Minnikhanov to Tatar imams: ''We should be united in the language issue!''

The forum of religious leaders discussed topical issues of language learning and youth education

Minnikhanov to Tatar imams: ''We should be united in the language issue!'' Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov thanked Tatar imams for their great contribution to the development of Islam in Russia. Addressing the participants of the Russian forum of Tatar religious leaders ''National Identity and Religion'', Rustam Minnikhanov reminded how important it is to preserve unity in solving the language issue. The annual event this year has been held for the ninth time and dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the birth of Shihabetdin Marjani. Read the details in the report of Realnoe Vremya.

''We are talking about the values important for the Tatar people''

Before the opening ceremony of the forum, Mufti of Tatarstan Kamil Samigullin told Realnoe Vremya what was the difference between this meeting of religious leaders and the previous ones:

''It is already the ninth forum, and topics each time change a little, but the main one remains. We are talking about common values and the values important for the Tatar people — preservation of the language and our traditions. The forum is a strong platform to discuss pressing issues, during the year we cannot meet in this format,'' said Kamil khazrat.

On the second day, the forum moved from the Academy of Sciences of RT to Kosrton cultural and entertainment complex

''Islam is rising today in Russia''

More than 1,100 people from 70 regions and 28 foreign countries participate in the forum. The largest delegation of imams — more than 100 people — came from Bashkortostan. Opening the meeting, the president of Tatarstan warmly welcomed the guests, noted that the forum was an opportunity to discuss the urgent issues of religious activity, together to decide how to work further.

''Islam is rising today in Russia, there have been big changes over 30 years, a big job is being done. There are more than 1,500 mosques in Tatarstan alone. Tatar imams make a great contribution to the religious activity of Russia. Big issues are being resolved, and we see positive results. If you look at what has already been done — many of the issues that concern us, we solved particularly at this forum,'' said Rustam Minnikhanov.

Turning to another important topic, the president recalled the statement of Marjani, to the 200th anniversary of whom the forum is dedicated, that ''In Islam there are no three things — national folk language, folk clothing and folk customs, but they all contribute to the preservation of the Muslim religion.'' Minnikhanov tried to convey the same idea:

''Quoting Marjani, three things help to preserve the religion: the native language, national clothing and national customs. We work well in this direction in Tatarstan and Bashkortostan. But in other regions, except in mosques, such work is not carried out, so we should work together with you. We should be united in the language issue! Your opinion is important to us,'' Rustam Minnikhanov said, speaking in Tatar.

The veteran was awarded the order of merit to the Republic of Tatarstan

''Putin said that the Tatar religious science is ancient and true''

The president separately addressed the problem of young family breakdowns — many couples get divorced, not living together even five years. ''However, in families who live according to Islamic canons, this happens rarely. Therefore, we need to teach young families to live according to the canons of Islam.'' Finishing his speech, Minnikhanov told how Bolgar has flourished in recent years. Today the city is included in the UNESCO's World Heritage List, the Islamic Academy works here, there is a unique mosque, the construction of a five-star hotel is nearing completion. The president once again thanked the imams for their work and contribution to the development and preservation of the language and religion and invited them to visit Bolgar the next day.

Then 93-year-old veteran of the Great Patriotic War, honorary citizen of Kaliningrad Khakim Begteev came on stage. The veteran said that he has lived in this city for 74 years and complained that until the 1990s on its territory there were no mosques, they have appeared only recently, and the speaker invited everyone to visit to look at them. The veteran was awarded the order of merit to the Republic of Tatarstan.

After the awarding ceremony of other honorary participants of the forum, the floor was given to Kamil khazrat Samigullin. The mufti of Tatarstan recalled his conversation with the Russian president during his recent visit to the republic:

''Vladimir Putin said that the Tatar religious science is very ancient and true. He stressed that religious leaders are very respected people. In the mosques of Tatarstan and religious centres, popularization and training of religious sciences take place,'' said Kamil khazrat and also turned to the famous expression of Marjani about three components in the preservation of the religion, ''If we protect our language and traditions, they will protect our religion!''

Talgat Tadzhuddin turned to the topic of religious education of youth

Supreme Mufti Talgat Tadzhuddin, who spoke after him, continued the same idea. He turned to the topic of religious education of youth, ''What is the role of imams? It all starts with the education of young people. If there is no education – the man is confused. We are the messengers of Allah and should not forget about it,'' he added and complained that despite a large number of mosques in Russia, only 5-6 people come to some of them on Friday. Tadzhuddin also urged imams to educate young people and thanked the leadership of Tatarstan for their active position in the preservation of the language.

In addition to the plenary session, the work of the forum continued in four breakout sessions on the experience and problems accumulated in the field of religious education of children, the implementation of the concept ''Islam and the Tatar World'', the role of religious leaders in the revival of the spiritual heritage of the Tatar people and others.

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By Vasilya Shirshova. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov
Tatarstan