Kamil Iskhakov: ''We learnt a lot of interesting things from Mr Putin''

The Russian president has promised to support the development of Muslim education system at the meeting with the muftis in Tatarstan

Kamil Iskhakov: ''We learnt a lot of interesting things from Mr Putin'' Photo: kremlin.ru

The meeting of Vladimir Putin with the chief muftis of religious organizations of Russia and the leaders of the Bolgarian Islamic Academy ended yesterday after midnight. The president of the Muslim educational institution, Kamil Iskhakov, shared his impressions about the meeting and said that the academy may have a new founder — the Coordinating Сenter of the Muslims of the North Caucasus. Read more in the article of Realnoe Vremya about the visit of the president to Kazan.

''The meeting turned out to be very productive''

Vladimir Putin held a meeting with the chief muftis of religious organizations of Russia and the leaders of the Bolgarian Islamic Academy yesterday night. They discussed the system of Muslim education and listened to the report on the first results of the academy's work.

''Great project, important and very necessary for our country. Let's discuss how it is developing, what else remains to be done in order not only this project, but also other ones, perhaps more unpretentious, but no less important, developed where they are needed, in order we respected what the Islamic world has, but still developed on their own national basis the school of specialist training,'' the president said at the meeting with the muftis.

Vladimir Putin highlighted the importance of preparing worthy successors to those present at the meeting muftis, ''but to prepare on the own national basis, on our traditional Islam.''

''The meeting, in my opinion, has turned out to be very productive, businesslike and interesting. We shared our ideas and learnt a lot from President Putin — what he is concerned about, experiencing, what he thinks. We are inspired to achieve further results,'' president of the Bolgarian Islamic Academy Kamil Iskhakov shared his impressions with our newspaper.

They discussed the issues of Muslim education and listened to the report on the first results of the academy;s work. Photo: Mikhail Frolov (prav.tatarstan.ru)

''The number of secular partner universities will be cut, but the academy will be supported''

In the course of the conversation, the president of Russia touched upon the topic of the cooperation of secular universities with Islamic educational institutions. This interaction in the framework of the joint programmes brings Muslim education to a new level and makes it fundamental, Vladimir Putin said.

In response, head of the Muslim Spiritual Board of Russia (MSB of Russia), chairperson of the Council of the Muftis Ravil Gaynutdin asked to reduce the number of secular partner universities, which in the framework of the government programme support the system of Islamic education. According to him, there are few such universities today, the funds allocated to them to support Islamic education are sometimes spent for unintended purposes and do not reach Islamic institutions, ''We need to leave two or three partner universities and through them to provide financial assistance to support our educational programmes,'' Ravil Gaynutdin said.

Putin has promised to consider the issue. They also discussed the issues of financing the Bolgarian Academy.

''Any specific figures or volumes were not given, but it was evident that Mr Putin knows the subject well. And he fully supports how to develop our academy. To make it clear, the federal budget cannot provide direct financing of the Bolgarian Academy, we have religion and state separated. We will continue to work with the support of sponsors and those organizations that find it possible to support the academy,'' Kamil Iskhakov said.

The Russian leader was told that the academy held the first semester and the examination session and instructed to continue the work:

''We again discussed the upper level that we need to achieve. Of course, we want to revive the scholarship that we have had since ancient times within the framework of traditional Islam. So that we could educate a galaxy of scientists who will be in demand in the world commonwealth at the level as it was before. I saw that Mr Putin in some questions has even more deep understanding of this topic. And we have also learnt exactly the part that we need to adopt,'' Kamil Iskhakov said.

The Russian leader was told that the academy held the first semester and the examination session and instructed to continue the work. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

''We, Orthodox Christians, are closer to Islam than to Catholicism''

''It is with these words Vladimir Putin addressed to the Muslim clergy at today's meeting,'' Mufti of Tatarstan Kamil Samigullin posted in Tatar in the social network following the meeting.

''Despite late start, the meeting lasted for two hours. It was a very useful meeting. The head of the state wants the Russian Muslims were an inseparable part of the Islamic world, but they should save face. He spoke of the theological heritage of the Tatar people with respect,'' Kamil khazrat said.

