Finally, a group of Muslim clerics are angry about Beslan. But they’re not angry over the jihadist murderers whom many would no doubt say “hijacked” their religion. No, they’re angry because the Orthodox Church is trying to “hijack a national tragedy” whose victims just incidentally happened to be Orthodox Christians and whose perpetrators just incidentally happened to be Islamic jihadists.
By Christian Lowe for Reuters, with thanks to all who sent this in:
MOSCOW, March 4 (Reuters) – Plans to build a memorial to the 333 hostages killed three years ago in the Beslan school siege have sparked a row between Christians and Muslims in Russia.
The local Russian Orthodox diocese says it will build a church in the grounds of Beslan’s school No. 1 to commemorate the victims — half of them children — killed in a clash between insurgents and Russian troops.
But one of Russia’s leading Muslim clerics has accused the Orthodox church of trying to hijack a national tragedy by building a memorial that he said would exclude the more than 20 million Muslims who live in the country.
“It is not acceptable to present this tragedy as the tragedy of followers of only one religion,” Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin, chairman of the Council of Russian Muftis, said in a statement.
“We need a monument on this site that symbolises a national tragedy, without any religious undertones, where everyone can come and shed their tears.”