Russian Islam supports Putin's war
by Vladimir Rozanskij

Ukraine war is an armed intervention against fascists and parasites in Ukraine, says Russia's supreme mufti. Kremlin propaganda rhetoric redoubled. Similar positions from Orthodox Patriarch Kirill. Most of the Russian soldiers on the frontlines against Kiev are of Islamic faith.

Moscow (AsiaNews) -  Russia's Supreme Mufti of Russia, Talgat Tadžuddin, has celebrated in Ufa, capital of the Tatar region of Bashkortostan, the feast of ʿĪd al-aḍḥā, in Russian the Kurban-Bajram in which the sacrifice of Isaac is remembered, and in his homily he openly supported the reasons for the Russian war in Ukraine. Concluding the great pilgrimage to Mecca, he declared that such a war must be 'absolutely waged to the end, so that no fascist or parasite remains beside us, because for them insecticides are not enough, it is like a brown plague from which we pray that the Most High will deliver us'.

Tadžuddin had already supported the war in recent months; for example when he declared in March that Muslims around the world 'are for peace, and no one is happy with war, but the special operation in Ukraine is a necessary measure'. Now the Mufti has gone much further than those statements, expressing himself in particularly aggressive tones.

He specified that 'when your neighbour is infested with vermin, a bunch of nationalists and neo-Nazis, who over the course of no less than eight years (twice as long as the Great Patriotic War) have been systematically working for bloodshed and genocide in the very suffering land of the Donbass, we cannot sit back and watch, indifference is not permissible'. The use of specific terminology in the invective against the Ukrainians, moreover, points to strong Kremlin pressure on these declarations of Islamic patriotism, not least to counter the separatist drives of the Volga Tatars, which the Ukrainian war has decisively reactivated.

The head of the Russian Muslims attacked the United States, adding that they are joined by all the other countries of the West: 'This lying and envious tradition of the West towards our great, united and powerful nation is reproduced almost every century'. Tadžuddin has far surpassed with his statements the very proclamations of the Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow Kirill (Gundjaev), who is now on the list of persons under sanction not only from England, but also from Canada.

The patriarch has repeatedly defended the Russian Armed Forces, assuring that the soldiers 'are motivated by deep feelings of morality' for the defence of the Russian people, and has also claimed that 'Russia has never attacked and harmed anyone', but has never openly supported war as Muslims do today. The war reveals the degree of religious radicalism of Russia's two majority religions, Orthodoxy and Islam, but the prevalence of Muslim soldiers in the Russian army seems to somehow favour the reasons of Allah over those of the Russian Christ.

The grand mufti concluded the ṣalāt, the canonical collective prayers, with invocations for the good fortune of the Russian people and the health of President Putin. He recalled that this year more than 12,000 worshippers from Russia, including a group of Muslims from the self-proclaimed republic of Donetsk, had fulfilled the ḥajj, the great pilgrimage that constitutes the fifth pillar of Islam, emphasising the country's leading role in the world panorama of the Islamic religion.