Moscow, 10 Dhulhijjah 1436/24 September 2015 (MINA) – Islam plays an important role in Russia, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.

Speaking at the reopening of Moscow Central Mosque alongside Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Putin said: “Muslim opinion leaders always contribute to the development of peace and common sense against extremism in Russia.”

The Russian leader went on to condemn Islamic State (ISIL) group exploitation of Islam, Anadolu Agency quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

“Attempts are being made to cynically exploit religious beliefs for political goals,” he said, quoted by the state-owned Sputnik news agency.

He added that Daesh was “compromising a great world religion, compromising Islam, spreading hatred, killing people, including priests, and barbarically destroying objects of world culture.

“Their ideology is based on lies and blatant perversion of Islam.”

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the ceremonial opening of the mosque with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“An excellent masterpiece comes out after the restoration of the historic Moscow Central Mosque in a beautiful location in Moscow,” Erdogan said.

Putin thanked Erdogan for attending the ceremony of the mosque and for the contributions for the restoration.

“We know that Turkey is set to hold the parliamentary elections. So I wish you success,” he added, referring to parliamentary elections to take place on Nov. 1 in Turkey.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was also present at the mosque.

The mosque – also known as Moscow Cathedral Mosque and Moscow Jum’ah Mosque – was reopened on the eve of Eid al-Adha following its demolition four years ago. It has been rebuilt to house 10,000 worshipers.

The Turkish Diyanet Foundation, an agency of Turkey’s religious affairs directorate, helped with the mosque’s interior design. (T/P001/R04)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)


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