31 July 2015, 10:02
Russia's Muslims expect Islamic world leaders at cathedral mosque opening ceremony in Moscow
Moscow, July 31, Interfax - The Muslim Board of Russia's European Part expects political and spiritual leaders of Muslim countries to attend the ceremony for opening a cathedral mosque in Moscow in September.
"I think the top officials [of Islamic countries] will undoubtedly attend. The leaders of the countries that are friendly to us and whose attitude to Russia remained unchanged both at peaceful times and in crises will definitely be invited," Damir Gizatullin, first deputy chairman of the Muslim board, told Interfax-Religion.
"World-famous religious figures, and not only Muslims, but also our brothers Orthodox Christians, Jews and Buddhists" will also be invited, he said.
This organizational work is difficult and it requires the approval of both the muftiat and the Foreign Ministry, the source said.
"This ceremony will bring Russia closer to the Islamic world, which now sees good examples represented by the Russian state and the Muslims who live in it," he said.
Gizatullin said that foreign political leaders at the ceremony "will give a message that will also become a starting point for Muslims in their countries as regards development in a secular democratic state."
Russian presidential press officer Dmitry Peskov has recently said, commenting on the media reports stating that leaders of the Islamic world will visit Moscow in September to attend the cathedral mosque opening ceremony: "I don't know of the preparations for such visits."
The mosque, located at the sports complex Olimpiysky, is scheduled to open on September 23.