The three major Muslim organizations discussed the possibility of consolidation

Representatives of Central Religious Board of Muslims, Council of Muftis of Russia and Coordination Center of Muslims in the Northern Caucasus, the three major Musilm organizations in Russia, met on December 5th to discuss the possibility of consolidation. The meeting was initiated by Talgat Tadjutdin, the head of Central Religious Board of Muslims. The result of the meeting was a decision to make a working group for developing the details of the consolidation project.

For the position of grand mufti of Russia Talgat Tadjutdin suggested shaykh Ravil Gainuddin, the chairman of the Council of Muftis of Russia. Talgat Tadjutdin himself is supposed to take the central position of Shaykh al-Islam.

The necessity of such consolidation has been much talked about among Russian Muslim leaders in the recent decade. As a matter of fact, it was the principal issue discussed at All-Russian Muslim Conference held in 2005 in Nizhniy Novgorod by Religious Directorate of Muslims for the Nizhniy Novgorod region. However it wasn’t until now that the idea to create an organization to unite Muslims administratively is actually being worked out.

The initiative is widely supported by Russian Muslim leaders, however, some of them say the offered structure is disputable.

Muftis of Northern Caucasus welcome the consolidation process, but highlight the importance of Coordination Center of Muslims of Northern Caucasus. “Caucasus is a specific region and it requires specific approach‚” says Ismail Berdiyev, the chairman of Coordination Center of Muslims of Northern Caucasus and mufti of Stavropol Krai and Karachay-Cherkess Republic.

Mufti of Tatarstan, Gusman Ishakov, says it would be reasonable to form a High Council of Muftis of Russia out of the three organizations privileged with prior decision making.

Damir Mukhetdinov, the head of Council of Ulems of the Nizhniy Novgorod region, believes that all Russian citizens, not only Muslims, would benefit from consolidation of Russian Muslim community: “Today we see very well organized extremist groups creeping into our towns and to oppose them we need a well-structured administration with highly qualified and consolidated team.”

The meeting of the Conciliation committee is scheduled on the end of December.

Le Cfcm Échoue À Résoudre Sa Crise Interne

The Muslim Council has so far failed to resolve its internal crisis over representation. The dispute centers around the representation given to the FNMF (National Federation of French Muslims) which tends to be associated with Moroccans. Currently no solution is available, and Council functions are being delayed, but officialy think it should be resolved soon. {(continued below in French)} Le bureau du Conseil fran_ais du culte musulman (CFCM) a _chou_ jeudi _ r_soudre sa crise interne n_e des divergences au sein d’une de ses composantes, la F_d_ration nationale des musulmans de France (FNMF), ce qui paralyse son action. “Devant la difficult_ de r_unir les membres du CFCM autour d’une solution n_goci_e, le bureau ex_cutif initiera incessamment une r_union de conciliation supervis_e par les d_l_gu_s du bureau du CFCM”, indique un communiqu_ sign_ du pr_sident, Dalil Boubakeur, et d’un vice-pr_sident, Fouad Alaoui. Cette r_union, selon le communiqu_, doit permettre de “d_bloquer la situation entre les parties antagonistes et arr_ter un accord global permettant au CFCM de reprendre normalement sa mission”. La crise r_side dans la repr_sentation de la FNMF (proche du Maroc) dans le bureau du CFCM, plusieurs responsables de cette association contestant le pr_sident, Mohamed Bechari. “Les adversaires de M. Bechari ne sont pas venus jeudi participer _ nos travaux, alors qu’ils _taient invit_s. La r_union de conciliation devrait se tenir bient_t _ la Mosqu_e d’Evry, sa date n’a pas _t_ fix_e”, a d_clar_ _ l’AFP M. Boubakeur, recteur de la Grande Mosqu_e de Paris. “Il y a constat de non-accord, pas de d_saccord. Cette crise paralyse le CFCM, et j’esp_re que nous allons la r_soudre”, a-t-il ajout_, pr_cisant que le conseil d’administration du CFCM pr_vu cette semaine, et auquel devait participer le ministre de l’Int_rieur Nicolas Sarkozy _tait report_. “Nous esp_rons tenir ce conseil le 13 mai”, a-t-il ajout_. Ce conseil devrait notamment ent_riner les choix des aum_niers musulmans des arm_es, des prisons et des h_pitaux. Un “compromis” sur la repr_sentation de la FNMF avait _t_ r_cemment _labor_, avec le concours du minist_re de l’Int_rieur. “Si ce compromis est accept_, et que les probl_mes qui nous bloquaient sont r_solus, nous allons enfin attaquer les probl_mes de fond, comme la formation, l’affaire des caricatures, les questions importantes qui se posent aux musulmans fran_ais”, avait r_cemment soulign_ M. Boubakeur.