“Moscow is the only place in the world where over one million Muslims are served in only four mosques. We lack premises for praying. Muslims are allowed to conduct their religious ceremonies in Orthodox churches, but we would rather avoid this extreme measure.” In other words, give us more mosques, or we will take over your churches. Orthodox churches, with their proliferation of icons, are about as unsuited for Islamic prayer, with its abhorrence of shirk — the association of partners with Allah — and furious iconoclasm, as a building can possibly be. If Muslims begin praying in such churches in large numbers, they will begin demanding that the icons be taken down or covered up — and eventually the places will become mosques in due course, like so many former churches in the Middle East.
“Moscow imam reminds that Muslims may pray in Orthodox churches,” from Interfax, September 15 (thanks to Bruce):
Moscow, September 15, Interfax – The lack of mosques in Moscow may drive Muslims to visit Orthodox churches, imam-hatyb of the Moscow Cathedral Mosque Ildar Ayautdinov expresses his concern.
“Moscow is the only place in the world where over one million Muslims are served in only four mosques. We lack premises for praying. Muslims are allowed to conduct their religious ceremonies in Orthodox churches, but we would rather avoid this extreme measure,” he said in an interview to the Moscow issue of Metro daily.
He referred to the concerns voiced by the opponents of constructing a mosque in the Tekstilschiki District of Moscow that such mosque would threaten dog owners and said that “nothing threatens dogs, this is just ridiculous.”
“Ibn Mughaffal reported: Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) ordered the killing of dogs and then said: what is the trouble with them (the people of Medina)? How dogs are nuisance to them (the citizens of Medina)? He then permitted keeping of dogs for hunting and (the protection of) herds. In the hadith transmitted on the authority of Yahya, he (the Holy Prophet) permitted the keeping of dogs for (the protection of) herds, for hunting and (the protection of) cultivated land…..” — Sahih Muslim 3814
At the same time, he noted that if any dog’s spittle marked clothes of a Muslim, he was not allowed to pray in such clothes, but should go and wash it.
“Another thing is important: more attention is given to animals than to the problems of human neighbours. There is a need to construct mosques, otherwise something bad will supersede spiritual development,” Alyautdinov noted.