The recent letter of a group of Muslim activists attacking the Russian Orthodox Church was made only to gain favor with their foreign masters, the prominent Russian islamologist Roman Silantyev opines.
‘It is the second time this year that the same group related to the Council of Muftis in Russia accuses somebody of violation of the Muslim community’s rights. The first time they accused the government, and now the Russian Orthodox Church,’ Silantyev told Interfax on Monday.
In the end of the last week a group of muftis and other Islamic activists in which they supported the ten members of the Russian Academy of Sciences accusing the Russian Orthodox Church of ‘clericalizing’ the society. Among others, the letter was signed by the Council of Muftis in Russia co-president Nafigullah Ashirov, the Council’s former vice head Muhammad Karachay, and Mufti Mukaddas Bibarsov of Saratov Region.
Earlier in March 2007, another Muslim group including Ashirov sent an open letter to the Russian government urging them to stop persecution of Muslims in some Russian regions.
According to Silantyev, both letters were signed ‘only by some marginal Muslim activists while the four most prominent Russian Muslim leaders either ignored or denounced the petitions.’
‘Taking into consideration the author’s lives and works on the field of the Muslim revival, their letter should be translated as follows: “Dear Benefactors: During the last 20 years you have invested hundreds of millions into the noble cause of the Muslim revival in Russia. We should have used this money to open dozens of madrasah and Islamic universities, to launch powerful media, to organize a national Muslim political movement, and to produce a positive image of Muslims in Russia”,’ Silantyev said.
‘ “Sadly we have done nothing of that kind. However it was not because we are totally unsuitable for the job, but due to our islamophobic government and militant priests and clericals. Please don’t check how we used your money but rather give us some more, since there is nobody else to defend the rights of Hizb ut-Tahrir, Tablighi Jamaat and other fighters for a ‘pure’ Islam”,’ he added.
According to him, ‘the president of the Council of the Muftis either knew and unofficially supported those letters, or he finally lost any control of his deputies, who will at some point got him into hot water.’