Russian Muslims Celebrate Eid

October 24, 2006

Source: The Hindu

Muslims in Russia, who constitute over 12 per cent of the population in Russia on Monday celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr amid growing xenophobia and racial intolerance in the post-Communist society.

Amid tight security arrangements thousands of Muslims gathered in Moscow's main mosque on Monday morning for Eid Namaz led by the Russian Mufti Ravil Ghainuttdin.

In his message, President Vladimir Putin greeted the country's Muslims on the day, traditionally celebrated as Uraza Bairam (Roza Festival), marking the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting.

"This bright festival is an integral part of the richest intangible heritage of our multinational people. It embodies high ideals of moral perfection, drive towards mercifulness and care for near ones," Putin said.

"Russian Muslims have always shown religious tolerance, careful attitude to the traditions of good neighbourliness and mutual understanding," the President said.

However, xenophobia and racial intolerance in the Russian society and the number of attacks reported on Caucasians, mostly Muslims, and non-white foreigners are growing constantly.