2008-03-24 17:00:00

Moscow branch of the Anti-Defamation League accuses Mufti Ashirov of outdated anti-Semitism

Moscow, March 24, Interfax - Co-chairman of the Russian Muftis Council Nafigullah Ashirov’s statement where he compared “Zionism to fascism” is anti-Semitic, chairman of the Anti-Defamation League’s Moscow branch Alexander Axelrod believes.

“I wonder that such high-ranking staff members of the Russian Council of Muftis as Nafigullah Ashirov voice so outdated anti-Semitic ideas,” Axelrod told Interfax-Religion on Monday.

He is perplexed that “there are intolerant people among religious leaders.”

The Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FJCR) has recently announced it would suspend relations with the Russian Council of Muftis as it did not react to the Ashirov’s statement. The Council of Muftis replied with a statement saying it didn’t receive any official documents from the FJCR on the matter.

Besides, the statement cited Ashirov’s comment: “If FJCR, which positions itself as a Russian organization, sees itself as part of Zionism, then certainly the announcement by this organization about suspension of relations with the Council of Muftis is quite understandable."

“And why the FJCR should support Wahhabism? The FJCR supports Russia’s multireligious basis, principle of tolerance and mutual respect between religions. While the Council of Muftis acts in such multicultural a country and opposes itself to the official state course aimed at preserving international and interreligious peace,” Axelrod said.

He noted that “the world’s extreme radicals” shared this position and also compared Zionism to fascism. The interviewee of the agency appealed to mathematics and urged to “chip off all extreme values and take into account the rest.”

“Life is almost similar to maths,” the Anti-Defamation League representative said.