for the needs of believers. At the moment, this huge city, home to millions of Muslims, has only five mosques. The initiative of the Muslims to build a new mosque sparked a surge of Islamophobia. In Moscow, for the first time in a long time, a mass rally was held. “Indignant citizens” protested against the construction of the mosque. It should be understood that rallies are banned in Russia today, and their conduct is brutally persecuted by the police and security agencies. But not the rallies of Islamophobes and Russian neo-Nazis! By comparison, recent attempts by Kumiks to organize rallies in Dagestan have resulted in beatings, arrests, and forcible mobilization of Muslims into the Russian army, which is trying to seize Ukrainian territory.
The Islamophobic rallies held in Moscow under the patronage of the authorities were intended to simulate “society’s pressure on the government”. So it happened – Muslims were forbidden to build a mosque in the designated place, offering instead to open a small room for prayer on the outskirts of the city. In all other cases, attempts by society to exert pressure on the authorities resulted in beatings, kidnappings, imprisonment and killings. Only Islamophobia is encouraged by the State.
Russia’s government is turning Muslims into internal enemies, following China’s policy on Uighurs. The situation is getting worse every year. It is impossible to defend one’s rights, Russian laws do not apply to Muslims. They did not have the right to build mosques, but were required to serve in the Russian army and to take part in colonial wars. For refusing to fight under the Russian flag – the flag of Islamophobia and oppression of Muslims – Muslims are persecuted and imprisoned.
We appeal to the Muslim Ummah! Remember that by doing business and developing cooperation with Russia, as well as with China, you are siding with the oppressors of Muslims. Do not be deceived by sweet speeches and beautiful statements. Look at actions and intentions. Russia is fighting Islam, and whoever trades with Russia is doing business with it – voluntarily supports Muslim oppressors.
Sincerely, members of the Government of Independent Tatarstan