Friday, 22 February 2019
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Articles > News > Meeting with Spanish Ambassador held in RMC

Meeting with Spanish Ambassador held in RMC Today, the Chairman of the Religious Board of Muslims of Russia and the Council of Russian Muslims  Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gaynutdin received the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Spain in Russia, Ignacio Ibanez.

The head of the Russian Muslims welcomed the guest and told him about the history of Islam and Muslim communities in Moscow, construction of mosques and their fate over the last 100-150 years. He mentioned about the construction of the Moscow Cathedral Mosque in 1904, which underwent a major reconstruction 100 years later.

"The Moscow Cathedral Mosque is a symbol of the Russian Muslims' unity. It accommodates the Russian Muftis Council and the Religious Board of Muslims of Russia, — said Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gaynutdin. — During the important holidays, sermons are broadcasted in Russia and neighbouring countries. In these sermons we call for peace and declare that Islam is a religion of peace and respect between different cultures and peoples. We do not accept terrorism and extremism in any way, we stand for intellectual Islam, we conduct educational activities, we create Islamic universities within the framework of the governmental programs in order to train specialists who would have a deep understanding of Islamic history and culture".

During the meeting Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gaynutdin said that the experience of the coexistence of different religions in Russia was important for European countries. "Our preachers and imams are Russian citizens; they don't come from Arab countries. There are no sermons calling for extremism in our mosques, " — he added.

Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gaynutdin also spoke about the activities of the Fund for the Support of Islamic Culture, Science and Education, which provides grants for various events. He also informed the guest about the establishment of the Bulgarian Islamic Academy in 2017 in Tatarstan.

"Islam in Russia is a religion of indigenous peoples. It was officially formed as a religion in 922, that is, 66 years before Christianity, "the religious leader said. - 25 million Russian Muslims are citizens of their country, but at the same time they also constitute a part of the Islamic world".

The mufti requested the Ambassador to help in establishing contacts with Islamic communities in Spain.

Mr. Ignacio Ibanez emphasized that Spain always attached great importance to the dialogue between religions and civilizations. "Islam is a religion of peace, and we want to maintain good relations with Muslims not only in Spain, but throughout the world. The history of Spain is connected with the history of Islam, since a Islamic state existed for over seven centuries in the Iberian Peninsula " — the diplomat added.

In his speech the Ambassador also mentioned the issues of migration and integration in Spain and spoke about relations between state and confessional organizations. The meeting was held in a friendly and confidential atmosphere. The parties agreed to maintain contacts in various fields.

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