What tasks does the Muslim world face? Is there any universal key to reach inter-religious and inter-ethnic peace and harmony? We have tried to find the answers to these questions with Chairman of the Spiritual Board of Muslims of the Bashkortostan Republic Aynur Birgalin.
“What tasks do Muslims face around the world, in your opinion?”
“In my opinion, the main task of the Strategic Vision Group “Russia – Islamic World” is, among other things, the organization of forums, conferences, in the framework of which foreign guests get acquainted with Russia as a part of the Muslim world. Our country is unique because representatives of more than 190 nationalities and ethnicities live here in peace and harmony. As far as Muslims are concerned, such regions as Bashkortostan, Tatarstan and Caucasian republics can open a gateway to the Islamic world of our planet for Russia. Compare –it used to be a shock for Muslims from Bahrain that there are Muslims here. And today we can observe that the Russian Federation is perceived as a full member of the Muslim world”.
“What should be done to strengthen inter-national and inter-religious peace in our world? And is it necessary at all?”
“As far as the Republic of Bashkortostan is concerned, we can proudly say that it is an example of friendship of all confessions. I would also like to note that the Russian government, represented by Muslims of Russia and spiritual boards, has the key to the Islamic world for cooperation not only in cultural and ideological terms, but also in economic sphere”.
“How is the work with the religious youth, not only with the Muslim one, but also with representatives of other religions, being carried out?”
“It is the duty of a spiritual leader, regardless of religion, not only to develop their religion or establish relations within their community, but also to work on strengthening of inter-confessional peace. That is why, initially, when electing a spiritual leader, attention is paid to the fact that he must watch not only his congregation, but the entire republic and our entire multinational and multi-religious state. We do not divide people in any way on religious grounds. We do not introduce any special dress code before the event, do not make special demands, but try to invite everyone together to any event”.
“We talk a lot about interaction between spiritual leaders, but how is it proper to work with public organizations and government authorities in order to reach that very inter-religious harmony?”
“The issue is very topical and important, because only when clergy, government and public find common language and begin treating all the problems and tasks as their own, regardless their direct duties, we will be able to speak about effective interaction. For instance, the Spiritual Board does not limit its activities to religious education. We inculcate morality in people and fight against harmful phenomena. If the population is morally decayed, it will not be possible to build a good state. After all, what does “state” mean? It is harmony in a society, when every representative of this society has a full set of positive qualities”.
The interviewer: Ilmira Gafiyatullina