A leading Moscow imam, Ildar Ayautdinov, has threatened to have Muslims conduct prayers in Orthodox churches if they don’t get more mosques in Moscow, and added: “There is a need to construct mosques, otherwise something bad will supersede spiritual development.” Something bad, eh? I can’t imagine what!
Meanwhile, will Moscow authorities allow a mosque to be built where a church was disallowed? Sounds familiar.
“Proposed Moscow Mosque Stirs Protests,” by Natalya Krainova in the Moscow Times, September 27 (thanks to Twostellas):
A dispute has escalated over plans to build a mosque in Moscow’s southeastern outskirts, with local residents vowing to send an appeal with about 2,000 signatures to President Dmitry Medvedev and nationalist groups promising to support them.
Muslim leaders defend the need for the worship site, saying the capital’s four mosques are overflowing with people.
Residents of the Tekstilshchiki district in southeastern Moscow will send Medvedev a complaint signed by more than 1,800 people opposing construction of the mosque, mainly on the grounds that it might cause massive traffic jams in the area on Islamic holidays, activist Mikhail Butrimov told The Moscow Times on Friday. Butrimov leads the movement Moi Dvor, or My Yard, which supports residents in their fight against the mosque.
Butrimov said residents asked local authorities several years ago to build a Russian Orthodox chapel or create a park on the unused lot. But authorities banned construction on the plot, saying utilities ran underneath it, he said.…