Qur'an Brings Smile to Chechen Refugees

Austrian Muslims have brought a smile to dozens of Chechen faces who sought refuge in the European country with the distribution of much-needed Russian translations of the meanings of the Noble Qur'an.

Qur'an Brings Smile to Chechen Refugees

"We aim to closely knit Chechen families to their faith and to educate them about Shari`ah and teach them Arabic to protect them from a ferocious proselytizing campaign in the country," Fareed Soliman, who supervises the distribution of the copies, told IslamOnline.net Tuesday, January 17.

Soliman, a physician, said 100 copies have been handed to 20 Chechen families in a refugee camp outside the capital city of Vienna.

A Chechen woman refugee, who requested anonymity, said that her peers are vulnerable to Christian proselytizers.

"Church representatives are visiting us on a weekly basis, but we give them a rowdy reception because we know their real intentions," she told IOL, adding that they were trying their best to protect young generations.

Each mosque in Vienna also has now a copy to meet the needs of Chechen worshippers.

"I was approached by a Chechen the other day and at first glance I though he was seeking shelter or cash, but I found out that he needed a Qur'an, which moved me greatly," said Mohsen Ali, an engineer based in Vienna.

Sheikh Othman, a Chechen researcher in Shari`ah, said an Al-Azhar institute in Vienna will assign Chechen tutors to teach children Arabic and help them memorize the Noble Qur'an thanks to Austrian Muslims.

Muslims are estimated at 400,000 in Austria of the country's eight million population. Islam, which was officially recognized in Austria in 1912 during the reign of Czar Franz Joseph, is considered the second religion in the country after Catholicism.

A Chechen woman carries a copy of Qur'an.

 Chechen Mosque

But the most pressing demand by Chechens is to have a mosque in which sermons and lectures are delivered in Russian, the mother tongue of the vast majority of Chechen refugees.

Austrian Muslims had already raised funds for the mosque, but still need much more to get basic amenities like electricity and heating systems.

There are between 18 and 20 thousand Chechen refugees in Austria's nine states. Vienna alone is home to six thousands.

"Only three Chechens have been granted Austrian citizenship so far," Sheikh Othman noted.

Refugees are grateful to the Austrian government for the kind treatment. The Refugees Authority provides Chechens with halal food and alcohol-free drinks.

The government body already pays each refugee in the country, whether Chechen or not, a monthly sum of 40 euros in addition to a makeshift shelter and daily hot meals.

The small mountainous republic of Chechnya has been ravaged by conflict since 1994, with just three years of relative peace after the first Russian invasion of the region ended in August 1996 and the second began in October 1999.

At least 100,000 Chechen civilians and 10,000 Russian troops are estimated to have been killed in both invasions, but human rights groups have said the real numbers could be much higher.

The wars have forced up to half a million Chechens to flee the country to neighboring and European countries. Women, who lost their husbands to the wars, make up most of the refugees.

Source: Ýslamonline.net

Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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