‘The Orthodox found out and wanted to join’: mosque and church to be built in Innopolis

Places of worship will be erected for the free expression of religion

‘The Orthodox found out and wanted to join’: mosque and church to be built in Innopolis
Photo: realnoevremya.ru/Dmitry Reznov

A charity fundraiser has been announced in Innopolis for the construction of the Mosafir mosque (translated from Tatar as “Traveller”), which presumably can be located at the entrance to the city. At the suggestion of the Duma of the Republic of Tatarstan, it can become one of the largest after the Kul Sharif in Kazan — its future capacity is 700-1000 people. According to the project, an Orthodox church will be built nearby. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Call for prayer from Innopolis

In Innopolis, which is one of the ten major Russian IT centres, it is planned to build an Orthodox church and the Mosafir mosque, which can become one of the main attractions of the city. The capacity is going to be 700-1000 people.

Currently, the Muslim parish is waiting for the permission to use the land plot, the imam-khatib of the mosque, Kamil khazrat Bikmukhametov, told Realnoe Vremya. According to him, the construction of the Muslim structure is being coordinated with the city authorities, and the mosque itself will become a testament to religious freedom among IT specialists.

Member of the Innopolis City Council, entrepreneur Adel Yagudin told Realnoe Vremya that the idea of building a mosque came from the head of the Duma of the Republic of Tatarstan, Kamil khazrat Samigullin:

“The republic always responds to the requests of believers of different faiths. The request was voiced by the head of the Duma of the Republic of Tatarstan, with his submission, the process has been launched. Charity funds are being collected for the construction of the mosque.

To comply with multi-confessional traditions, an Orthodox church will be built nearby, Bikmukhametov said. According to the idea, there will be a large park to separate the religious buildings of Muslims and Orthodox. Thus, their total area is going to be 4 hectares, the imam-khatib of the mosque noted.

“The Orthodox will listen to our Azan (call to prayer), and we will hear the ringing of bells that gather Christians for service. We live in a common house and should be tolerant of different religions," he said. It was not specified whether a loudspeaker would be used or whether messages with an invitation to Friday prayer would be sent via messengers.

realnoevremya.ru/Maxim Platonov

Mosque and church in the park

A park with religious buildings can be located at the entrance to Innopolis. It is proposed to build the Mosarif mosque across the street from the central technopark named after Popov, having the shape of a circle (it is called a “washer”). Recently, it housed the office of the KazanExpress marketplace, which hung a sign in a branded red design on the top of the building.

“It is determined that the mosque will be opposite the technopark, then there will be a park, possibly with five to ten rows of trees. There will be a church nearby. Their total area is going to be 4 hectares. What distance will separate the Mosafir mosque and the Orthodox Church has not yet been determined, a sketch is being prepared," said the imam-khatib of the mosque Kamil khazrat Bikmukhametov.

Several hundred Muslims signed up

How did the idea to build a mosque in Innopolis come about?

“We have created an initiative group — a parish. According to the charter, this is 10-12 people. We collected signatures of Muslims living in Innopolis. We were also joined by students of Innopolis University who came from Arab countries. In total, several hundred people signed up for the appeal to the Duma of the Republic of Tatarstan," he said.

The letter with signatures was handed over to the Duma of the Republic of Tatarstan, after which Mufti of Tatarstan Kamil khazrat Samigullin issued an appeal to the rais of the republic, Rustam Minnikhanov.

“The Orthodox found out. They wanted to join. As a result, the construction of both a mosque and a church was approved," he said. According to him, foreign students want to recite prayer, perform rituals, communicate with each other: “To perform Friday prayer, Arab students now go down to Vvedenskaya Sloboda. And now everything will be close.

realnoevremya.ru/Dmitry Reznov

Mosafir is translated from Tatar as a traveller, a wanderer. According to customs, he calls believers at dawn for Friday prayer, as it happens in Muslim countries.

“Mosafir is mentioned several times in the Quran. Mosafir is a man who left home to travel barefoot, spread Islam, Sharia. A man who spread Islam all over the world," Hazrat explained. — Thus, the light of the holy Quran reached Innopolis.

As the head of the press service of the Duma of the Republic of Tatarstan, Rezeda Zakirova, told Realnoe Vremya, 14 mosques were opened in Tatarstan in 2022.

“The construction of mosques in villages, cities or microdistricts is always initiated by a group of local residents, based on the needs and at the expense of parishioners," she noted.

“Proximity of the mosque and the temple will emphasise our tolerant attitude”

“The majority of the city's population are IT specialists, who most often do not adhere to any religious views," said Adel Yagudin. “Besides, there are many expats from foreign countries working in the city, the national composition of Innopolis is diverse. A few minutes from here, there is a mosque in Vvedenskaya Sloboda, and there is enough space for everyone.”

On the other hand, according to him, it is not accepted to refuse the request of believers, and in the city itself they adhere to a respectful attitude to these feelings:

“I don't think the mosque will scare away IT specialists. Orthodox Christians here congratulate Muslims on the Eid al-Adha holiday, and we congratulate them on Easter. The proximity of the mosque and the temple will emphasise our tolerant attitude.

Luiza Ignatyeva