Press Release: New Event in Russia in Support for the Messenger of Allah (saw)
New Event in Russia in Support for the Messenger of Allah (saw)
Muslims have gathered on 23/01/2015 in the Central Mosque in Makhachkala to condemn the publication of cartoons of the greatest Prophet (saw) and the Islamic Ummah in the French newspaper. The event is the third in Dagestan after demonstrations took place in Ingushetia and Chechnya.
The events that took place in the Republics of the North Caucasus have shown an important matter which is the zeal and affiliation of the Muslims in Russia to their faith and creed, and the huge rally, which was organized in Chechnya, is the biggest example of this; where the official authorities prepared all circumstances for the participation of Muslims in it, announcing the day of the activity an official holiday, and inviting all those who can participate and attend. According to press reports, the number of participants in Grozny amounted to a million, including people who came from different regions of Russia, confirming the strength of the Islamic sentiments of the Muslims. And if such activities were not banned in other events, we would have seen many in support of Muslims and to protect each other in the case of the headscarf ban in schools, and the prevention of Islamic culture books, and they would have revolted against the fabrication of fraudulent charges to Da’wah carriers and other Russian policies that are hostile to Islam.
But this time the situation was different, as the anti-Muslim sentiments have emerged from Western countries, and it is known that Russia’s relations with them lately has been tense. Therefore, Russia has to exploit the situation; firstly, to show itself as though it is, unlike the West, defending the feelings of Muslims. In addition to that, this interaction could have a positive impact on improving the image of the country in which Muslims are used to being exposed to constant pressure from various authorities. The state officials at the rally, along with condemning the satirical cartoons, tried to emphasize their loyalty to Russia, and even more than that; they portrayed it in an image that it does not deserve; repeatedly affirming that “Russia has created ideal conditions for Muslims”. On the other hand, the lack of response to insult 20 million Muslims in Russia, raises the fears of the authorities there of spontaneous and unwanted marches in the current political circumstances. Thus the president of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, commented saying, “Muslims cannot in any case allow to be taken advantage of for disturbing the situation in Russia, we have always been the trusted defenders in Russia, and today we are able to fight any aggression against our country”. The Russian authorities consider any protests outside its control as absolutely undesirable; because it can reveal dissatisfaction from large segments of the population and destabilize the country. Therefore, the organization of this activity by the authorities was a necessary step dictated by the tense situations with the West and the deteriorating political situation.
If the men of the “religious authorities” in Russia were previously forced to call for “moderate Islam in Russia”, then they have been forced today to say that the abuse of the Prophet Muhammad (saw), is an abuse of one and a half billion Muslims in the world. This indicates that the “clergies” are well aware that Islam is one, and is not subject to the countries and nationalities, but such talk is only prevented in normal circumstances. Many politicians and public figures have even begun to name things by their real names; For example, the final statement of the meeting, which was held in Ingushetia described the Western governments as “subversive” and aim to “aggravate relations between religions”, and the President of the Republic of Ingushetia Yunus Beck Avcuruv said that “the publication of caricatures of the most holy person to the Muslims, the Prophet Muhammad (saw), is only a manifestation of extremism practiced by some Western countries”. Many also questioned at the beginning the official version of what happened, and they considered it a provocation and a prelude to something else. Thus, the current political situation has pushed people to speak out about the corruption of Western values and expose the essence of the policy of the West against Islam without fear of their words violating the official position of the Kremlin.
As for the Muslims, there is no doubt that the intention of their movement was to defend the honor of the Holy Prophet’s (saw). And no matter how much the officials try to mix Islam with patriotism and nationalism, it was clear that the crowd had one goal: to show their love for the Messenger (saw), and protect it from being exposed to abuse. It is easy to see that through the hundreds of thousands of Muslims joining the marches and talking about unity, their zeal over their religion and to defend the honor of the best of Creation, Muhammad (saw), through which they expressed their love and deep feelings for him and their religion. Being prepared for the defense of Islam is not something that suddenly appeared in them, but it is always based on the Islamic creed, which every Muslim believes in as a supreme value. The interest of the Ummah requires that no insult or humiliation passes by her without acquiring any response or attention, only then will we be among those who the Messenger of Allah (saw) described as:
خِيَارُ أُمَّتِي أَوَّلُهَا وَآخِرُهَا، وَبَيْنَ ذَلِكَ ثَبَجٌ أَعْوَجُ لَيْسُوا مِنِّي وَلَسْتُ مِنْهُمْ
“The best of my Ummah are the first and the last, and between them there will be some crookedness, they are not from me and I’m not from them”
The Russian authorities should be aware that Muslims are united in their feelings and thoughts, and they have to realize as well the fact that they will never abandon their faith. If Russia really wants peace and tranquility to prevail among religions in the country, it has to change its attitudes towards Islam and the Muslims by giving them the right to practice Islam peacefully.
Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir