Open letter of Muslim community to president V.V. Putin

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Parliament of Chechen Republic, you claimed that Russia had always been and still remained a most reliable defender of Islam.

 Open letter of Muslim community to president V.V. Putin

We believe in the sincerity of these words and value the fact they came from the mouth of the head of a great country and the warrantor of Russian constitution.

Yet, regrettably, it frequently occurs in our country that middle and lower levels of state power distort the policies of their superiors and turn them into something opposite to what they were intended to be. It happens so in relation to Muslims too, who are starting to become persecuted for real in some regions of our country under the pretext of "fighting with terrorism".

The most blatant case amidst many incidents of such injustice in the persecution of imam of the city of Pyatigorsk Anton Stepanenko. We consider that imam Stepanenko's detention and formal charges of kidnapping a teenager against him are completely groundless. All the guilt of this imam, who has already spent an year in prison, is in his success at conversion of several representatives of "Non-Muslim nationalities" to Islam. He is accused of allegedly keeping a little thief, suffering from mental disorder, in his mosque several years (!) ago.

However the lawyers have convincingly proved at the court of law that Stepanenko was subjected to beatings and pressure from remand prison guards. The complainants Boris Martynov, Timofey Panasyuk and Nail Karataev also confessed during the trial they had made their testimonies under duress. The decisions being made by the court in this process are the subject of acute attention of numerous Muslims of not only the Caucasus region, but all Muslim countries.

The very right of Russian citizens for their religious freedom is at risk here. You also concerned this problem at one of your press-conferences with foreign journalists last year. In response to the words of one of your guests that terrorists might easily enlist Russian Muslims in their organizations, you quite correctly noted that the Muslims in Russia are not aliens or immigrants, but normal citizens of the country, living on their home soil.

We consider Anton Stepanenko a political prisoner in the internationally recognized sense of this word. All three centralized Muslim structures of Russia – Russia's Mufti Council, Central Spiritual Directorate of Russian Muslims and North Caucasus Muslims' Coordination Centre have spoken in his defence. Yet all their appeals are still being ignored.

At the same time certain people are trying to ban the books of one of the world's most humanistic thinkers, B. Said Nursi, - and this, from our point of view, may become a precedent for declaring illegal almost all literature with quotes from Qur'an.

A number of expert reviews of abovementioned literature gave negative answers to the questions of presence of any kind of calls for extremism in it, as it was established during the legal suit in Omsk, where a young Muslim was accused of inciting religious hatred by spreading Said Nursi's books.

"Psychological expertise" is a special kind of mistreatment of readers of Said Nursi's books by the employees of "power ministries". The homes of a number of Muslims were rummaged and their copies of Nursi's books were seized by the police as if they were illegal – which they were not.

Today the process of declaring Nursi's books illegal is continuing at the Koptev court in Moscow. The court hearings of this case were made private. The Russian General Prosecutor's office has recently joined its efforts with the court officials to ban the collected edition of Nursi's writings.

The new city authorities in Astrakhan are planning to demolish the mosque, which construction was approved by the previous mayor, thus trying to discredit both the head of our state and the state in general without having any solid ground for such decision.

The court of law, including the Supreme Court of Russian Federation, has ruled in favour of Astrakhanian authorities. All complaints and appeals in defense of the mosque, including those sent to the General Prosecutor's office and the Human Rights Commissioner (ombudsman) of the Russian Federation, didn't lead to any positive results. We consider this to be a case of political persecution.

The court charges against an old man, parishioner of a mosque in Astrakhan oblast Mansur Shangareev became the symbol of oppression of Muslims' human rights, when the police found a hand grenade in a… felt boot during the search of his house. Such absurdities haven't been seen in our country since 1930-ies.