Below his post he added in Russian, ''It was important for us to hear and see the vision of the head of the state on the question of the development of Islam in the country. He sees it as an organic and integral part of the world Islam. But with its own face. The president highly praised the Tatar theological heritage. He also expressed the hope that the Muslims will play their role in uniting Russian Muslims following the example of our great Marjani, who once spoke in Mecca urging to join the mihrabs.''

The president of the academy told about close cooperation with Crimea – the representative of the republic, Hajji Emirali Ablaev (left), also attended the meeting with the president. Photo: Mikhail Frolov (prav.tatarstan.ru)

The North Caucasus becomes interested in the Bolgarian Academy

The Bolgarian Islamic Academy may have a new founder — the Coordinating Centre of the Muslims of the North Caucasus. Chairperson of the centre Ismail Berdiyev spoke with the initiative at the meeting of Vladimir Putin with the muftis of religious organizations in Kazan. The head of the state approved this decision.

President of the academy Kamil Iskhakov confirmed the information to Realnoe Vremya, saying that later they would gather the council of founders under his chairmanship to discuss the issue and make a decision.

Now the Academy has three founders: the MSB of Russia under the leadership of Mufti Ravil Gaynutdin, the CMSB under the leadership of Chief Mufti Talgat Tadzhuddin and the MSB RT headed by Mufti Kamil Samigullin.

''I think it is not the last application in the founders, there can appear other, too. The desire of Berdiev was expressed a little earlier, but yesterday he stated this already specifically and explicitly,'' Kamil Iskhakov stated.

Besides, the president of the academy spoke about the close cooperation with Crimea — the representative of the republic, Hajji Emirali Ablayev, also came to the meeting with the president.

''We are expecting a group from them, we discussed the issue yesterday. The Bolgarian Academy is to conduct training courses. They are expecting 30 people from them who expressed a desire to attend the courses.''

In addition to the Crimeans, the academy expects groups from Rostov, Astrakhan and other regions of Russia, 360 people in total by 120 people.

The president reminded that he had already told about the necessity of revival the theological Islamic education in Russia. Photo: kremlin.ru

''Traditional Islam is an important part of the Russian cultural pattern''

In conversation with the muftis, Vladimir Putin also raised the issue of support of the traditional Islam in Russia, ''You know, I have just been in Ufa and met with your distinguished associate. I remember in 2013, with many, including those present here, we met exactly in Ufa on the occasion of the 225th anniversary of the first muftiat, Russian one. And they said, and now I want to stress that again: without doubt, traditional Islam is an important part of the Russian cultural pattern, the Muslim Ummah is without doubt is an important part of the Russian multinational people.''

The president reminded that he had already told about the necessity of revival of theological Islamic education in Russia. He called it ''very deep'' and with long history, and the Russian Muslim scholars before the revolution — very respectable people, whose opinions were highly valued. However, during the years of the Soviet power many things were lost, Putin said, ''If not everything, but much has been diluted, and we need to create our own school.''

''From the very beginning I supported the idea that Tatarstan leadership had put forward, and Mintimer Sharipovich [Shaimiev] was actively engaged in this (I wish him health, he is a little unwell — I hope that he gets well soon). With the creation of the Bolgarian Islamic Academy, we have the whole triad created — madrassahs, universities, the academy,'' the head of the state stressed and thanked everyone who was involved in the project. ''We have discussed this many times with some of those present. But the years go by, and age of existing muftis makes us think that we need to prepare successors, but to prepare them on the own national basis, based on our traditional Islam.''

Vladimir Putin also highlighted the importance of Muslim spiritual education of youth, in the environment of whom there are today many destructive ideas, ''But with these ideas, even destructive, we can fight only one way — using other ideas. The ideas that are promoted and educated at the theological academy, which were created here, in other academies and educational institutions in Moscow and Ufa, and the Caucasus,'' the president of Russia added.

Before the beginning of the meeting with the muftis, Vladimir Putin was demonstrated a layout of the Bolgarian Islamic Academy. Let us remind that it was originally planned that the Russian leader would visit Bolgar, but because of tight schedule the meeting was transferred to Kazan.

By Vasilya Shirshova