2009-11-20 17:39:00

Council of Muftis expresses condolences on priest's murder

Moscow, November 20, Interfax - The Council of Muftis of Russia has expressed its condolences on the murder of Russian Orthodox priest Daniil Sysoyev and spoken against the crime's link to the Muslim community.

"On behalf of my colleagues and myself, I express my condolences. It is a violent, brazen crime. If any questions arise regarding a clergyman, answers should be sought in a civilized way, not through murder," First Deputy of the Muslim Board of the European Part of Russia, Damir Gizatullin, said to Interfax-Religion on Friday.

"We talk to people, we meet them. They may not always agree with us, but that is no reason to kill. Life was given to us by the Almighty!" he said.

"A believer could not have committed such a crime whichever religion he may belong to," Gizatullin said.

"Religion, Islam in particular, prohibits murder. The murder of one person is equated to the murder of the entire humanity. Especially as Muslims and Orthodox Christians belong to the Abrahamic religions. Such people will never raise their hand against their own brethren," he said.

In his opinion, cult followers are likely to stand behind the murder of Father Daniil.