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The contribution of spirituality to the development of tolerance and the unification of efforts in the fight against nationalism was discussed in Moscow

1 March 2022
Вклад духовности в развитие толерантности и объединении усилий в борьбе с национализмом обсудили в Москве

Presidential Adviser Anton Kobyakov and the Muslim Spiritual Directorate of Russia met in Moscow to discuss spiritual diplomacy and public dialogue at key business events among others as well as humanitarian support for Russian business, work with migrants, the implementation of health projects, and cultural interaction.


Spiritual diplomacy has a particularly important role to play during complex crisis situations. The multinational peoples of Russia and Ukraine are currently involved in a struggle against the resurgence of Nazism in the land of our long-suffering, fraternal neighbour. The special military operation aimed at putting an end to the genocide perpetrated by the regime in Kiev, demilitarizing and denazifying Ukraine, bringing to justice those who have committed countless bloody crimes against civilians, including Russian citizens, and revived fascism and Nazism, should not divide the community of our fraternal peoples. That is why spiritual diplomacy must act as a key unifying, peaceful force today more than ever.   


“It is symbolic that our meeting is taking place during the 1,100th anniversary of the adoption of Islam by the Volga Bulgars, the celebrations for which began in January. Last year, President Vladimir Putin, at the initiative of Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gaynutdin, Chairman of the Russian Union of Muftis, granted the anniversary national status. The activities of the Muslim Spiritual Directorate are truly multifaceted and play an important role in the development of modern Russia. For many years, the organization has been working to strengthen inter-confessional and inter-ethnic peace and encourage cultural traditions,” Kobyakov said.


During the meeting, Deputy Chairman of the Muslim Spiritual Directorate Rushan Abbyasov talked about the organization's activities. “We would like to continue to develop spiritual diplomacy and encourage public dialogue as a part of key business events among others. Last year, for the first time ever at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Spiritual Directorate organized a session at the Qatar Pavilion entitled ‘Russia and the Arab World: dialogues for peace and cooperation’, which brought together representatives of scientific, cultural, and socio-political circles from Russia and the Arab world. The session is part of the general international Muslim Spiritual Directorate project – ‘Public Dialogue: Russia and the Arab World’ International Public Forum, which is being held for the 9th year at various venues,” Abbyasov said.


The Muslim Spiritual Directorate is working hard to unite Muslims in Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and other countries in the CIS. Work is being carried out among migrant workers, whom the clergy helps with job placement and housing through spiritual communities. Educational work is being carried out in schools.


Deputy Chairman of the Muslim Spiritual Directorate Rushan Abbyasov noted that an important part of the organization’s activity involves restoring mosques in Russia: “There are currently about 8000 mosques in the country, but before the revolution there were more than 15,000 within Russia’s current borders. This is important because multinational communities are being created around mosques, and these people, united by Muslim values, are helping each other”.


Women’s issues and a discussion of the new role and mission of women in the modern world are becoming increasingly important in relation to major events organized in Russia. A women’s business club operates within the Spiritual Directorate. Meeting participants discussed the possibility of organizing joint events aimed at supporting women’s issues in society and business.


The Spiritual Directorate is particularly interested in working together with the medical community, and that includes the development of medical tourism in Russia. There has been interest in seeing Russia and the Arab countries work together in healthcare.


The Spiritual Directorate is working to hold international events that would introduce others to Russia’s Muslim heritage. The participants discussed the possibility of holding cultural and educational projects under the auspices of the Muslim Spiritual Directorate as a part of major events such as the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.