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Articles > News > Conference "Unity of Actions": representatives of 3 major religion shared their experience

Conference "Unity of Actions": representatives of 3 major religion shared their experience On Wednesday, May 20, 2020, The Muslim World Facing The Challenges of the Pandemic: Unity in the Context of Social Distance online conference was conducted via Zoom platform.

The conference was organized by the Russian Muftis Council in cooperation with the World Assembly of Muslim Communities (UAE). It consisted of two subforums: The role of religious communities in a pandemic: new communication tools and The activities of religious departments and Islamic centers in a pandemic: social and charitable aspect.

The conference was attended by religious leaders, representatives of government and public institutions and organizations of the Russian Federation, Arab countries, Central Asia, Europe, as well as representatives of Islamic, Jewish and Christian religious organizations.

As custom has it, the event began with a recitation of the Holy Quran.

The conference was moderated by Rushan Abbyasov, First Deputy Chairman of the Russian Muftis Council.

At the beginning of the event he noted that the conference was a platform where different Muslim communities could share their experience related to the global pandemic and isolation.

The conference was opened by the Chairman of the Russian Muftis Council and the Religious Board of Muslims of the Russian Federation, Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin. In his speech, he noted that all activities had gone through certain transformation, which might become common within the Islamic organizations.

During our communication with fellow Muslims we tried to convey the message that it is everyones duty to protect ourselves and our loved ones, and to prevent the virus from spreading, said the religious leader of Russian Muslims.

According to him, Muslims used the limitation of the freedom of movement and travel and the inability to perform collective prayers in mosques as an additional opportunity for soul-searching and self-improvement.

Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin spoke in detail about educational activities that took place during the pandemic. While speaking about numerous charity events, including those conducted with the support of the philanthropist Suleiman Kerimov, he emphasized that all necessary help was being provided and would be provided in each region until the end of self-isolation.

Muhammad Al-Bishari, Secretary General of the World Assembly of Muslim Communities, noted in his report that as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Muslims faced a number of problems that required the development of a new Islamic discourse. According to him, it must conform to the spirit of the times and serve as a bridge between religious communities.

Dr. Ali Rashid Nouaimi, president of the World Assembly of Muslim Communities, emphasized that it was necessarydemonstrate the true image of Islam and Muslims, especially in the current situation.

The head of the Department for Cooperation with Religious Organizations of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation, Yevgeny Eremin, noted in his speech that the coronavirus had disordered many arrangements. He expressed confidence that it would be possible to cope with the pandemic through joint efforts.

I am sure that, with the help of the Almighty, we will be able to solve all the problems and will soon start meeting, communicating and maintaining our friendship as usual. The coronavirus pandemic showed the fragility of our world, but it also demonstrated our unity. We must all unite against this threat," he said.
Evgeny Eremin thanked the Russian clergy, who supported the efforts of the authorities aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus infection.

Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar also delivered a speech at the international online conference.
He spoke about the measures taken in the Jewish community of Russia aimed at supporting the sick, doctors, people in quarantine, retired people, the poor and those who need help.
"We were among the first ones to close our temples once the pandemic started. Now we do what we can to help people", noted Berl Lazar.

The Jewish community sends people food, medications and organizes distance learning in schools. The efforts of community sponsors and charitable organizations were joined together to provide this kind of assistance. The Jewish community conducted many projects in close cooperation with the Muslim Ummah.
Berl Lazar supported the efforts of the RMC Chairman Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin aimed at providing assistance to those in need during the pandemic.
"The pandemic calls for joint efforts. We wish you peace!" added the leader of the Jewish community.

The Chief Rabbi of Moscow, Chairman of the Council of Rabbis of Europe, Pinkhas Goldschmidt, noted that coronavirus served as a unifying factor for the whole humanity. In addition, he expressed gratitude to the religious leader of Muslims of Russia, who took necessary measures to prevent the further spread of the virus among Muslims.

We are grateful to Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin, we are grateful to all Muslims for showing us an example, he said.

According to Pinkhas Goldschmit, during the pandemic it was necessary to draw attention to the role of religious leaders who do everything to unite the believers. Allah the Almighty shows us that it doesn't matter whether you live in China, Russia, or the US; it doesn't matter whether you are a Muslim, a Jew, or a Christian; whether you are rich or poor; whether you are smart or not you cannot hide from the coronavirus pandemic. Everyone can contract it. Coronavirus has become a unifying factor for all of us, he said.

Hieromonach Grigory Matrusov, Chairman of the Council of Experts for Cooperation with the Islamic World at the Patriarchate welcomed the conference participants in Arabic and quoted the verses of the Holy Quran. He emphasized that during such trials as a pandemic, people can better see their weaknesses and learn how to to overcome them, becoming stronger and wiser.

Farit Mukhametshin, Deputy Chairman of the Group of Strategic VisionRussia Islamic World, Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, said that under the current circumstances the Group of Strategic VisionRussia Islamic World was also deprived of the opportunity to conduct major events.
But we are also taking on new forms of work, such as conducting video conferences, round tables, and online meetings. The global crisis caused by the outbreak of coronavirus has the most serious consequences for many countries, and we welcome the initiative of the Islamic World Organization for Education, Science and Culture to create a comprehensive humanitarian association fund for fighting the consequences of Covid-19, he added.

First Deputy Chairman of the Russian Muftis Council, Rushan Abbyasov, in his speech emphasized that individual initiatives, volunteer activities, and self-organization of Muslim communities played a big role in overcoming the crisis. The pandemic, in addition to its obvious negative consequences, has also provided us with new adaptation options. The quarantine and self-isolation regime allowed us to evaluate existing communication tools, he added.

The Chairman of the Religious Board of Muslims of the Saratov region, member of the Presidium of the Russian Muftis Council, Mukaddas Bibarsov, said that to date, the Religious Board of Muslims had provided assistance to 1275 families, distributed 1809 grocery sets, that is about 23000 kg of food.

The speakers also included Rasul Botashev (deputy of the State Duma of the VII convocation, member of the United Russia faction, member of the State Duma committee on international affairs), Sovfat Halilovich  (representative of the Muslim community of Bosnia and Herzegovina), Maksatbek Toktomushev (Supreme Mufti of the Kyrgyz Republic, Chairman of the Religious Board of Muslims of the Kyrgyz Republic), Ibrahim Inamov (Deputy Chairman of the Religious Board of Muslims of Uzbekistan); Daniyar Abdrakhmanov (principal of the Bolgar Islamic Academy), Ramil Belyaev (Imam of the Tatar Muslim community of Finland), Hussein Daoudi - (Secretary General of the Scandinavian Council for Relations), Mufti Aziz Hasanovich (Chairman of the Muslim Organization of Croatia), Mufti Romas Yakubauskas - (Head of the Sunni Muslim Religious Center of the Republic of Lithuania), Mufti Ildar Mukhametshin (Director of the Islamic Cultural Center of Estonia), Naila Ziganshina (Chairman of the Union of Muslim Women of Russia), Jamal Garifullin (Chairman of the Religious Board of Muslims of the Far East), Ainur Birgalin (Chairman of the Religious Board of Muslims of Bashkortostan), Maksat Ovezov (Deputy Chairman of the Religious Board of Muslims of Belarus), Professor Ramiz Zakach (Chairman of the Islamic Cultural Education Center of Albania).

At the end of the conference, a resolution was adopted and the participants prayed to Allah for all the doctors and medical workers who are now on the frontline of the pandemic.

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