2009-06-17 17:09:00

CIS Muslim leaders condemn extremism, call for unity

Moscow, June 17, Interfax - The Muslim leaders of countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States have condemned extremism and called for inter-confessional peace.

"We, the spiritual leaders of the CIS space, have always said and we are saying our emphatic 'No' to forces that encroach on the territorial integrity, security and stability of states, and sow the poisonous seeds of separatism," head of the of the Muslim Board of the Caucasus Allahshukyur Pasha-zade told a conference in Moscow.

"Religious expansion attempts are doomed," he said.

"Life proves that religious ideas which are alien to us, but imposed on us, lose the battle against traditional religious values", he said.

The Muslim leader expressed concern about "attempts to picture Muslims as extremists and fundamentalists, being made in different regions of he world." "Islam is a religion of peace and it does not accept violence, terrorism or extremism, whichever their form," Pasha-zade said.

Talgat Tajuddin, the head of Russia's Central Muslim Board, said that the followers of the country's traditional religions "have always shared its joy and grief."

"Together, we emerged unbent from the war against fascism, winning a great victory," he said.

"Allah taught us to stay together," said Ismail Berdiyev, the head of the Coordinating Council of the North Caucasus Muslims. "Those who are not attending [the conference] without a valid reason cannot be called Muslims," Berdiyev said.