A new scandal has sparked up in Tatarstan Republic around the case of the "blast of Bugulma gas pipeline". Three men were detained as suspects in April 2005: Ishmuratov Ravil Shafievich; Gumarov Ravil Shafievich; Shaihutdinov Fanis Aglyamovich. The jury of Tatarstan's Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favour of these men and declared them innocent. The court process showed that the confessions of the defendants were made under torture and the witnesses for the prosecution withdrew their testimonies made during the investigation, claiming that they were "beaten" or cheated out of them.

The republican prosecutor's office appealed to the Supreme court of the Russian Federation against the court's ruling, citing violations of processual norms. By that time there appeared another suspect that confessed in committing several terror bombings, including the blast of Bugulma gas pipeline. Despite the evidence, the Supreme Court of Russian Federation set aside the judgment and thus there appeared two teams of perpetrators for one terror bombing. Soon the Supreme Court condemned Ishmuratov, Gumarov and Shaihutdinov. Now the lawyers are working to review this decision.

It seems that the prosecutor's office wasn't working to determine the truth and preserve legality, but to meet its own corporate ends or acting on the order from outside – from those countries where they deliberately insult Muslims by making cartoons about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and violate human rights at Guantanamo base. Two detainees in the "Bugulma case" were Guantanamo inmates before, and as far as their guilt wasn't proved they were released. You have already mentioned the violations of human rights at Guantanamo base by noting that "there will be no Guantanamo in Russia".

It seems that amidst the circumstances of an international scandal someone was trying to sweep the traces human rights violations at Guantanamo by eliminating the witnesses, including those living in Russia, and some "werevolves with shoulder boards" are the executors of this order.

There are other blatant cases of Muslims' persecution in other regions. We are not going to dwell here on the fates of many other people who are, in fact, real political prisoners. We are speaking about the same issue you have recently raised at the meeting with members of the Human rights council and NGO leaders by admitting the fact that there are still many people that are still being unjustly incarcerated in the prisons of our country.

We testify to the fact that Russian muslims do not want and do not demand any special privileges for themselves, no benefits, no "superior" or "dominating" legal status. We are only asking to follow the Constitution – the foundation of stability and prosperity of our multiconfessional Motherland.

We consider that you, being the warrantor of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, will be able to intervene in the current situation, which deals much harm to the image of our country that has recently received its observer status in the Organization Islamic Conference and that is strengthening its economical and political stance in Islamic countries.

You have declared the fight with terrorism one of the state's top priority tasks. In this connection the accomplices of the terrorists are also those, as you said it yourself after the Beslan tragedy, who want to sow discord between the peoples. To our great regret, such people can be found within official structures, undermining the unity of our state and disgracing our country before the whole world community. Without a new "clean hands" operation and the cleansing of our country from "werevolves with shoulder boards", the fight with true terrorism, and not with felt-boot-grenade carriers, will not be successful.

Respectfully yours,

Nafigulla Ashirov
Co-chairman of Russia's Mufti Council, head of the Supreme Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of the Asian part of Russia (Moscow)

Muqaddas Bibarsov
Co-chairman of Russia's Mufti Council, head of the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of the Volga region of Russia (Saratov)

Visam Ali Bardvil
Head of the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of Karelia (Petrozavodsk)

Muhammadrasul Saaduyev
Chairman of Makhachkala Council of Imams

Shamil Sultanov

State Duma member (Moscow)

Marat Saifutdinov
Chief-editor of (Moscow)

Geidar Jemal
Chairman of Islamic Committee (Moscow)

Denga Khalidov
Adviser to the President and corresponding member of the Academy for Geopolitical Issues, chairman of Center for the Issues of Ethnopolitics and Islam (Moscow)

Timur Pulatov
Member of the Union of Writers of the Russian Federation, People's Writer of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan (Moscow)

Damir Mukhetdinov
Head of "Medina" publishing house (Nizhny Novgorod)

Aslambek Ezhaev
Head of "Ummah" publishing house (Moscow)

Fatykh Garifullin
Chairman of Kaziyat Directorate of Muslims of Tyumen oblast

And others
Also signed by more than 3000 Muslims from more than 10 regions of the Russian Federation

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16