Moscow becoming Europe's largest Muslim city

Published: July 22, 2015
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PHOTO: ONISLAM

PHOTO: ONISLAM

MOSCOW: With a population of 12.5 million, Russia’s capital is now home to at least 1.5 million Muslims, making it one of Europe’s largest Muslim city according to political analyst Alexei Malashenko.

Whether the Muslim population is met with acceptability in the capital remains ambivalent Malashenko said “Moscow is slowly adapting to being Europe’s largest Muslim city, and Muslims are gradually adapting to it.”

At one end, the Muslims of Moscow seem to have been able to fit well within the social jigsaw of Russian society. Religious demonstrations and public rituals have taken place on a large scale; of which one included a gathering of a total of 180,000 people at five mosques and three temporary sites in celebration of the end of the holy month of Ramazan.

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Another included a gathering of 60,000 in light of Eidul Fitr at the golden domed Sobornaya mosque. However those who passed by appeared to be scared and baton-wielding police officers were present.

Furthermore, a new custom in Moscow includes thousands of Muslims gathering on Saturday mornings, chanting “God is great!” Additionally, the presence of Muslim’s in Moscow has given rise to a large number of ethnic Russians reverting to Islam.

“I hear many compliments about how I am dressed and how beautiful it looks,” said Anastasiya Korchagina, who changed her first name to Aisha after reverting to Islam five years ago.

However, the extent to which the Muslims of Moscow feel unpleasant is reasonable. Citizens have claimed that in the workplace they are censured for carrying out their prayers. Similarly, Murad Abdullaev told a news channel that “You want to pray at a mosque, you have to enter a cage.”

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The number of mosques too remain limited to six within the large city, consequent to the fact that attempts to build more are met with resistance. There exist only a handful of Muslim kinder-garden schools and only two halal hotels in the city. The only Muslim health clinic and gym shut down soon after their opening.

This article originally appeared on On Islam

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Reader Comments (8)

  • ahmed wani
    Jul 22, 2015 - 4:53PM

    This is a just a warning before the stormRecommend

  • UN2
    Jul 22, 2015 - 5:26PM

    @Ahmed Wani,

    Russia already has a very large indigenous Muslim population, inside of modern day Russia, and excluding former soviet states.. On the one hand, Russia fought wars to keep places like Chechnya, on the other, some people look at Russian Muslims as third class citizens. Russian citizens are able to move where ever they want, inside of Russia. Many ethnic Russians live in oil rich areas like Tatarstan (Indigenous people are Tatar muslims), and elsewhere in Siberia where they are Non native.

    Secondly, millions of Muslims fought in the Red Army against Hitler in WW2. One muslim, Khanpasha Nuradilov single handedly killed over 920 Nazis, and gained the award “Hero of the Soviet Union”, posthumously.

    Muslims are an integral part of Russia. Deal with it.

    ET, dont block this comment.Recommend

  • shah
    Jul 22, 2015 - 9:42PM

    Nice to hear.Recommend

  • BAHAHA
    Jul 23, 2015 - 6:09AM

    @ahmed wani:
    WHAT STORM? THE STORM OF CHRISTIAN IGNORANCERecommend

  • Saina
    Jul 23, 2015 - 8:22AM

    Ok, Moscovites. Brace for your dear life. They have now crossed 10%. You are next Paris.Recommend

  • Bk
    Jul 23, 2015 - 10:54AM

    @Saina, these are not like Indian hordes invading other countries. Muslim Russians are part of the Russian federation. They can hold their own if they are attacked too, unlike Indians in Russia and Ukraine…”someone please call 9/11″Recommend

  • Faraz
    Jul 23, 2015 - 1:18PM

    @Saina:
    muscovites not mOscovites. Also wanted to give you a heads up. Xenophobia qualifies as an uncivilised behavioural trait. Detox programs for sufferers exist in most places. Recommend

  • puja
    Jul 24, 2015 - 9:14AM

    Europe should fixed its muslim population to save the continent from becoming a terrorist hub.Recommend

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